This year, don't just have fun at all those "end-of-year" functions; take full advantage of the huge networking potential they present.
Here are some ideas for maximising that potential:
Jack Crook (LLB Lond, LLB Rhod) is the author of LawDotNews, a monthly newsletter which is personalised and e-mailed to your firm's clients compliments of your firm. Readers are welcome to contact Jack, or visit his web site at http://www.dotnews.co.za for further details.
- Most important, say the experts, is to enjoy yourself! Marketing is a game, and the more fun you have playing, you more likely you are to win. If you are having a good time, you will project enthusiasm, confidence and a positive attitude - and these are your keys to success.
- Preparation is crucial:
- Set clear goals for each function
- Then plan in detail - point by point - your route to achieving them
- Structure your plan around Jeffrey M Horn's Top Tips for Working the Room on the Law Marketing Portal website.
- Before the function, get your mindset right with the power of affirmations and visualisations - find out how at the wikiHow website.
- When you connect with a good prospect, don't just exchange business cards and move on. That's a very common mistake, and you will probably have forgotten all about each other long before any real relationship can develop.
- Rather lay the groundwork for effective follow-up:
- Arrange to be in contact again (even if it's only in 2008!)
- Better still, express interest in the prospect's business and ask if you can come for a visit. That's flattering to the prospect, and the more you learn of his or her needs and aspirations, the more likely it is that you can offer a service that will be of real value;
- And, if you produce a client newsletter, offer to put prospects onto your mailing list. Regular, quality communication is fundamental when converting acquaintances into clients.
- "The bluntest pencil is better than the sharpest memory" - so make detailed notes (as soon as possible after the function) on every likely prospect. Record what you learned about them, what follow-ups you agreed on, etc. Knowledge is power, particularly in the marketing game!