You Don’t Ask Someone to Marry You on the First Date-
  and other bits of wisdom from the Just JDs program at the LMA Conference
by Amy Smith, Marketing Director, ThompsonMcMullan, Richmond, VA
Business development is much like dating. You spot that special someone and find a way to meet them. Your conversation is casual and entertaining. Your hope is to get a date, and then another, and another until a relationship develops. That was our first lesson. Don’t ask a potential client for their business at the first meeting.
Many of us pride ourselves on treating others the way we want to be treated, but clients want to be treated the way they want to be treated. That may very well likely be a little different than you treat yourself. Raise the bar; treat a client better than you would treat yourself.
Can you say your elevator or “Quick Pitch” after two cocktails? Can your parents tell someone else what you do? No? You have work to do. Boil it down, make it simple, make it interesting and open to a follow-up question. “How do you save people money?”
Be authentic. Do things that matter. Become the expert or go-to person for one thing. Follow-up with everyone every time–clients, people you meet at a party, potential clients, and friends. Set your next step with each.
Hot off the press: social media has eclipsed e-mail. Smart phones are the way of the future. It is no longer about being on the internet; it is about how your website looks displayed in a 2×3 inch format, and whether you have APs and blogs. Get ready because traffic to the website will be pushed through social media referrals.
You can make your career by using Public Relations effectively. Of course you first have to know a little about what Public Relations is about and how to use it to be a good client.
Did you know you can now obtain legal advice on the web from an avatar? Legal Aid is already using a program. Industry thought is it will not be long before you see law firms embracing this technique.
And finally, the more talking a client does in the presence of their attorney, the more the client likes the attorney. Hmmm.

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