Gary Mitchell's Biz/Dev Coaching Blog
This is a very brief introduction to using LinkedIn to raise your profile. Keep and eye out this month for a more in depth article in The Lawyers Weekly.
First create your profile. Then search for current clients and invite them to your network. Then ask them for recommendations. Do the same for past clients, other professional connections, University contacts etc. Join appropriate groups and become a part or start discussions.
Use LinkedIn as part of your market research. Search out companies you wish to serve and find the people who you need to start building relationships with. See what groups they belong to and join them. Begin to build lasting relationships. The possibilities are endless.
Just a quick note to let you know that I have been asked to apply for Equity Partnership by the firm.
I wanted to thank you for your excellent work. You have no doubt contributed significantly to the tremendous year that I am having and gave me the confidence and strength that I needed to feel comfortable with my business development approach, which you tailored to my needs and personality.
Speak to you soon and again thank you so much.
-October, 2010, Non Equity Partner, National Firm
Time management is an issue that often comes up with my clients. Let’s face it you have a hectic schedule to begin with and when you get a client who is demanding of your time, it gets even worse. One simple solution is to use to do lists every day. Keep them updated before you leave for the day and review it first thing in the morning. Things will change and there will be times when things appear to be going sideways, but keep to your list and it will help you keep on track.
Working with one of my clients today going through his contact list and something came up for him. Up until now he was overlooking the power of some of his contacts in referring clients to him. He is in a unique situation with his firm and has an excuse to touch base with all of them. I cautioned him not to skip the ‘discovery’ part of this and find out more information about what is going on in their world.
In today’s marketplace it’s more important than ever to have a strong recognizable and distinct personal brand. Whether you are in house or in private practice you are more valuable when you have a strong personal brand, and you can take it with you wherever you go. So, get published regularly, speak at industry events often, create and build a strong LinkedIn profile, have your own blog, keep in regular communication with your clients, make regular visits to their place of work, and stay top of mind.
Today I had a first ‘in-take’ session with a new client. I have to be honest, it wasn’t until about half way through the session that I felt confident he was ‘coachable’. He started off very vague and distant. Then when we discussed his priorities, he came out and said, “building my practice is not my top priority”, so I had to ask, “What is”.
He came out and told me he is a recovering alcoholic and that his recovery is his top priority. Ok then, good to keep that in mind. I knew right then and there that he was not only coachable, but that he would do very well in our coaching program because he was able to be so frank and honest.
On a call today, one of my clients asked me for some practical advice on how to overcome feeling intimidated when meeting more senior people at events. First, I say the same thing everytime, ask them questions. Make it about them and not you. People generally love to talk about themselves. An example question might be, “What is the most interesting thing you have worked on recently?”
Once you get the conversation started just follow the information and it will allow you to come up with follow up questions. And don’t forget, this is a great time to do some of your market research-“what do you read and why?”; “What brings you to this event?”; “What are some other events you attend and why?” Create an arsenal of questions and always be ready.
On a call with one of my clients this week he wanted to know how to best meet the decision makers at an up-coming event. He told me that he had good relationships with more junior types. I suggested he leverage those relationships by asking the ahead of time if they would make the introductions.
Or rather, don’t sweat or get stressed over the things you can’t control. Yesterday I was on a call with a client. He is very hard on himself in general. This time it has to do with billing his clients and getting paid. This is the first big client he has brought in himself and he is very stressed out abou the client paying. I suggested to him that he did the work, he billed the client, now it is really out of his hands. He has enough stress to deal with and doesn’t need to add this to it. Yes he is following up with the client because that is still within his control. Whether they pay or not, is not.
Have you been thinking it’s time to try new approaches? Or maybe you have just been frustrated with your lack of results. Happy New Year, maybe this is the year that you try something(s) new. So if you have been living or thinking inside the box, get rid of it with the Christmas tree, and try something new.