Lawyers, lawyers everywhere, but not a business card to share.
This week I’m going to share another marketing lesson from the Rhode Island Bar Association’s Annual Meeting.
I talked to a lot of lawyers over those two days. Great conversations about their practices and marketing struggles. Naturally, I asked for a business card to keep in touch.
I was shocked when 9 out of 10 times the response was, “I don’t have any business cards on me.” Say what?!
How can you not bring business cards to a conference? What a big mistake.
Imagine the following scenario:
You’re spending 2 days with hundreds of other lawyers. In that crowd, you meet a really nice guy. You chat over lunch. Turns out, you have complimentary law practices. There might be opportunities to refer some business. He asks you for your business card. What do you say?
You have 3 options (and 2 stink.)
- Sorry, I don’t have any cards on me.
- I actually don’t carry business cards. I use some app (you’ve probably never heard of) on my phone. You just need to download the app…
- Sure, here’s my card. I’d love to circle back with you next week to talk more about how we can help each other. What’s your availability on…?
Which one of these answers is the easiest way of getting that follow-up meeting? Of course it’s #3.
Why didn’t these lawyers have their business cards with them? In my humble opinion it’s because they didn’t see the Annual Meeting as the networking opportunity that it is.
You’re sitting next to potential referral sources while your waiting for the program to begin or at lunch. You’re standing next to new referral sources as you grab coffee and eat your snack. It’s the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself to someone you don’t know. Strike up a conversation. Make a new friend.
Unfortunately, too many of these lawyers simply saw the Annual Meeting as CLE. All they thought about was getting their CLE credits and getting out of there as quickly as possible.
If you want to get more out of your CLE classes, do this instead. Any time you are going to an event where you could bump into someone you haven’t seen in awhile, talk to someone you have never met, or meet someone you’d just like to stay in touch with, have business cards on you.
In fact, always have a business card tucked in your wallet just in case. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struck up a conversation at my daughter’s school events or even in a store and I’ve had the opportunity to hand someone a business card.
What would make you more excited? Leaving that Annual Meeting with all your CLE credits? Or leaving the meeting with the credits and some new referral sources? I thought so.