In the latest episode of the Counsel to Counsel podcast, I speak with Steve Fretzin, a premier business coach, trainer, and speaker on business development. Steve focuses on the legal industry but comes with experience in other industries as well. Steve and I discuss the importance of networking in building a professional services practice, how you can get more out of your networking meetings, and how to do this in a time of social distancing.
The ability to generate work has never been more important for lawyers and other professionals. We are in a recession right now and adapting to the demands of the marketplace is critical. But knowing what services your clients want is only a starting point. A good business plan requires a healthy mix of marketing (or reputation building activities) and business development (or relationship building activities). For lawyers and other professionals, it is the second leg, the relationship building, that is more challenging to master.
Attorneys come out of law school knowing something about a broad cross section of legal subjects. Law school graduates enter the workforce knowing how and do legal research and write briefs. While clinics and internships help aspiring lawyers to start learning how to do deals, litigate cases, or counsel clients, most lawyers enter practice with limited knowledge of how to build and manage a law practice. In particular, as lawyers begin their careers, they often know little about building business relationships.
On this podcast, we’ve talked many times about the tremendous importance of relationship building whether to set the stage for a future job move or whether it is to generate clients and cultivate referral sources. In this episode, we focus on the networking meeting and its close cousin, the troika which is a networking format that Steve and I participate in through our business networking group ProVisors. Find it on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.