If you are looking to use networking as a way of growing your business then what must you know to make sure you make the right first impressions and do not scare people away? This article looks at some basic tips to help you.

Who Do You Want To Meet?

Many people attend networking events because they are convenient or in a nice venue. Whilst this can work for you through luck more than judgment, in reality you need to think more carefully about which networking events to attend.

Start to think about the types of businesses or individuals you would like to meet and with whom you could form mutually beneficial longterm relationships. Once you have identified who you would like to meet you can start to search for networking events at which they might be present.

What Are You Trying To Achieve?

It is vital to consider what you want to achieve from each networking event. If you attend without any thought or attention to this part how will you know if you have been successful? What measure will you have to see if your valuable time has been used well?

It is unlikely that you will meet someone that can immediately provide you with a significant referral for your business, so you must think about longterm objectives (below).

Longterm Objectives

Many people make a significant mistake when attending networking events and their approach can alienate people immediately.

We have all been to networking events where someone brashly approaches, hands out their business cards, explains what type of referrals they are looking for before saying they must speak to more people to ensure they get lots of new business. This will never work. It is far too much “Enough about me, what do you think of me” as opposed to looking to see how they could help you in your business.

The law of reciprocation is a wonderful thing. By and large, if you take the time and effort to show interest in someone else’s business, and offer advice or referrals to them, you will receive the same back from them at some stage. It may take time, but any relationship worth having generally does take time to build. If you approach networking thinking you will receive instant quick fixes then I am afraid you are ultimately certain to fail.

Networking and building new business relationships takes time and effort. You must show interest, and we mean GENUINE interest in other people’s business for them to show interest in your practice.

If you do this right you will have success with your networking.

Business Cards

Always take business cards with you, but be selective in handing them out. If you do hand out a business card, personalise it in some way so that you stand out to the person you are handing your card to. Remember that they might leave the event with 10 or more business cards, so anything you can do to make yours stand out will help them to remember you when they are back in their office.


Networking should be an essential part of growing your legal practice. However, it does take some preparation time to ensure that it achieves all that you want it to.

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