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!

Balancing Your Life by Attending to Your Body

Carolyn Rosenblatt

Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, attorney, consultant and founder of AgingParents.com

by Melissa Grau

In today’s society, success is often measured by how well you do in your career. The sad reality is that work-related achievements almost always outweigh your health. Given that lawyers have the highest substance abuse, depression, and suicide rates of all other professions, it is important that you find a comfortable work-life balance to help lower these statistics.

In this episode of Esquire Coaching Radio, Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, attorney, and consultant, joined us to talk about ways that attorneys can balance their lives by focusing on their personal health.

When asked how she made the commitment to a healthier lifestyle, Carolyn responded by saying she has always been interested in health. As a nurse and consultant on aging issues for families and employees working with elders, she felt she couldn’t give advice about health while ignoring her own health.

How were clients supposed to take her guidance seriously if she couldn’t even follow her own advice?

Although Carolyn describes herself as “never having been an athlete,” she always made an effort to be active. Currently, at the age of 66 she is training for a triathlon. She elaborated more by saying, “It just felt incredible to do things I have never done before and to feel more fit, stronger and have better endurance than [I had] when I was 30. And I’m still doing it!”

According to Carolyn, the biggest obstacle attorneys encounter while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle is stress. It’s not easy to strike a balance between work and your personal life, but it is a necessary in order to live a healthier life. Attorneys claim they don’t have time to work out. Carolyn’s philosophy is that if you’re serious about being healthy, you will be able to find the time. Whatever your lifestyle is, there is a way to somehow fit exercise within it. Maybe it’s going for a brisk walk during your lunch break or using an at-home fitness bike while watching the news; whatever it is, there is a way to incorporate exercise into your life.

As the baby boomers grow closer to retirement, it is a priority now more than ever to start living a healthy life. Most often lawyers define themselves by their career. Once you retire, you lose that sense of who you are. Living a healthy lifestyle can become a new outlet, a new adventure to embark on during retirement. Retirement is a chance to really focus on your health, turning over a new leaf to become a healthier you. Carolyn goes on to add that experimenting with new things keeps you young, helping to create a new life and identity for yourself after retirement.

Lawyers working today, however, don’t yet have the luxury of enjoying the unlimited amount of free time that retirement brings. Carolyn suggests that in order to get that time to yourself, you need to demand it. Instead of putting in long hours and picking up all the extra work shoveled onto your desk, you need to take the initiative and find a way to get back to focusing on yourself.

In closing, Carolyn left us with the following advice:

“Remember that we as lawyers are more than our brains and legal acumen. We are people. We have hearts and minds and bodies. We have to take care of all of those in order to live a happy life.”

For more from Carolyn, visit her website at www.carolynrosenblatt.com or read her Forbes blog at www.forbes.com/sites/carolynrosenblatt. She is also available by phone at (415) 459-0413 or email at clrosenblatt@gmail.com.

Share with us your stories of how you balance your life. We’d also love to hear your plans for when you retire. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Visit our website at www.esquirecoaching.com to sign up for our newsletter, Elevate!

To listen to the full interview, click 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.

Creative Thinking for Lawyers

Creative Thinkingby Melissa Grau

We’ve all been there. You’re staring at the same case, reading and rereading sections and clauses, looking for a loophole. Or maybe you’re stuck looking at your computer screen, trying to find a solution to an ongoing problem. Any way you approach the problem, it’s not going away.

At these times, when you feel like you’ve hit that wall head on, you need to take a step back and look at all your options. Think creatively. Get out of your head and see the whole picture. When you think creatively and see the world through a new lens, you are able to approach the problem from a different angle.

  1. Learn your mindset and its restrictions. In order to get out of your mind, you first have to learn how it works. Know whether you’re a big picture thinker or a small picture thinker. Do you need to make a flow chart to brainstorm or does jotting things down work better for you? Do you prefer thinking things through beginning to end? Try thinking from the end to the beginning. Whatever your norm, switch it. Expand your mind from thinking one way to thinking another. You’d be surprised the things you learn about yourself and your cases when you approach things with a different mindset.
  2. Schedule creative time. Use this time to explore your creativity through a new outlet, whether it’s learning to play the piano or picking up a paintbrush. Whatever you choose, however, be sure to devote time to your new outlet and honor that commitment. Being in tune with your creative side when you’re off the clock will help you to summon that same creativity when you’re on the clock, working to break through your case’s current roadblock.
  3. Take breaks. Staring at the same view from your desk day after day is mentally exhausting. Give yourself a break to get your creative juices flowing. Take a walk during your lunch or take a phone call outside. Whatever it may be, just switch up your scenery. When you come back and sit down at your desk, ready to take on that same case, you might have recharged your brain just enough to find a solution.
  4. Revamp and reuse. Take a look at the systems and processes in place around you. What factors come into play? How do they fulfill their purpose? Apply these same principles to the problems facing you. Take a system and revamp it to meet your needs, finding a solution and moving forward. The trick to this tip, however, is being able to transfer the concept of one entity to a completely different entity. This forces your mind to think out of the box solving a problem in an abstract way. Try applying this approach to the latest problem within your firm. Maybe you need a new way to bring in clients. Review other industries’ systems. Maybe you need a stronger platform for your social media outlets. Look at how Apple markets their products. Whatever it may be, the solution to a problem is never far off and often right in front of you.
  5. Brainstorm. The best ideas frequently come from a group setting. This way, each idea has been critiqued from every angle by a plethora of different minds. Dynamic groups are able to bounce ideas off one another, building and rebuilding until the perfect model is created. Use this tactic to your advantage. Form a group of colleagues to brainstorm solutions with you. Compile a list and then go through each proposed item and discuss the pros and cons, possible shortcomings, and the expected results. It’s amazing how the combined power of multiple minds can result in an extraordinary idea.

Any way you try and solve a problem, the end result ultimately depends on you. The outcome depends on how you approach a situation, the way you think about the situation, and even the way you interpret the situation. Keeping these three major components in mind will make your life notably easier when using creative thinking to problem solve. Always remember that the solution, more often than not, is right in front of you; however, it’s your mindset that is preventing you from seeing it. I wish you the best of luck in cultivating your creative thinking skills!

If you are interested in receiving one-on-one support, email us at info@esquirecoaching.com for a complimentary consultation. Don’t forget to share your progress on the Esquire Coaching Facebook page as well as LinkedIn. Tweet @EsquireCoaching your own personal tips on how you apply creative thinking to life as a lawyer! I look forward to hearing from you!

Understanding & Using LinkedIn Effectively

Susan Tabor-KleimanUsed well, LinkedIn provides visibility, credibility, and approachability.  Susan Tabor-Kleiman will address how to create a compelling profile that accomplishes your objectives and engages your target audience—whether it’s better branding and general credibility, expanding your network, being found by others, or preparing to look for a new job.

An Assistant District Attorney and civil trial lawyer before starting her business Your Professional Writer™, Susan Tabor-Kleiman works with professionals and entrepreneurs to create customized LinkedIn profiles that have them shine. A frequent workshop presenter, Susan is also a Lecturer at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. Recent media appearances include MSNBC’s Your Business with JJ Ramberg and Good Day Philadelphia.

Join us LIVE tonight at 5:30 pm EST/2:30 pm PST by clicking here.