Keeping in touch with potential clients and those who can refer prospects is the very essence of networking. But not just random networking. After you meet the people who are likely to use your services, or make referrals, it is up to you to do the kinds of things necessary so they will remember you.
The idea according to Jim Hassett on his blog Legal Business Development of LegalBizDev (and fellow member of the LegalBizDev Network) is to stay in touch so that your name will be, as Jim puts it, “top of mind” when a prospect needs a lawyer (or when someone is thinking of making a referral to a lawyer).
Jim identifies three common elements that can help you do that. They are:
- Focus on the right people – identify those people who are likely to use your services (preferably those you would enjoy having as clients, and whom might use you for the work you most enjoy doing), and get to know them;
- Provide value – keep them informed about things that matter to them, like new developments in the law relating to their business (or even information about known personal interests); and
- Make it personal – rather than impersonal newsletters sent to a ton of people, send an e-mail that has only that person’s name and address, and add a personal note, if possible. As Jim so accurately puts it, the “idea of keeping in touch is to build relationships, and that must be done one person at a time.”