Your professional network: How lawyers can target new business

by GrowthPlay Library /

Developing your professional network can be a pivotal component to your creating the type of practice that creates the greatest professional satisfaction.

Your contacts should consist of three types of people

  • Prospects – people who can actually buy your legal services
  • Connectors – people who can connect you to or influence prospects over time
  • Alliance partners – “super-connectors” or people who you have a high degree of interest in cultivating business together with you and who provide complementary services to your same target market

Identify the Strength of Your Contacts

In addition, it’s also helpful to identify the strength of your contacts through a system of A, B and C’s.

A’s – These are the contacts that have the strongest likelihood of buying or connecting you to prospects in the next 6-12 months. If you’re at an associate level, these are individuals who you think could be good prospects/connectors in the future.

B’s – These contacts are your mid-level investments or serve as an indicator that you need to get to know them better to have a more accurate determination of whether they should have A or C level priority.

C’s – C-levels are your lower priority contacts. These are individuals who you’ll invest less frequently and deeply in over the near-term. For example, you might connect with them once or twice a year rather than monthly.

Here are some areas you may tap into to expand your network and find additional contacts. 

  • Existing client contacts
  • Past clients and client related contacts that you have fallen out of touch with
  • Colleagues or alumni you have worked with in the past that may have moved onto other roles or jobs
  • Alumni from previous educational experiences, including college, law or business school
  • Neighbors who have professional positions or connections
  • Family members who have professional positions or connections
  • Community group members who you see regularly, including people from charitable, religious, civic or social activities you might be involved in
  • Other contacts from communities of people with whom you regularly see, for example, people you work out with; people in your book club; parents of your children’s friends
  • Personal service providers (e.g., accountant, financial advisor, fitness trainer, etc.)