June 07, 2019 Articles

Talking Business with Friends

Learn how to handle these situations the right way (and without ruining any friendships in the process).

By Allison Wolf

When it comes to business development, one of the challenges that many lawyers face is their reluctance to mix friendship or social connections with business. This is unfortunate because some of the best opportunities for growing a legal practice exist within the network of people who already know and trust you.

Myths

Here are some of the mistaken beliefs that hold lawyers back from talking business with friends:

  • “It is bad manners and crass to seek business from friends.”
  • “This might make it look like I am taking advantage of the relationship.”
  • “I don’t want to seem to be exploiting a friendship.”
  • “What if the legal work doesn’t go well? The friendship could be harmed.”

These beliefs represent variations of a mind-set that sees business development as a self-serving activity with only one-sided benefits.

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