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!

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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+!

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.