As I was working today to finalize an action plan for a client, I realized how important networking was going to be for this young lawyer who is interested in building an immigration practice.
Networking is not every lawyer’s favorite thing, in fact, many attorneys are just not comfortable with it. Some because they don’t think they’re good at it, and others are not sure how best to do it. That’s why I found Thom Singer’s post of a couple of days ago on Some Assembly Required, which he calls "Yes, You CAN Network", right on target. First, Thom points out that "the best way to start is to want to see others succeed." I would agree that if you help others develop their business, they will then want to help you succeed as well.
Then Thom gives three good suggestions:
- Start networking by asking a lot of questions about what others want to accomplish,
- Next, connect the dots by introducing people who might mutually benefit from a relationship, and
- When meeting new people, don’t try to sell your services (rather listen at least 50% of the time while asking probing questions to uncover their interests and goals).
Thom sums it up very well when he says:
"Anyone can network, when they realized that networking involves more giving than getting. The good news, the getting does come for those who give. Patience is the key."