Kissing Frogs – networking lessons

How does an attorney and a client find each other?   It is critical for every business to figure out how the customer will find them.  Advertising is what most would answer.  However, long before we had “media,” we had word of mouth.  Most people found the professional they needed by asking around for a referral.  Who’s your doctor? barber? dentist? lawyer?  Do you recommend them?  Usually if the person knows, likes and trusts someone they will recommend them.  That is the way things have worked.

Many people would respond that clients find you through the Internet, through social media, adwords, websites and through blogging.  Obviously I don’t discount any of that because I use those tools.  However, potential clients do not get a chance to know, like or trust you from those points of contacts.

I started my law firm with the premise that most of my clients and I would find each other through personal relationships I have with my “volunteer” sales force in my network providing referrals.  Most people use an attorney at least once in the lifetime, but fewer need a patent and trademark attorney.   Among my almost 1200 contacts in Linkedin®, they may be a few. What I needed to do is expand my network, thus today’s title of Kissing Frogs.

I began to attend networking events these last several months.  Most I found through “MeetUps.”  I traveled all over and met more life coaches, financial advisers and real estate brokers than I ever imagined were out there.  The events were like speed dating, or so I have been told, since I have not dated anyone in many years.  (My husband objects to me dating.)  I started go to Chamber of Commerce events and those seem to be more diverse group with broader interests.  Through the Chambers, I am meeting people in smaller more focused networking groups.

My husband asked me if all of this running around was productive.  My reply:  “You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince.”