Page 17 - Minnesota Vol 8 No 4
P. 17

DON’T JUST WING IT. DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Before you meet, make sure you take a step back and gather some im- portant information:
No. 1: Web and Bio Review. Visit their website and read their bio and pages applicable to what they do. Make sure you also read their Linke- dIn pro le; a treasure trove of back- ground information!
No. 2: Google Them! Do a basic Google search on the person you are meeting with and on their  rm. What if they were just quoted in the daily paper? You want to be able to con- gratulate them.
No. 3: Look for Commonality.
Visit their LinkedIn pro le and see what contacts you have in common; see what they like to do in their spare time; review where they used to work. You are always looking for the things you might have in common with your contact.
No. 4: Mental Agenda. Before you leave your o ce, think about what you want to get out of the meeting. What would the best-case scenario be? It could be an agreement to write an article together or team up to de- liver a webinar. It might open the door to having you go to their  rm and present something educational to others.
No. 5: How can You Help Them?
A er doing your research on the per- son, spend time thinking about who you could introduce them to – those who could help them achieve their business or personal goals.
YOU’RE THERE. NOW LEAD THE CONVERSATION
Remember the mental agenda you created? Now it’s time to start using it. In addition, there are other things to think about as sit down to lunch:
No. 1: Ask Questions. Remember that when you ask questions you are in control of the conversation. Don’t let the discussion meander around to di erent unstructured topics. Re- member what you want to get out of the meeting, and start by asking ques- tions like:
How are you?  en turn their re- sponse into more questions like:
• Did you take any interesting trips this winter?
• How is your business going? Which can lead to:
• Who is your ideal client?
• How could we work together to
bene t both of our practices?
• Is there anyone I’m connected to on LinkedIn I can introduce you
to?
• How can I help you in your busi-
ness?
No. 2: Take Notes. If you take a
few notes, it shows you are engaged in the conversation, and that you value what the person is saying to you!
No. 3: Treat Them. If you invited someone to lunch, consider picking up the bill. You can always agree to let them get the tab the next time.
No. 4: Agree on Next Steps. Iden- tify any next steps you agreed to in- cluding when you should get together again – and write it down. You always want to leave a networking meeting with a list of action items and next steps.
YOU’RE BACK IN YOUR OFFICE. NOW FOLLOW UP
You prepared for the meeting and had a delightful time with your con- tact. THE most important part of your networking meeting is the fol- low up you do when you’re back in the o ce.
No. 1: Do what you Say You will Do. Because you were taking notes, you know you o ered to introduce your contact to someone or send an article or blog post you wrote.  e moment you return to your o ce, take action! Make that LinkedIn in- troduction, refer them to your land- scaping consultant, send the article outline you discussed, or present next steps on the joint presentation you could do together.
No. 2: Make it Easy for Them to Refer You. Chances are you had a great meeting and le  with promises of referring business to one another. Take it one step further and create a one-page document you can send to your contact that conveys:
• Your photo and contact informa- tion
AttorneyAtLawMagazine.com
• Summary of your practice
• Representative case studies (type of client, problem, your solution,
result)
• Testimonials from your satis ed
clients
By sending this to referral sources,
you are making it easier for them to refer you. You are not relying on them to position you. Rather, you create your own messages on the value you bring to your clients. Your contact then simply mails your 1-page sum- mary to people they want to refer to you.
No. 3: What Next? During your meeting you agreed on some action items. Make sure you calendar your next follow up with this person, even if it’s three months from now. If you don’t, the relationship will likely stag- nate. Always be the driver of next steps to ensure the relationship con- tinues to grow.
While many lawyers think that hav- ing a lunch meeting is just showing up for an hour, it is in your best interest to spend time preparing for the meet- ing. During the meeting, focus exclu- sively on how you can help THEM. I know – it’s networking, but the con- versation will always come back to you. When you ask questions, you show your contact you are genuinely interested in them – so interested you are taking notes.  en, take your best intentions and when you get back to your o ce, take immediate action on them. And don’t forget the most im- portant part: always have a next step. Schedule a reminder on your calen- dar to meet with your contact again. If you implement this approach with your contacts, you will build deeper relationships built on genuine fond- ness, respect, and trust.
TERRIE S. WHEELER, MBC, SPENDS A SIGNIFI- CANT AMOUNT OF TIME COACHING LAWYERS TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL RAINMAKERS. PART OF HER WORK INVOLVES
HELPING HER CLIENTS MAKE THE MOST OF NETWORKING MEETINGS! TERRIE WRITES AND SPEAKS NATIONALLY ON ETHICAL MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR LAWYERS. TERRIE ALSO HAS AN INNOVA- TIVE NEW TOOL, WWW.CLE-CONNECT, ETHICAL MARKETING CLES ON-DEMAND.
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