The Types of People You Meet at Networking Events: Part 2

people-networking2

by Melissa Grau and Kathleen Ashwill

Are you wanting to know how to most effectively make connections at conferences and speaking engagements?

Whether you’re reserved or outgoing, networking events may make you feel feel like you’re walking into uncharted territory.

What can you expect?

What types of people will you meet?

How are you supposed to respond?

As you travel into the unknown, Esquire Coaching is here to give you an overview of the personalities people most commonly run into at networking events, and more importantly, how to connect with them.

This is Part Two of our two-part look at The Types of People You Meet at Networking Events:

The Wandering Eye

This person is the type of individual that who always spends so much time looking for the best dessert on the tray that they never enjoy the dessert in front of them. While you’re speaking with them, they’ll continually break eye contact with you, scanning the crowd for someone better to talk to. Rude, yes, but don’t take it personally. There’s no right or wrong way to deal with The Wandering Eye.

Try different conversation topics to pique their interest and see what engages them. With this type of personality, it’s hard to maintain their undivided attention for a full conversation. Oftentimes, if you’re still not getting through to them, it might be best to cut your losses and politely end the conversation.

The Opportunist

The Opportunist is notorious for getting to the bottom line: what you can do for them. This person has probably come to the event you’re attending with a very clear agenda. Their purpose is to get to that agenda as quickly as possible during your interaction and to have you answer one question: Are you in?

Throughout your conversation, they’ll be sizing you up, looking to see how you can help advance their career. Or maybe they’ll just ask for free legal advice depending on the circumstance. When dealing with the Opportunist, ask yourself these questions:

Is this individual prominent within the legal profession?

Do they have connections that you would like to explore?

These two questions are key to how you react when faced with the Opportunist. If you decide that catering to their needs is worth gaining them as a connection, go for it. If you feel like you’re simply being used, it might be best to end the conversation and move on.

If you choose to continue the conversation, be genuinely receptive to the Opportunist’s ideas, but don’t expect that you’ll be able to fully describe your own. This conversation may be a bit one-sided, so listen in a friendly and open way, ask any questions you honestly have, and exit the interaction when you feel ready to do so. There’s no pressure to sign onto the Opportunist’s agenda right away or at all, not after you’ve had time to process what they’ve presented.

The Networker Extraordinaire

This person lives for networking events and has their networking skills finely honed to maximize their success. They will ask you pointed questions to quickly determine whether a connection is possible or not. Answer thoughtfully and confidently. Don’t feel rushed; give an honest response to their questions, and ask them significant questions that you also have. If the Networker Extraordinaire seems a bit more savvy than you when it comes to networking (perhaps they have a strategy that you haven’t tried), be sure to make a mental (or written!) note so you can improve your skills. Networking events, in addition to being mines of great connections for your firm’s expansion and success, are also great places to learn, so be open to what each person you meet can teach you, whether it’s how you want to be or what you’d like to avoid!

The Influencer

This person is a seasoned professional, very confident personally and professionally, and quite knowledgeable about and connected to many people. They are well connected and well known. He or she is an influencer within the field, equipped with the ability to be a mover and shaker in the legal profession.

They are likely not at the event to gain any clients but simply enjoy the process of exchanging information and connecting their contacts with each other. Definitely make some time during the event to introduce yourself to this person. Since they aren’t there with a specific agenda, they’re more free to just share with you the information and insights that will be valuable to you, as well as to introduce to to prospective clients and others you can connect with.

It is important to be tactful and savvy when talking with this individual, being the best version of yourself. Gaining an “in” with an Influencer could mean opening doors to many opportunities, all originating through a single conversation. If you’re just starting out with your practice or a new dimension of your career, this person could become a valuable mentor to you for years to come. If you are fairly established in your position, you can look forward to the possibility of fruitful and stimulating idea-mapping sessions with this person if your connection extends beyond the event.

Do your best to engage them in conversation, working to maintain their interest and keep them invested in what you’re saying. It is appropriate to talk about yourself and your accomplishments at a minimum. The key, however, to connecting with this individual is finding common ground and working from there. This is a connection that will benefit you on many levels, so be sure to make the link with the Influencer

 

The personality types described in this two-part blog series are only the people most commonly found at networking events. In terms of connecting with all types of people, the key is to be yourself. People will be attracted to you based on your values and the way you conduct yourself, regardless of the type of person they may be. It just comes down to having enough practice pitching your skills, and enticing people to want to gain you as a connection.

Did you miss Part One? Read The Types of People You Meet at Networking Events: Part 1.

If you want to boost your networking skills, Esquire Coaching can help by providing techniques and strategies, opportunities to practice, and assertiveness tips that will quickly turn you into an expert networker. Email us at info@esquirecoaching.com to sign up for a FREE consultation.

What types of people have you encountered when networking?

How were you able to connect with them?

Which one are you?

What are your best networking strategies?

Share with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter @EsquireCoaching or Google+. We would love to hear from you!

Visit our website at www.esquirecoaching.com to sign up for our newsletter, Elevate!

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Uncomfortable

National Native American Bar AssociationTonight we will be interviewing Mary L. Smith, President of the National Native American Bar Association. She is a Special Counsel & Estate Trust Officer at the Office of Special Deputy Receiver in Chicago, Illinois where she helps manage over 23 entities with approximately $1.5 billion in assets.

Previously, she was General Counsel at the Illinois Department of Insurance and part of the senior management team. In this position, Ms. Smith oversaw the Legal Department and, in fiscal year 2013, oversaw the Market Conduct Section, one of the major regulatory functions of the Department of Insurance. Ms. Smith was responsible for coordinating the legal aspects of establishing a health care exchange in Illinois, developing plans for troubled companies, and leading major regulatory settlements that benefit Illinois consumers.

Ms. Smith has also served as Counselor in the Civil Division at the United States Department of Justice. In her work in the Civil Division, Ms. Smith focused on national security, consumer protection, constitutional issues, and legislative matters.  She has also spearheaded a reorganization and reinvigoration of the Consumer Protection Branch, which handles consumer litigation including matters involving international fraud schemes.

While in the private sector, Ms. Smith was a Partner in the Chicago office of Schoeman, Updike & Kaufman, a women-owned firm, and an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Smith has worked at the highest levels of government including serving in the Clinton White House as Associate Counsel to the President and Associate Director of Policy Planning where she was responsible for a number of policy areas.

In addition to her legal activities, Ms. Smith served on the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors.

To hear our interview with Mary, join us LIVE tonight at 5:30 pm EST/2:30 pm PST by clicking here.

The Law Firm Benefits of Coaching

WebWhen partners are crunching the numbers, calculating just how much the law firm brought in the past fiscal year, it is apparent there is always room for improvement. When in this situation, they find themselves dwelling on the negative instead of the positive, looking for things to change or remove rather than enhancing the already existing assets. This is where attorney coaching comes into play.

Most partners will find themselves asking, “Why coaching?” when the correct question is “Why not coaching?”

Attorney coaching has statistically and consistently been proven to increase a firm’s ROI. A Manchester Consulting Group study of Fortune 100 executives found that coaching resulted in an ROI averaging $100,000, equal to 5.7 times the investment. Through coaching initiatives from business growth, diversity, and leadership, to wellness, coaching is the tool most vital to take your firm to the next level.

Why invest the majority of your time in C and D list clients?

Why remain frustrated with associates who are falling short of your expectations?

Why settle for less than what you envision for your law firm?

Attorney coaching can help your associates develop the skills necessary to be rainmakers.  It is up to you to take the next steps in deciding to invest in your associates, cultivate their skills, and ultimately boost the image of your law firm.

Not only are you investing in your lawyers, but you are also helping to retain them. Losing a first year associate can cost a firm upwards of $15,000. Coaching associates gives them a reason to stay, and a reason to reinvest themselves in your firm as a result of their growth. The same Manchester Consulting Group study found that coaching led to improved relationships experienced by 77% of participants, improved teamwork experienced by 67% of participants, and even improved job satisfaction experienced by 61% of participants.

Who wouldn’t want to work in an environment with healthy work relationships, improved teamwork, and an increased level of job satisfaction?

Aside from an increased ROI and retaining associates, coaching has been proven to lead to a plethora of benefits in a law firm setting. A study conducted by Manzo Coaching and Consulting revealed that 90% of law firm’s saw a positive impact in the business development of lawyers after coaching. In addition, 60% experienced a sense of leadership development and 24% felt more confident tackling conflict management. These are all instrumental assets your firm could use to skyrocket to the top, using coaching as a strategic business and leadership development resource to get you there.

To add to the booming benefits of attorney coaching, a study conducted by Manchester Inc., the global leader in executive coaching programs, found that 53% of companies that completed coaching programs saw an increased level of productivity. 48% of companies reported improved organizational strength and 61% reported increased job satisfaction. The facts and figures say it all. The bottom line is coaching leads to an increased bottom line. The option for success is yours; you just have to decide whether or not you’re going to decide to take it.

For more on what coaching can do for you and your firm, visit our website at www.EsquireCoaching.com and click on the “Services” tab or email us at info@EsquireCoaching.com to set up a complimentary consultation. We strive to empower lawyers to happily succeed in the business of law.

How can we empower you?

Let us know on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+!

The Types of People You Meet at Networking Events: Part 1

people-networking2Are you wanting to know how to most effectively make connections at conferences and speaking engagements?

Whether you’re reserved or outgoing, networking events may make you feel feel like you’re walking into uncharted territory.

What can you expect?

What types of people will you meet?

How are you supposed to respond?

As you travel into the unknown, Esquire Coaching is here to give you an overview of the personalities people most commonly run into at networking events, and more importantly, how to connect with them.

This is Part One of our two-part look at The Types of People You Meet at Networking Events:

The Introvert

This type of person tends to be shy and keep to his or herself. They were likely not too enthusiastic about attending this event. You might notice they’re checking their phone, distanced from others, or deeply absorbed in reading a brochure.

The Introvert prefers to observe what is happening rather than take part. This person may seem unapproachable, but don’t let their seemingly standoffish demeanor stop you from making contact. Approach them with confidence and a smile, showing interest in them and asking a light question or a comment that will give them a positive impression of you. They’ll likely appreciate your initiative and you could enter into a deeper conversation with this person that would yield positive results.

When trying to connect with an Introvert, keep the conversation neutral. Avoid pressing questions. Stick to the basics, such as “What did you think of the keynote speaker?” Getting through to this individual may prove to be a challenge, but the longer you maintain a conversation, the more comfortable they will become.

You’ll probably notice that as the conversation progresses, they will begin to open up a little bit more easily. If, however, you sense this person is happy in their “bubble” and would rather not socialize, finesse the remainder of the exchange and move on to more receptive people!

The Social Butterfly

This person is the exact opposite of the introvert! They are fueled by a seemingly endless supply of energy and thrive on making as many connections as possible. They are armed with business cards that they distribute at warp speed and they live for meeting new people. Prepare yourself for having a surface interaction with this person, but be sure to present yourself and what you have to offer in a concise and appealing way.

Give them your business card and any other material you have to share. After the flurry of activity at the event, the social butterfly will most likely take time to review each contact they’ve encountered, and will follow up with you to establish a deeper connection. Remember that the frenzied way they operate socially doesn’t mean they won’t hone in on possible connections that would enhance their practice. So enjoy the brief interaction, and keep an eye out for that follow up call or email!

The Chatterbox

This individual is all about themselves and what they do. They are too busy boasting about their skills to care about what you have to say. While conversing with this individual, ask them questions about their career. This will help them feel valued and automatically favor you.

People feel comfortable when they’re talking about themselves and that feeling of comfort helps them relate well to the person that who made them feel that way. As the conversation progresses, take a page out of their book and jump in to share details about yourself. Eventually, you’ll be able to direct the conversation away from the Chatterbox and simply have a balanced conversation.

If you want to boost your networking skills, Esquire Coaching can help by providing techniques and strategies, opportunities to practice, and assertiveness tips that will quickly turn you into an expert networker. Email us at info@esquirecoaching.com to sign up for a FREE consultation.

What types of people have you encountered when networking?

How were you able to connect with them?

Which one are you?

What are your best networking strategies?

Share with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter @EsquireCoaching. We would love to hear from you!

Visit our website at www.esquirecoaching.com to sign up for our newsletter, Elevate!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of The Types of People You Meet at Networking Events.

Tips for Lawyers 101: How to Become the Trusted Adviser & Make an Impression that Lasts

Deborah_asseraf

Deborah Asseraf, Founder & CEO of Popcorn Productions

by Melissa Grau

In this episode of Esquire Coaching Radio, Deborah Asseraf joined us to discuss how lawyers can become trusted advisers while making an impression that lasts.

Deborah Asseraf is the Founder and CEO of Popcorn Productions, an experiential marketing company helping lawyers and financial advisers break through the noise and claim their spotlight through strong, fun, and innovative marketing strategies.

In today’s message-saturated world, how can you hold the attention of potential clients?

Lawyers spend thousands of dollars on SEO, social media, and website design, but neglect to consider a crucial component to gaining clients: the client experience. At Popcorn Productions, the focus is on ways you can influence and create different experiences with potential clients, generating a positive reaction in hopes of forming a connection. This atypical approach to marketing doesn’t focus on points of contact, but focuses on the customers’ needs. If you are able to meet every single one of a client’s needs, they feel validated, automatically building the trust necessary to making a lasting impression.

Oftentimes, lawyers offer a flat fee for a contract. The potential client’s knee jerk reaction is to shop around for the lowest price, meaning the lowest bidder wins. In order to avoid losing a client to the lowest price, offer an experience in addition to the deliverable. Maybe it’s a follow-up or a video… whatever it is, use it as leverage to create an experience for the client, not just a contract, and keep them choosing you over your competitors.

Deborah goes on to talk about how lawyers and small business owners often feel the pressure of having to do everything when it comes to marketing. She stresses that you don’t have to do it all. If you’re a small firm, it makes no sense to market yourself as a global firm. SEO and websites are a very important aspect of marketing, but that’s not where it stops. There is often no offline strategy for directing potential clients to become clients. There needs to be a system in which there is follow up from the website to actually booking them.

Think about the way you interact with clients:

Is it a conversation?

Are you listening?

From the first contact, how long do you wait to follow-up?

How seamless is the process?

Are you answering the phone when they call or do they reach an automatic voice message?

Are you inundating them with voicemails?

It is important to ask yourself these questions in order to devise a seamless strategy to enhancing your customer experience and establishing yourself as a trusted adviser. This isn’t just a one-time transaction. The more you are trusted, the more clients will refer you to the people they value within their life.

In terms of relating this to branding, Deborah says branding has everything and nothing to do with the way you present yourself. You need to know your messaging, core values, target audience, and whom you cater to in order to gauge what emotions you are trying to trigger within potential clients. From there, you can work with those feelings in order to build a trusting relationship between you and that individual. Deborah points out that people have lost their authenticity, what makes them unique to their field. Marketing with a focus on customer experience helps restore that authenticity, bringing passion into your work as a lawyer.

Contradicting to what most marketing gurus say, Deborah’s #1 marketing tip is that you don’t have to do it all. If you’re not an email person, don’t send out a newsletter. If you prefer phone calls, make phone calls.

“If your heart is not in something, no one else will enjoy it. That’s what is contagious – when there is excitement in what you’re doing,” Deborah noted. In short, you don’t have to do it all. You only have to do what you want.

For more from Deborah, email her at info@popcornprod.com or visit Popcorn Productions’ website at www.popcornprod.com to join their email list.

Tell us about how you enhance your clients’ experiences! Share with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. Visit our website at www.EsquireCoaching.com and sign up for our newsletter today!

Click here to listen to the full interview.

Interview with Esquire Coaching’s CEO

Ann-headshot

Ann Jenrette-Thomas, Founder & CEO of Esquire Coaching

by Melissa Grau

In celebration of Esquire Coaching’s one year anniversary, Ann Jenrette-Thomas, our Founder and CEO and the host of Esquire Coaching Radio, was put in the hot seat. Public Relations intern Melissa Grau interviewed Ann during this show, getting to the nitty gritty of what Esquire Coaching is all about.

In just one year, Esquire Coaching was able to impact thousands of lawyers across the country through speeches, social media, their blog, radio show, and of course their coaching programs. Esquire Coaching prides itself on “Empowering lawyers to happily succeed in the business of law,” driving home its initiative to help lawyers unapologetically claim the life and career they want.

Esquire Coaching has helped lawyers become rainmakers, honor who they are, and step into positions of leadership. In addition, Esquire Coaching has successfully chartered a new paradigm in coaching, employing a team of coaches to address each client holistically and with a customized approach.

Ann Jenrette-Thomas dared to say, “yes.” She has dared to say “yes” to finding a way to help lawyers build their practice while maintaining their peace of mind. A seemingly far-fetched and nearly impossible feat, this vision is nonetheless demonstrated day in and day out by Esquire Coaching clients happily succeeding in the business of law.

Ann developed this notion after working in a variety of areas of the law (government, small and large firms). She saw how excited people were to go to law school and how excited they were to help make the world a better place. She also saw people enter the practice of law, losing that enthusiasm they once had for the law. Ann wanted to find a better way to help lawyers grow their books of business without sacrificing their personal life or compromising the quality of their legal services. Ann was able to combine her knowledge of law and newfound coaching abilities and Esquire Coaching was born.

Committed to the personal empowerment of clients, Esquire Coaching strives to help clients empower themselves. Realizing that everything comes from within, Esquire Coaching promotes personal empowerment as an essential element of success. This coaching firm prides itself on helping clients achieve their goals and to be ambitious, but certainly not at the expense of their happiness, health, and relationships.

In addition to a strong commitment to ots mission, Esquire Coaching is founded upon the following five core values:

Service. Every member of the Coaching Team is dedicated to providing clients with the best and most beneficial service they have to offer.  As a personal practice, Ann sets the intention and even prays to be of the highest service to her clients before each coaching call.

Comprehensive Solutions. Esquire Coaching is all about finding holistic solutions to far-reaching dilemmas. It might not be the easiest to brainstorm, but this value is most definitely one of the game-changers in terms of Esquire Coaching’s services. They are first to offer customized solutions implementing a holistic approach to any given problem.

Evolution. Whether it is in terms of their company pursuing growth or working to push clients, Esquire Coaching welcomes innovation at all levels.

Fairness. Esquire Coaching strives to empower diverse attorneys and lawyers, leveling the playing field in all respects to race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

Leadership. Regardless of leadership experience or personality, Esquire Coaching aims to unleash the leader within clients, helping them to see their own leadership potential and embrace it.

Esquire Coaching’s values serve as a basis for its holistic coaching approach. To avoid blind spots in any given area of a client’s life, Team Members start by conducting a thorough intake of the client’s life. From clearly articulating goals, to identifying obstacles, to better assessing client characteristics, Esquire Coaching then pairs up clients with specialists in a specific field congruent to the client’s needs. For example, if a client’s marriage is failing, Esquire Coaching realizes he/she would not be able to fully implement business development strategies. Thus, the client would work with a relationship coach in addition to a business development coach. This unique approach of triaging a client’s needs and then assigning a specialist to each need leaves no stone unturned and no aspect of a client’s life ignored.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can experience this unique coaching process for yourself, email Esquire Coaching at info@esquirecoaching.com for a free consultation. Visit our website at www.esquirecoaching.com and sign up for our newsletter Elevate!

How has Esquire Coaching affected your life in the past year?

We want to hear from you! Find us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ and share your comments below.

Focusing on Strengths = Success

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by Ann Jenrette-Thomas, Esq. and Kathleen Ashwill

Are you aware that focusing on the strengths of your associates, other employees, and interns strengthens your firm?

It seems obvious, but there can be a tendency to get hung up on how employees are falling behind and ways they need to improve. However, what you give attention to grows, so your firm will benefit from a more powerful focus on associates’ strengths, and on your own. You’ll be amazed at the results you’ll see, not only externally but also within yourself and others.

According to Gallup research, those who utilize their strengths every day in their jobs are six times more likely to be actively engaged as they work. It makes sense – when we’re working on what we’re good at, we feel good about ourselves and want to keep doing what showcases our strong points.

‘What are your strengths?’ is a common question you pose when interviewing potential candidates for your firm. Often, people aren’t even aware of the range of strengths they possess, having been taught primarily to improve their weaknesses. Getting to know oneself is key. Once someone determines how they think, feel, behave, as well as what their “triggers” are, they can identify their natural talents. Building upon those talents is the key to developing strengths which will result in consistent positive performance at work.

It’s likely that as strengths are built, weaknesses will be naturally improved but without the level of stress and resistance that can come when the primary focus is on the weaknesses.

You’ve probably noticed that most businesses don’t focus on strength building; however, the strength-building approach not only raises employee enthusiasm, work ethic, and commitment but is financially beneficial to the business as well. So it’s a win-win for everyone and for all levels of your firm.

A recent Gallup study shows that if a supervisor focuses on strengths, the chances of an employee being actively disengaged are 1/100. However if the supervisor focuses on the weaknesses, the chance of active disengagement rises to 22/100 and if the supervisor ignores the employee, that number comes up to 40/100. So, certainly, negative attention is preferable to no attention, but positive attention makes a dramatic difference.

As you can imagine, focusing on the strengths of your colleagues and using this focus to inform how you delegate tasks improves a sense well-being within your firm. The more we use our strengths, the less likely we are to feel doubt, low self-esteem, worry, stress, or anger. Positive feelings of being energized, fulfilled, rewarded, respected, and at ease are maximized. As you’re boosting productivity and positive feelings, you’ll also be cutting down on sick days, chronic disease, and health-related costs. Talk about a Happy Law Practice!

Take a moment to imagine the relief, ease, connectivity, and productivity that is possible in your firm when you employ this technique more.

Many people do not know their strengths or minimize their usefulness. Assessments such as Strength Finders, Lumina, Myers Briggs, DISC, etc. can help each person in your firm identify their unique strengths. Once understood, it’s important to determine how to maximize those strengths. For example, an individual who is a stronger relationship builder should maximize business development efforts through more in-person meetings; whereas, an introverted person who is an excellent writer should incorporate more writing as a business development tool.

Need direction on integrating this approach within your firm? We can help.

Esquire Coaching features a team of coaches (with a variety of strengths!) who will assist you in administering the foregoing assessments, enhancing your employees’ strengths, as well as fostering a strong strengths-based climate throughout your firm. Please contact us at info@esquirecoaching.com to let us know how we can support you.

When you adopt a strengths-based standpoint, you will be opening your firm up to great opportunities for success.