The Blizzard of 2013 reminds us to be prepared
It has a been a difficult week for anyone trying to get around
Massachusetts by car. Two to three feet of snow can do a lot to
clog up side streets and even if you were able to get to your
destination, parking has been a challenge. But imagine how
much worse things might have been if the state of Massachusetts and
the 351 cities and towns of the commonwealth had done nothing to
Now imagine that you have a three-day trial scheduled and you
have done nothing to prepare. You would probably have a very
unhappy client at best, and at worst, you might be jeopardizing
your law license or risking a big malpractice suit. Not a good
So what about meeting a potential client or referral
source for coffee? Why not just wing it?
Certainly, preparing for a networking meeting does not require
the same effort as preparing for a blizzard or a three-day trial.
But you would be making a big mistake if you thought that meeting
someone for coffee requires no preparation.
The best rainmakers will never try to "wing it." They know that
person to person marketing can be highly effective; but it can be
very time consuming. So you better make the best of it and making
the best of it means trying to find out what you can in advance
(not like a stalker, but as someone who is "prepared").
Websites, on-line profiles and social media mean that being in
the dark is inexcusable. If there is something that you could have
known about the person and their business, then not knowing that
thing is inexcusable. More importantly, taking a few minutes to
research someone before you go meet with them greatly increases the
likelihood that you will find a meaningful way to connect.
A few weeks ago, I was driving my son, a high school senior, to
a college interview. I asked him who he was meeting and what he
knows about the person. Like a typical teenager, he only knew the
person's name and not much more.
I glared at him as I continued driving and demanded that he get
out his smart phone. Within a few clicks, he found out that
although the individual was a research scientist at a major medical
school, that he had studied music as an undergraduate. My son, not
really the science type, is a trombone player and as they say, the
rest is history (although from what I'm told, college interviews
have little bearing on college admissions.)
So take the time to do a little research before you leave your
office. You may get some clues about ways that you can be of help
to the individual and you may find that your networking meetings
are a lot more interesting because there is more to discuss.
Tip courtesy of Stephen Seckler, president, Seckler Legal
Consulting and Coaching.
Published February 14, 2013
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