Today’s Rainmaking Recommendation from rainmaking coach and trainer, Jaimie Field, is all why speaking engagements may not be the successful business development opportunities you’d hoped for, and how to improve them.

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You’ve been asked to present a seminar!  This is great news because public speaking can be a fantastic way to create a book of business.

So, you’ve given your presentation and you were amazing.  Why aren’t the phones ringing with new clients clamoring for your services?

There may be a number of reasons why you didn’t get any clients from standing in front of a room full of people:

  1. They weren’t your ideal audience.
    While I have no issues with attorneys participating in CLE seminars in their practice area, what you are doing is speaking to people who are your competition.  You should give back to your industry and help to educate other attorneys.  But, the likelihood of getting a referral from this audience is slim.  Yes, there may be times when conflicts of interest will arise and then an attorney who sat in on your seminar may refer you clients that they cannot ethically retain.  Instead, you should be giving presentations to your ideal clients; you need to fish where the fish are.  The fish are your referral sources and potential clients.
  2. You didn’t speak their language.
    Every target, every niche has a language they use.  Attorneys, on the other hand have a totally different language- legalese.  Using words that should be reserved for a brief or an oral argument not only will leave your audience confused, it will probably bore them to tears.  Instead, if you are speaking to a specific industry, use their terms and language to get your points across.
  3. You didn’t get a list of the attendees.
    For every speech you present, you should try to get a list of the attendees.  If the organizer of the event is not you, then ask for a list of the attendees.  In some instances, the organizers will balk at the idea of providing you this list.  This is usually because, in the past, some other speaker has taken advantage of this list and spammed them to death.  If this is the case, ask the audience, at the end of your presentation, to provide their business cards or contact information if they would like to know more or be on your newsletter list.
  4. You didn’t follow up.
    Regardless of how you get the attendees names, you must follow up with each and every one of them.  A simple note or email saying “thank you for attending the presentation; if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me” is all you need to do to start the relationship ball rolling.

Public speaking can be a great way to showcase your knowledge.  But just speaking for speaking sake isn’t going to get you the clients you want.  Be proactive – find a way to reach out to your audiences.

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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.