It’s easy to think that the hard part of networking is the event itself, and if we can navigate that successfully, we’ve done our jobs well and the work will come in. But a big part of successful relationship development is continuity, and that means following up AFTER an event to ensure that you don’t drop off the other person’s radar. Particularly at this time of year, it’s easy to become very busy and distracted (both you and your prospects!) and no longer be top of mind with someone that you really may want to be better connected to.

So what should you do after a networking event? FOLLOW UP!
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What happens when you lose touch with someone who may be a good connection for you? In today’s rainmaking recommendation post from coach, Jaimie Field, she explains how you can reconnect!

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In a perfect world, you would never lose touch with anyone you have met.  You would never lose touch with your clients; you would never lose touch with a referral source; you would never lose touch with any prospects.

But this is not a perfect world and life creeps in to steal time from you every single day.  You look up and a week has passed, a month.  Another year has flown.   In fact, I cannot believe that it is already fall and that there are less than 4 months left to 2019. 
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Networking is not an easy task, which is one of the reasons that we discuss it so frequently here on Zen.

Since I’m spending this week with my lawyers in Milan, facilitating their networking efforts at our Annual Conference, I have networking on the brain, and wanted to share with you a couple of the worst networking mistakes you can make, and how to recover from them. 
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There are some people who can talk with anyone – my brother-in-law is like that. Put him in a room with a bunch of people he doesn’t know, and he excels at connecting with them without awkward silences.

But for many of us, that is unfortunately not one of our strengths. I’m a prime example of that. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been speaking with someone, only to have the conversation taper off and leave you standing there wracking your brain to come up with something to say?

*Hand raised*
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If we were guaranteed to get business every time we met someone new, we’d all be networking all the time, right?

But instead, networking takes time, it takes finesse and relationship-building, and often, you’ll find yourself talking to someone who may not be giving your their business or they may not have business to give you. Two complaints about networking that I’ve heard frequently are “this person doesn’t benefit me” and “I haven’t gotten any business yet.” But are these always wasted efforts? 
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Jaimie Field is bringing us a great post for networking week today, focused on the an idea that I fully embrace, that networking happens all the time, everywhere.

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Monday, February 4th was my birthday.  (Yes, this is a shameless plug for you to send me belated birthday wishes.) After a long day at the office, I went to see my favorite musician play at a wonderful location in New York City.

The interesting thing about his location is that it is sort of like dinner theater – there are tables and bar tops set up around the venue.  If you do not purchase all of the seats at the table, you will be sitting with people you may not know.  Nothing wrong with this, particularly if you know that you should network with the people at your table.

Which I did.
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Has everyone got their “fa la la” on yet?

While the holidays are often a mad rush for all of us, it seems that this year especially, everyone is behind with wrapping up their end of the year duties (and wrapping up their gifts), while we try to figure out shortcuts for how to manage to get everything done before family and friends descend on us (or you head out the door yourself). In among all of the holiday madness are your professional pressures, which, of course, take priority.

So instead of adding to the pressure of asking you to throw some crazy business development, relationship building activities into your holiday mix, let’s look at a few easy and mostly quick ways you can sprinkle some engagement into your final weeks of 2018, and set yourself up for early success in the new year. 
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As you’re reading this post, I want you to think about whether you’d consider yourself to be a fairly good networker and business developer. What does “networking” mean to you? Do you think of it as a complete waste of time? If the answer to that last question is yes, keep reading, and I hope you’ll change your mind.

A quick story – if Steve Jobs had never met Steve Wozniak, the Apple I would not have been invented in 1976. A year later, this machine became the Apple II, the bestselling computer of all time. Steve Jobs had the vision, the ideas, but it was Wozniak who knew how to assemble teams. Their change meeting results in a multimillion dollar business. It is often the power of a chance meeting that sparks a revolution.

Sure, that sounds like a one-off, something that doesn’t apply in the legal industry. But it happens every day, and even in legal. How do busy lawyers get to these revolutionary opportunities? It’s about the difference between ordinary networking and power networking. 
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In addition to understanding the area of the law that you’ll specialize in, there are a variety of “soft skills” that will be essential to navigating the practice of law successfully. Your professional skills may need to be further expanded over the coming years as the industry itself changes and stretches, but for now, there are a few tried and true ones you can rely on that will serve you well regardless of where you end up practicing.

A law student recently asked his connections on LinkedIn to rank the following five skills in order of importance – networking, presentation skills, business writing, communication, and time management. I’ve been exploring these topics for law students over on the ABA Law Student blog, Before the Bar, but they’re equally valuable for more experienced lawyers as well. So let’s take a look at how we can adapt these tips for practicing lawyers.
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