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Client Development

Selling The Extended Team

Back when I was practicing law, I was responsible for bringing in business to feed myself and a nest full of hungry associates and law clerks. In my early days I was not able to do that using LinkedIn, because someone had forgotten to invent social media. By the time that LinkedIn was in full swing, I had already fallen into a pattern of relying on networking to develop business. It worked well for me, and I really enjoyed having my partners treat me to lunch four or five times a week.

When I was out to lunch, I used to ask clients if they were happy with their accountants, bankers, wealth advisors, insurance advisors and other professionals. If they were, I moved on. I was not going to do anything to disrupt good relationships. But if they were not, I would tell them about my excellent contacts in those industries. I was always selling my contacts as well as myself. If I could make referrals, I was not only doing something good for my client, but I was going to get referrals back.

The professionals to whom I referred business knew that I was doing this and they were doing the same thing for me. I sold my team and I had a team selling me.

That is the power of networking.

Now, somewhere there is a super conservative lawyer who is thinking that they would never do such a thing because there is risk in recommending other professionals. About that I would say two things: (1) of course, I would only recommend excellent professionals who I knew would do a great job, so the risk was limited; and (2) you sure are not going to develop a client base with that type of thinking.

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