One of the things I teach is to be focused about your contacts. I am sure your firm has contact software. I always used excel because if was easier for me. Joyce created a Focus Contact Template that she will send you. The idea is to list all your business contacts and rate them three ways.
- Make a list of all of your contacts
- Give them a score 1-10 on how often you are in contact with them (every business day-likely someone with whom you work-gets a 10, less than once a month gets a 1.)
- Give them a score 1-10 on the nature of your contact (in person gets a 10, email instant message a 1, phone a 5 and combinations fall between)
- Give them a score 1-10 on how important they are (client contact or business referral source a 10, you don’t have a chance of ever getting any business a 1 and everyone else in between).
- With Excel press the button and your highest rated ones will come to the top.
- Consider spending 80% of your networking time with the top 20% of your contacts. Try to upgrade how you are in contact. In a day where email and contact on Facebook is so common, calling your contact and meeting in person is more powerful.
- Keep adding to what you know about them: Spouses name, children’s names and ages, their personal interests.
- Make staying in contact with them a priority. Networking with contacts should never be random. (One lawyer I coached sits down with his wife at the end of the year and makes his list of 52 contacts. He meets in person with one of the 52 every week.)
How do you convert contacts to clients? Focus on building the relationship rather than building a book of business. Get to know as much as you again about them and their business. Find ways to do unexpected things they will value without any expectation of anything in return. Second, and more important, focus on being the “go to” lawyer they need. If you do, your clients will find you and they will recommend you to others in their industry. You will never “need” to find them and “solicit” their business.
How did I do that? I identified their company’s problems, opportunities, internal and external changes that had legal implications and came up with solutions before my competitors and most often before the client itself. I did it by keeping track of legislation, regulations, cases and industry business news.