I once met with a wonderful lawyer I was coaching who was upset. It seems her mentor/senior lawyer in her firm was giving her a hard time about not taking enough potential clients and referral sources to lunch.

She told me she was uncomfortable doing that. I would have been also.

I frequently tell senior lawyers that one size clearly does not fit all. The lawyers I have coached have appreciated that they can approach client development in ways that will work best for them.

boy_shoes_toobig.jpgYears ago I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book:  The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. I recommend the book.

Like most business/marketing books I suggest you skim the parts of the book that do not apply to marketing your law practice and focus on the parts that do.

The first of the three main points in The Tipping Point is the “law of the few.”

The marketing activities that will work best for you will depend in part on whether you are a

  1. Connector,
  2. Maven or
  3. Salesmen.

Connectors

Connectors know lots of people. You know the type. No one is a stranger to them.

They know people in different worlds. Connectors are masters of “weak ties,” meaning many relationships that are not deep ones.

If you are a connector, more that anything else you need to spend your marketing time out from behind your computer.

Want to determine if you are a connector? Take Gladwell’s Are you a connector test.

Mavens

Mavens accumulate knowledge. They do the research most of us don’t want to do and they find joy in passing along what they learn.

If you are a maven, you figure out things that impact your clients before other lawyers. You should spend your marketing time staying on top of what is impacting your clients and writing or speaking about those topics.

Salesmen

Salesmen are charismatic people who can persuade others even when the others are not convinced of what they are hearing. They can sell anything.

Based on two studies, Gladwell notes that little things can be as important as big things. Second, non-verbal clues are as important; or, more important than verbal clues. Finally, persuasion works in ways we do not fully appreciate.

It is not always the obvious eloquence; it can be way more subtle. Great salesmen connect with their clients in a variety of non-verbal ways including non-verbal enthusiasm, confidence and emotional expressiveness. If you are a salesman, you should spend your marketing time speaking to groups and in one-on-one meetings with potential clients and referral sources.

Here is another summary of the three types Know Your Strength for More Success: Are you a Connector, a Maven, or a Salesman?

StrengthsFinder-Figure out your strengths

If you want to get a better idea of what kind of marketing efforts will work best for you, buy the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 and take the StrengthsFinder test. My friend Cindy Pladziewicz helps lawyers I coach figure out how to use their StrengthsFinder results.

Cindy has been working with me on my strengths.

Take a look at a report that was done analyzing my strengths. If you look at the report about me you will likely understand what client development efforts suited me best when I practiced law and why I am well suited to teach and coach lawyers.

Which type of person are you? What are your strengths? Are you spending your marketing time to your best advantage?

 

  • Laura

    What if you are none of those three things? I certainly am not a salesman, nor am I a connector. I don’t think I’m a maven, at least with respect to legal information. So where does that leave me in determining what type of business development activity I should focus on?