Continued: Marketing Tips From A Young Partner Perspective
By Richard Segal
I was fortunate enough to have senior named partners in my firm stress that the lifeblood of achieving success as an attorney is mastering the law and mastering the market. As someone fairly young and still continuing to build his book of business, I hope that this advice will resonate for those looking to go to market today. Here are 10 tips I have learned along the way. Use this to build your roadmap and stick to it. Like any roadmap, if you hit a dead-end or a bump in the road, regroup, analyze and rebuild.
6) Catch, don’t pitch. — It is important to shine but not sell. The average person has little appetite for you to make your sales pitch. Pretend you are a therapist. Ask insightful, guiding questions and always listen. Garner as much knowledge about the person in front of you as you can — catch. Then, once you have recognized a common ground or a need that you can assist with, explain how you could help — disguised pitch.
7) Professional media, not social media. — Obtaining a client or referral source in the legal realm requires others to respect and trust you — a tweet or poke will not build that. Make sure you are on LinkedIn — a must. Clients look at LinkedIn to review your credentials other than those listed on your firm website. Don’t forget the power of direct emails and text messages. Saying happy birthday or congrats on a big win in direct emails or texts can go a long way and keep you relevant in the mind of the receiver. If you are inclined to utilize other social media, use it sparingly and smartly — share relevant articles about your profession.
8) Always praise others, let others speak your praise. — When you are in a networking situation where you know other colleagues in the room, always speak highly of them and praise their accomplishments. It is an endearing quality, and immediately makes the person you are speaking to let their wall down and not see you as the pitcher. Remember, if you praise others they will find out and likely praise you in return.
9) Give, don’t seek. — Equally important is to ask people how you can help them or give them a referral. You don’t have to just give referrals, give your time also. When you join an organization, lend your time and eventually obtain a leadership position. Those around you will be impressed that you devote your time for the benefit of an organization and will see you in an authoritative and professional role. Every fruitful marketing relationship starts off by giving. The return will inevitably come.
10) Master the law. — Remember, marketing is your second job. If you do not master your first job — the law — then you have no skills to market. Another form of marketing is mastering what you do. Obtaining successful outcomes for clients will not only be extremely rewarding and fulfilling, but will also prove to be a great source of recurring business for you.
If your firm offers marketing dollars, use every penny (and ask for more). Spend your money wisely and cast a wide net to start, as you are not ready to use just one rod to catch the big fish. Said differently, don’t spend your whole budget on one table at an event or one really expensive marketing dinner. Join many different groups and take many people out to business lunches or coffee. Then, inevitably find the place where your story is being received well and where you are happiest. If your firm does not provide marketing dollars, invest in yourself. You are your own business within your firm. Eventually it will not be scary to invest in yourself, it will be second nature and provide lucrative returns.
Rainmaking Is within your reach — go get it!