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AOL 138: Five Common Networking Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

Daily thoughts on law firm success.

AOL 138: Five Common Networking Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

I’ve made a lot of networking mistakes in my career.

I started off owning my law firm thinking networking was a joke I did it so bad.

But then I started hanging out with some people who’s entire businesses were built on networking. And they were putting a million dollars in their pockets every year.

That got my attention, so I took another look at networking and immediately realized the reason it wasn’t working for me was that I was doing it all wrong.

So I fixed it, built my own six-figure law firm on the backbone of networking in under 4 months, and want to share with you my five biggest networking mistakes.

Here they are:

  1. Not Looking for Value From Them
  2. Poor Follow Up
  3. Your Pool is Too Small
  4. Not Clear On What You Do
  5. No Plan

If that list resonates with you and you want some help correcting those networking mistakes, listen to the podcast.

Oh, and if you want a copy of my FREE greatness tracker, CLICK HERE.


Christopher Small

P.S. – I’ve done it! I started my second six-figure law firm in under 4 months! Want to know my secret? Networking! And I’m sharing my tracking system with you for free. Click Here for Access.

Who am I? I am an expert on starting a law firm and law firm marketing. I’ve started two successful law firms (you can see my latest one here and love sharing what I’ve learned so you can do it too).

Five Common Networking Mistakes Transcript

Hey everybody this is Christopher Small, this is episode 138 of The Art Of Lawyering Podcast. Welcome, thank you for being here. I am excited to be talking to you. I’m actually sitting in my car right now, it’s 2:43 in the afternoon, just got my hair cut. Just had a meeting this morning with a financial planner and it was actually like his team. It wasn’t the actual financial planner and it got me thinking a little bit about good and bad networking practices. We’re talking a lot about networking lately. Networking has been a huge huge factor in the success of my new law firm so far and I wanted to take a little bit more time and talk about it with you today. Before I get there though, I wanted to remind you that I’m giving away my greatness tracker and I’ll talk more about the greatness tracker as we go. But the way that you get ahead in networking or talk about this more as we kind of get through this episode but the way you get ahead in networking is by being structured, by following up, by talking to the right people, and by sticking to it. And getting the work done. And this greatness tracker is the way that I do that.

I want to give that to you and I want to give it to you by, you can go to and I want to give you a little bit of extra added incentive to go, soon. And what you’ll see is, the greenest tracker I’m giving away for free but once you sign up for that, raise your hand for that, and then you will see that there is a, I have put together a course on getting the most out of the greatness tracker based on how to network and how to create basically a six figure law firm just through networking which is what I’ve done. And for the next, this is we’re in July right now but for the next probably I don’t know 72 hours or so after you hear this, the price of the course is going to be significantly discounted. And we’re talking about like a fifty percent discount. The reason for that is because I want to encourage you to go and take advantage of this. I mean, I literally and just use this to jump start my business and create a six figure law firm in three and a half months or so. And so I mean, I’m excited to get this in your hands and help you succeed. And so I really want to push you and provide some extra urgency to go and do that.

Again it’s Now if you hear this after that time has passed, and you go, I still want you going to the greatness tracker. What you’ll see is the price of the of the course is just the normal price. So it’s still worth it, totally worth it. It’s cheap, both, no matter what these two prices are. It’s still super cheap. But I want to give you some added urgency to go and check that out. So once again it’s Right, now we’ll talk about the five networking mistakes that I see often and I worked there myself and will kind of hurt your efforts. Okay? Number one is not looking for value from the potential referral source. And what I mean by that is the best way I can describe that is by using sort of a separate analogy or a metaphor or whatever and that, this is the same story that I tell people are the same sort of mindset that I want new attorneys that are looking for jobs to take too. And that’s the idea that, you know when you are looking for a job, you want to make sure that you remember that you are providing value as well. Like you are not asking for a handout, you’re bringing something to the table and that you’re looking for a symbiotic relationship and not for a handout.

And so you need to approach the situation with a little bit of confidence, right. And understand that you’re not just asking for them to send you things that you are going to be providing additional value to their clients and to the people that they’re sending to you. So remember that, you know, so even with financial planners and things like that for example sometimes I tell them, look I don’t know if I’m going to be able to send you a ton of business especially right now when my business is new. But what I can tell you is this, they will not get a better experience from anywhere else. You will not can talked up better than anywhere else and so there is a real added value for you to send your people to me even if I’m not necessarily sending you all of the new people that you want. Using your people to me is a value added for you and your people, right. I’m bringing something extra to the table and you, important thing though to remember is for you to figure out before you go to these networking meetings is how you can describe that to people. And you can say exactly the same thing that I just said. And that’d be perfect. But if you can come up with your own spiel and and think it through and be able to respond in sort of provide that information and work that into your conversation, you will create relationships a lot faster.

Right? Because it becomes less about quid pro quo. What are you giving me, what I’m giving you. And becomes more about the relationship and adding value in ways other than just strictly sending business one way or the other. So that’s number one. Number two. Number two is poor follow up. I can tell you how many times I myself have had a meeting and it went great and I just forgot to call in or forgot to follow up over time. I forgot to set that next meeting. I forgot to sometimes even send that thank you note, right. And do all those things that you know you should be doing. But you just don’t. And that’s why this greatest tracker comes and it really helps to do that and that’s where a good follow up contact management system also comes into play. Follow up is critical, right. These are not one off relationships that you’re trying to create. You’re trying to create long term, long lasting friendships in some way. Relationships, meaningful relationships where you know about them. You know what’s going on with them. So you have to follow up. You have to work at it, you have to give it time. And that also in going along with poor follow up you have to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. That if somebody doesn’t send you business for a couple months, that’s fine. You still need to work on that relationship.

Particularly if you like the person, okay. It will come. Those referrals will come. Number three, your pool is too small. You need to be having at least sixty or so potential referral sources that you are calling on, on a regular basis. That means you get to call twelve people every week. So you get to reach out and talk to somebody, everybody every month. So you need to be thinking about sixty, at least as your number. And you find those people by first looking within your own network. Asking your other network partners and referral sources and friends. If they know anyone that fits the description of who you’re looking to meet and then you go cold. You know, I’ve reached out cold to many many people and created some great relationships from that and gotten referrals from that. Quite often those are the people that send you referrals the quickest because they really are just looking for a relationship. So, make sure that your sample size is big enough. That you have an opportunity to get referrals. You know, don’t just wait. Someone says, you know I got a bunch of people to send you. Don’t just wait for them to send. Keep looking. Keep working with other people, keep talking.

All right. This is a volume business in the sense that the greater your network can be expanded, the better. That’s number three. Number four, you are not clear on what you do. This go back to niches get riches, right. When you are meeting with your potential referral partners. You need to be able to tell them what you do and who your ideal client is so that when those people come across their desk, they can send them to you, right. That’s critically important. That you make sure you’re clear on who your people are. Who your ideal client is and who your ideal client is not. The more specific you can be, the better. And when you’re specific, you may also find that some people aren’t good referral partners for you. And that’s okay. That’s actually great because then you know, right. Otherwise they’re going to be sending you terrible clients. Potential clients all the time, it’s never going to work out. You’re going to wonder why it’s so bad. That’s why. Because you aren’t clear on who your client was. And then number five, is not having a plan. That’s where the greatest tracker comes in. And that is where real success happens.

It needs to be structured, you need to have an idea of what you’re trying to do every week. You need to keep track of it. You need to write it down and you need to do it. So the greatness tracker, what it gives you is a list with blank spaces that you need to fill up every week. Break bread, face to face meetings, phone calls, thank You cards, events, prospecting. All these other stuff. Deals, leads that you need to be doing. And when you have that plan, when you have that structure, everything kind of falls into place. All you’re trying to do every week is fill up the greatness tracker, right. So again, you can get that I’m giving this away to you. This is the number one tool that will get you networking success. So just go and get it. It’s free. There’s no catch. So, that’s kind of it. Five networking mistakes that people make including myself. These are basically said out, thought about. All the bad things, I’ve done and that’s it. So, I hope you take advantage of the free greatness tracker you can get that any point in time. There is no time limit on that and I hope that you take advantage of it and use it and make money. Get new clients and live that life that you want with your law firm. Okay? That’s it for today, I will catch tomorrow. See ya!

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