Networking is essential for successful lawyers. What does this entail, and why is it important? Essentially, networking is the act of developing and maintaining relationships that are mutually beneficial to both individuals. Most of my coaching clients think that networking involves large events done after office hours. I work to dispel this assumption. Networking can be done over lunch, coffee, or with just two or three people over cocktails. If you put yourself in a position to create stronger relationships with people who can help you and who you might be able to help, you are networking!

To successfully network, you need to hone your social skills, which takes practice. The more you network, the easier it will become. This means overcoming obstacles and developing an excellent follow-up plan with those whom you desire to see in the future.

Legal professionals can reap the benefits of networking by reaching out to others who share similar interests. For example, are you seeking new clients within a niche industry or trade group? If so, you should focus your efforts on events and with people who occupy this space. When you do this, you create new opportunities for yourself. Remember that networking should not be limited to meeting “new” people. Past clients, peers, and your referral sources should also be included in your networking activities.

The market for legal services is continuing to become more competitive. When you network, you are putting yourself out there, and you should be prepared. You should look your best and arrive early. Also, make sure you have a confident handshake and posture. Smile and appear approachable by utilizing open body language. These are just a few tips. Click here for others.

Networking can be a low cost and high yield activity for lawyers. When you build connections, gather information, and use a solid follow-up strategy, you can significantly enhance your circle of influence and opportunity. Remember, networking is all about establishing mutually beneficial relationships. It is not all about you. Be careful to actively listen when networking and always ask open-ended questions to gather information. You never know when your skills and resources will be beneficial to those in your networking circle.

Understanding the advantages and importance of networking should pave the way for you to seize every opportunity you can. As you continue to network throughout your career, you will not regret the time and energy you put into the process. You will only regret not starting sooner rather than later.

I’ve included many links within this blog and would encourage you to click these and read the articles to learn more. If you would like to learn more about networking, please let me know. I provide coaching, training, and a great webinar on this topic. You can email me at teahoffmann@lawstrategycorp.com.

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