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IBA: Holidays - Time to Network

December 7, 2011

Whether it’s your first or twenty-fifth holiday networking season, every member of the legal community can gain a great deal from leaving the desk behind and hitting the party circuit. To maximize the opportunity we’ve compiled some tried and true tips from the Networking Gurus and other industry professionals.

Have a plan. Set a goal for each gathering. For example, if you know an event will have 50 guests, introduce yourself to at least five new people.

Ask…Know who you want to meet and don’t be afraid to ask your friends, relatives, and old and new acquaintances for introductions. If someone shows interest in your services, don’t hesitate to ask for their contact information. You’ll be surprised how many people will give it out – if you ask.

Focus on other people. Listen as much as you talk. Attentiveness is memorable.

Don’t forget your business cards AND a pen. When you hand out your card take a second to write a note on the back. A reference to something you were discussing, a recommendation to a restaurant, anything that personalizes the contact is good.

Don’t cling to your friends… or the buffet. Friends and good food can distract you from your mission: to meet prospective clients. Make the effort to break free from what’s comfortable to gain face time with prospects.

Have fun, but don’t eat or drink too much. It’s the holidays, so relax and enjoy yourself. It’s fine to have a good time, but you don’t need to be the life of the party. Act like a professional at all times.

Thank the host/hostess. Send a hand-written thank you note. Sadly, this happens so seldom that your effort will stand out.•

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