As a service provider who works with attorneys, I am being pitched all the time by other service providers. Some want me to help them promote their products and services through my blog. Others simply ask to meet with me because they want to do more business with the legal community– and they believe that I am a potential source of referrals. I don’t fault anyone for being proactive about selling. But there are certainly approaches that work a lot better with me than others.
For starters, polite persistence is very effective. While polite persistence can easily turn into fatal attraction, most of the lawyers I work with are hardly guilty of that flaw. Instead, they make one attempt to connect (by phone or by e-mail), and then fail to follow up. The same is true of most vendors who contact me.
I’m not trying to invite a barrage of phone calls and e-mail messages from other B to B service providers; but it is very noticeable when I hear from the same individual several times over a period of months, especially when I respond with limited interest.
Similarly, pleasant persistence that is combined with flattery (“I really enjoy reading your blog” or “The video on your website is great”) is even more effective (if it is sincere).
Finally, specific suggestions about when we might get together or how we might connect, are the most likely to actually occur.
I recently had this experience with a vendor of e-Discovery services. The individual, Sarah K. Brown, Corporate Communications Manager for Exterro, Inc. has contacted me a number of times in the past few months, each time suggesting potential subjects for CounseltoCounsel. This week, I received a message from Sarah which triggered this post:
I wanted to let you know that I’m launching a new blog, E-Discovery 360. It will serve as a resource for news and information about e-discovery. I plan to cover the legal process management zeitgeist, from case law and industry trends to analyst reports and emerging best practices.
I’m writing to invite you to write a guest post! Your your site is one of my favorites, and I’d love to feature a guest post from you. Please feel free to propose a topic and I’ll make sure to reserve a spot for you in my editorial calendar! I’m also working on building my blogroll and would like to add your site, with your permission of course.
Alternatively, if you’re attending LegalTech New York, I’ll be doing live video interviews at the show and I’d love to get your thoughts on happenings and evolutions in e-discovery and litigation management if your schedule allows.
I wrote back to Sarah and thanked her for the compliment. I also politely declined her generous offer because I don’t feel like e-discovery is within my core expertise. I would have made a point of saying hi to her at the LegalTech show but unfortunately, I am unable to attend this year. But after reading her post, I thought to myself, “That’s how it is done” (i.e. with polite persistence, flattery and specificity).