Suppose for the moment you are a a breakfast, lunch a ball game or an event and you meet a potential client or referral source. What is your goal?


Next time you have this kind of meeting opportunity set some goals for the meeting. I know many lawyers whose goal is to get business from this meeting. If that is your goal, you will likely come across as either being needy or greedy. Neither leaves positive feelings with your potential client.

Take some advice from Stephanie Palmer Taxy the author of Good in a Room. She writes that “Professionals think, ‘my goal is to be asked back for another meeting.’”

Palmer suggest three goals:

1. To learn.
2. To build rapport.
3. To get the buyer (potential client) to agree to one and only one request.

She reports that the third goal is the toughest to achieve and that it is most likely to be achieved when you focus on the first goal.

When you are at an event and meet a potential client or referral source, the important thing is to build your relationship. You can do it without ever talking about business. As Stephanie Palmer suggests take time to learn as much as you can, just have fun and build rapport. If you do that really well, you might be able to follow up in a meaningful way.