• Choose Wisely. If you're thinking of attending a networking event and you're nervous about it, select an event with content - a speaker or a panel. That way, you won't be forced to spend several hours networking without a net.
• Plan Ahead. If you want to avoid overwhelm at an upcoming networking event, arrive when the networking portion of the event is halfway done. People will be chatting away, and you can join in a group conversation knowing that in 20 minutes, the speaker presentation will begin.
• Be More Interested Then Interesting. If you are not a big "talker," you will be relieved to know that asking opened-ended questions to learn as much as you can about your networking partner is one of the secrets to networker. Try using an ice breaker such as "So, what brings you here this evening?" and then let the other person talk. If a conversational spark develops, you can follow it wherever it leads. Asking questions about themselves and their interests is a great way to learn new things and to build rapport.
• Wrap up. End a conversation by thanking your networking partner for his or her time, and expressing your admiration for the person. "I'm so glad I got to meet you - it's been lovely to learn about you!" is a pleasant way to part. If you feel like asking for a business card, by all means do it, but don't ask for it if you just plan to throw it away. Likewise, don't offer your business card to everyone you meet, just because it's a networking event.
If you feel there is some business synergy between you and another person, you may ask "Would you like to grab coffee or lunch one day soon?" You can generally judge that person's interest by their next response.
• ALWAYS follow up. The day after a networking event, send an email to the individuals you most enjoyed meeting and thank them for their sparkling conversation. If you can manage it, send something of value along - the link to an article that's relevant to your new friend's interests, for example.
KLA Marketing Associates is here to assist and support your practice growth. Reach out if we can help!
Kimberly Alford Rice is principal of KLA Marketing Associates, a business development advisory firm focusing on legal services. As a law marketing authority, Kimberly helps law firms and lawyers develop practical business development and marketing strategies which lead directly to new clients and increased revenues. Additionally, Kimberly provides career management services to lawyers in transition. She may be reached at 609.458.0415 or via email at email@example.com.
Entrants are asked to submit an image that captures the people, buildings, sites or anything else that make Philadelphia unique. Creative interpretations of this year's theme are encouraged!
One submission per entrant can be emailed to Kaitlin Picco at YLDphotos@hotmail.com in JPG format. A professional panel of judges will select the winner. The deadline for entries is Friday, Aug. 24.
The 2012 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference, featuring 21 CLE seminars, will be held at the new beachfront Revel resort in Atlantic City, N.J., on Oct. 5 and 6.
The Bench-Bar & Annual Conference provides attendees with the opportunity to earn CLE credit while networking with colleagues and members of the bench. Hundreds of attorneys and judges are expected to attend. A total of 6 CLE credits are available. Enjoy special early-bird savings on the full conference when you register by Sept. 14.
Maria A. Feeley, a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP, is chair of the Bench-Bar & Annual Conference. Molly Peckman, director of professional development at Dechert LLP, is programming chair of the Bench-Bar & Annual Conference. Jeffrey S. Gross, a principal with Batt & Gross, is serving as sponsorship chair and Jennifer Segal Coatsworth, an associate with Margolis Edelstein, is sponsorship vice chair. Regina Foley of Raynes McCarty is chair of the scholarship subcommittee.
Sponsors for the 2012 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference include USI Affinity, First Judicial District, Love Court Reporting, Robson Forensic, JAMS, US Claims Inc., LexisNexis, Round Table Thomson Reuters Expert Witness Services, Special Counsel, Applied Discovery, LawCash, O'Neill Consulting Corporation, Lien Negotiation Counsel, Iron Mountain, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, FTI Consulting and The Legal Intelligencer. Special acknowledgement - Family Law Section, Real Property Section and Workers' Compensation Section. For sponsorship information, please contact Tracey McCloskey at 215-238-6360 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at benchbar.philadelphiabar.org.