Today, I’m bringing you a rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field, and it’s an important one – she asks the question "Is networking for business obsolete?" 

Her answer, and mine, is of course, no. But if you’re heading to events, bringing back a list of business cards and wondering why the phone doesn’t ring off the hook, you’re doing it wrong. Read further to learn more – and I’d advise my IP lawyers who joined me for a very successful networking lunch on Monday afternoon to especially pay attention to Jaimie’s advice at the end, to make the most of the connections you fostered! 

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Many attorneys, with whom I work, have told me that networking is not working for them. To which I say: “You are doing it wrong.”

Most attorneys, and actually most people, attend networking events and collect business cards. Then, they expect their phones to ring with new business pouring in. That’s not the way it works.

 

Networking for business, both on and off-line, is still one of the best ways for you to meet the people who want to do business with you.  However, you have to be both proactive and strategic.

So, what how do you be strategic in your networking?

Research.

As attorneys, you have the experience of researching the legal issues in order to assist your clients.   You prepare for your case by researching the case law, past precedents, articles and arguments that you can use.   Networking can be approached in a similar fashion:

  • Research the associations and industry events that your ideal clients or referral sources may be attending.
  • Research the industry and know exactly what the issues are that are keeping your clients up at night (and not just the legal issues).
  • Research the people you want to meet online. Find out everything you can about them including about their personal lives.   (Maybe you have something in common that you can use to break the ice in a conversation).
  • Research them on LinkedIn to connect with them prior to the event and send a message to them saying you are looking forward to meeting them at the event.

There are so many ways to use your research skills, honed over years of practice, and apply them to your networking skills.

However, the most important thing you can do is after you meet them:  follow up!

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. She is a dynamic, influential international executive and marketing thought leader with a passion for relationship development and authoring impactful content. Griffiths is a driven, strategic leader who implements creative initiatives to achieve the…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. She is a dynamic, influential international executive and marketing thought leader with a passion for relationship development and authoring impactful content. Griffiths is a driven, strategic leader who implements creative initiatives to achieve the goals of a global professional services network. She manages all major aspects of the Network, including recruitment, member retention, and providing exceptional client service to an international membership base.

In her role as Executive Director, Griffiths manages a mix of international programs, engages a diverse global community, and develops an international membership base. She leads the development and successful implementation of major organizational initiatives, manages interpersonal relationships, and possesses executive presence with audiences of internal and external stakeholders. Griffiths excels at project management, organization, and planning, writes and speaks with influence and authority, and works independently while demonstrating flexibility in thinking, especially in challenging situations. She also adapts to diverse and dynamic environments with constant assessment and recalibration.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

In 2021, the ILN was honored as Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer European Awards, and in 2016 and 2017, they were shortlisted as Global Law Firm Network of the Year. Since 2011, the Network has been listed as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network, recently increasing this ranking to be included in the top two percent of law firm networks globally, as well as adding two regional rankings. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry and was included in Clio’s list of “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful, and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.