You should keep in touch with all colleagues and acquaintances who could become clients or referral sources. Maintain email contact. Consider a personal blog. Have the names of your contacts added to the firm’s mailing database so everyone receives firm communications. Holiday cards, birthday cards, and notes of congratulations are good techniques for keeping in touch too. In addition, consider hosting an annual party, which is a fun way to maintain connections. You can also suggest that people invite their other business contacts to increase your network.
Because staying connected is so important, learn how to manage all your contacts. Contact management is a process of maintaining a database of information along with a mechanism for ensuring follow-up. Plus, as you document information about your prospects, you will be reminded of more reasons to stay in touch. Most lawyers have Outlook as a basic contact management system, and there are many more sophisticated software programs. Of course, there is no value to the software if you don’t enter the data.
Invest Five Minutes in Strategy Management
One of the best things you can do to build a foundation for rainmaking is to develop a heightened awareness of how to identify opportunities as they cross your path. We recommend investing five minutes every day in thinking about the strategies you want to implement and the people you want to pursue. This process will increase the number of ideas that come to mind.
The amount of time you commit to rainmaking will vary with the other demands on your time and the level of importance you place on becoming a rainmaker. As you get more involved, you will find there are many techniques that will surprise you with the success they produce. You may even be surprised at how enjoyable the process can be.
What is most important is getting started. It takes years to establish your reputation. It takes years for your contacts to obtain the authority to hire counsel. Since the process is so long, it’s a good idea to remember the proverb, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
For more tips, check out our article “The Art of Making Rain: Seven Steps That Give Associates an Edge.”