Holiday Marketing Tip #3: Getting the most out of your upcoming holiday party conversations
December 2, 2015
Lawyers often tell us they are frustrated after conversations at events where they have spent considerable time with existing and potential referral sources. The frustration expressed is even greater when the lawyers meet a prospective client. During the holiday social season, when most lawyers attend more functions than usual, these frustrations are magnified.
The reason for the frustration: lawyers report they could be establishing or furthering a professional relationship from these conversations but find they cannot comfortably swing the topics discussed from the weather, children, sports or recent news events to mutual business interests.
Eventually, the lack of return on time invested becomes so discouraging that many lawyers quit attending functions, or just assume no one wants to talk business there. They float into unfocused talk of news, sports, celebrities, bar gossip and vacation plans.
Here’s a basic four-step process which, with just a bit of practice, will help you learn the important information you need and allow you to tell your story when needed in conversation at cocktail parties, receptions, trade or community group meetings. Remember, we’re not suggesting that is all you should say. What we are saying is that keeping this construct in mind will help lawyers get information they can use to build their referral base, and allow them to convey meaningful facts about their firms and practices.
1. After initial introductions or greeting someone you know, wait until it feels comfortable and try to ask: “Can you describe your ideal customer/client?”
2. After you have that answer, ask: “Are there two or three things I might commonly hear that would indicate someone might be an ideal customers/client of yours?”
3. And then after that, ask: “Assume I hear someone say the things that would make them appear to be an ideal customer/client, what is the best way to introduce them to you?”
Of course, if the person you ask these questions to doesn’t ask you the same ones back, you should take charge and say: “Let me describe to you my ideal client, what they often are saying when they need my services, and how best to introduce them to me.”
No conversation you have is ever going to fit neatly together as I have described above. You get to these questions over time and as the opportunity presents itself.