October 23, 2012

Law Firm Strategy

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In Up or Over

Making Partner

It's Up or Out No More as Alternatives Shake up the Traditional Partnership Model

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Making the Call Can Bring Magic

by Patrick J. McKenna

Maximize your advantage. How to win in a competitive marketplace.

How many times have you met a prospective client or good referral source and closed your conversation with "I'll call you" but then neglected to follow through? The follow-up necessary to effective networking remains something we all struggle with. Perhaps that's because we tend to lose sight of networking's real purpose. It is not about connecting for the sole purpose of getting work, referrals or anything else from people. Networking is about giving.

If you read the news with a few people in mind, a couple of times a week, this approach will become natural. I can't tell you how many times I have received a huge thanks after e-mailing an article with a message like "You probably saw this, but just in case you missed it." If you give someone a pearl of wisdom or a bit of current information that he or she can use to advantage, you have just set up a quid pro quo. There's the magic!

Think about the relationships you value and make them a priority. Begin with colleagues, referral sources or valued clients whom you haven't heard from recently. Call them. Start with just three. Meet them for coffee. Think about them as you read the news and send articles that may be of merit or use to them. The fact that you thought of them and made the effort will make them feel valued.

So whom can you phone today? Don't make a big deal of it. Simply think about three people you know and like—and then call them. They'll appreciate it.