What Puppies and Trade Groups Have in Common
April 16, 2010
When I was president of our local humane society I was saddened and surprised at how common it was for pups just over 12 months of age to be surrendered at the shelter. Frustrated owners commonly said they could no longer stand their pet’s chewing and other mischief. What we knew and tried to explain to them was that the dogs were just a few months away from naturally settling down into sweet adults.
Twice this week, clients have asked us how long it will take for a new trade group membership to pay off in new clients or referrals. Like the maturation of a puppy the answer is about 18-24 months.
Any work or referrals received in the first 12 months after you join a group is going to be had by luck. A small matter might develop in the next six months. Don’t give up just yet.
Here’s why: most all members of the group already had other lawyers (or had other lawyers in mind) when you joined. Certainly, it takes time in meetings, making speeches, and other activity within the group for them to get to know you and understand how you might help them. And, they will still send the next matter to their existing counsel out of habit before deciding to give you the next matter available.
Our experience is most lawyers and firms give up memberships a bit too soon. Don’t forge into a new group absent a two-year commitment.