Thanks to Miriam Lawrence at Automatic Referrals  for her comments and reference to an article on improving your networking mind-set on Street.com. It served as a reminder for me of three essential factors when it comes to networking:

  • It’s a Two-way Street (the more you give the more you’ll get in return. If you take the focus off yourself, and try to be helpful in understanding and addressing the other person’s wants and needs, a trust and friendship will develop; and that will result in your gain in the long run),
  • Broaden Your Horizons (work at getting out of your comfort zone, and look for other people and organizations to diversify your networking reach. Obviously, they should have some relational connection – such as a trade group – to the types of clients and referral sources that can ultimately benefit your law firm)
  • It Takes Time (like the farming analogy, relationships take time to develop and require the proper care and feeding in order to gain a bountiful harvest).

We all know that networking, and the resulting referrals, play a very important role in legal marketing. Occasionally, it’s a good idea to remind ourselves on the basic principles associated with this tool.

Note: This is an encore post on networking first published on August 23, 2006. Since I will be on a working vacation over the next week with limited access to the Internet, I will be doing encores of previous posts on networking. For those who missed them the first time around, I hope you find them helpful.

  • It might be an encore post, but it bears repeating, Tom! As I’ve told more than one client who was highly reluctant to “network” (and really, when you use it as a verb, who can blame them? It even sounds disreputable), it’s better to think of it not as networking but as creating relationships. You just can’t operate in a vacuum in this business of law.