Legal Networking Techniques and Resources

Networking for solicitors can be a very effective and powerful tool, but only if you do it right. Here are some of the points to consider.

1. What is networking?

In the legal world networking should be an essential part of your business. My 14 years as a practising solicitor provided me with a network which has been especially invaluable since forming Samson Consulting. Essentially networking is getting out of your office and mixing with people from the same profession, potential referral sources, and any other occasions where you meet new contacts. Whilst most partners will find themselves undertaking various networking commitments each month, it is often not the case with other solicitors and legal executives in the practice.

2. Networking targets?

No doubt all of your fee earners have costs targets each month. These targets focus their minds on the level of fees they are expected to generate for the practice. This target is frequently reviewed, and if it is not achieved the reasons are explored and no doubt a future strategy to ensure compliance is put in place. Whilst networking is recognised as an essential marketing tool by most of the law firms that I regularly work with and meet, I do not know of many that attach targets to networking events. Why not? When I ask this question the general response from partners is that “they do not want to rock the boat”. As a businessman I have real difficulty understanding this argument, particularly with the legal sector becoming ever more competitive. Surely if you recognise that networking is an essential part of your fee earners terms of employment, as achieving a monthly costs target is, then a networking target will focus everyone’s minds on the importance of the topic?

3. What to say or not to say?

Networking is essentially a sales and marketing tool. Two of the most important rules of sales are:

  • Prospect (ie get out there and meet people); and
  • Listen.

These are simple rules, yet if they are employed for networking events they will guarantee results.

4. Long Term Gain

We have all been to networking events where we are approached by someone who interrupts our conversation, jumps in with his or her business card, shouts about how brilliant they are and then throws themselves at the next unsuspecting group of people. This is one way to guarantee you will not succeed with your networking approach.

The only way you will ever really prosper through networking is to build long term relationships and show a genuine interest in the people you talk to. In the last two years I have brokered deals putting several contacts on my network in touch with each other leading to a benefit for everyone involved. One of these contacts I first made over 8 years ago.

5. What To Say?

If you dread networking events, and would like a tool that will create your own one minute pitch, please let me know and I will gladly send you a copy.

Networking Course for Solicitors

If you would like your fee earners out there extolling the virtues of your practice, then my Killer Networking for Solicitors course could be just what you are waiting for. Some of the comments I have received after running the course appear below:

“Nick Jervis has both the legal experience and business marketing skills to be ideally placed to present a networking seminar to solicitors. Through his practical advice and tips on technique, I realised networking is an important skill that can be learnt by anyone and is not just a gift that a select few are lucky enough to have. The course is presented in a pragmatic, and friendly way with the emphasis very much being on putting the theory into practice. I have no doubt as a result of attending this course I am in a better position to spot networking opportunities and utilise them effectively to increase my source of contacts and referral opportunities”. Clare Langford, Higgs and Sons.

“Very entertaining”, “Enjoyed the course” – Alway Associates

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