Find your affinity group and your business relationships will grow
One of the great challenges in selling professional services is
finding effective ways to stay connected to potential clients and
referral sources. A good starting point is to identify some
activity you enjoy (i.e. one that puts you in contact with the
people you want to meet). It doesn't matter if it is sports,
politics, religion, community work, the arts, music or some unusual
hobby. Having outside interests makes it easier to build your
referral network because it gives you a more natural way to connect
Are you passionate about politics? Work on a campaign. Is there a
non-profit cause that is meaningful to you (e.g. providing legal
services to the indigent)? Or perhaps you care about an initiative
being worked on by the Massachusetts Bar Association or some other
law related group. Find a way to volunteer. Are you strongly tied
to a religious community? Get active on a committee in your church
or synagogue. Maybe you are passionate about a sport. If so, there
are undoubtedly others who feel the same way and you should get to
know them through a club.
Of course some activities tend to be more solitary than others. If
that is the case, then look for a group to join where you can share
your passion with like-minded individuals.
Being a part of some group that brings together people with common
interests will greatly increase the likelihood you will create the
referral relationships you need to grow your practice. The
important thing is YOU are passionate about the activity, the cause
or the belief system. There is no social glue that is stronger than
a common set of interests, beliefs or experiences.
It is conventional wisdom that when you meet someone for the first
time, politics and religion are poor topics of conversation. But
the bonds we create through shared belief systems and shared
passions are amongst the strongest bonds we create in life. As a
result, the relationships we develop through these affinity groups
are very good places to try to cultivate business referrals. Alumni
groups can also be a place where you can benefit from these natural
bonds. These can be alumni groups from schools you attended, camps
where you spent your childhood or employers where you once worked
(even better if some dramatic event caused the employer to go out
of business or merge with another company).
So find your affinity group and get active. Your involvement will
make it much easier to stay connected over time and ultimately,
your referrals will grow.
Tip courtesy of Stephen Seckler, president, Seckler Legal
Consulting and Coaching.
Published August 2, 2012
To learn more about the Law Practice Management
Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members,
contact LPM Section Chair Thomas J. Barbar or Vice