Taking the opportunity to connect with potential referral sources and increase your visibility in new markets when travelling will benefit your practice.
I am on vacation and travelled across the country to visit a new addition to our family. Since my blog was due, I got thinking about marketing and developing business when travelling.
People are increasingly doing business across geographies and their lawyers are always looking for lawyers they know in places they aren't. Make sure that before you travel, you set up a couple of face-to-face meetings with lawyers you could refer business to who could also refer business back to you.
Why face to face?
Trust is an essential component to the referral process. If you don't trust someone, you certainly aren't going to refer your clients to them. A face-to-face meeting will jumpstart a relationship and the development of trust. Yes, you can develop a virtual relationship, but it will undoubtedly be slower. If you're going to travel, take the opportunity to meet in person and speed up the development of your referral network.
Finding friends in far places
So, how do you find lawyers in places to which you might be travelling? You have three easy sources at your fingertips: contacts in your email, contacts in your firm's CRM and connections on LinkedIn.
Search your contacts and CRM for addresses that match your travel plans and see if there are any that align to your practice. Search for firms that might be in your CRM and get introduced by someone in your firm who knows them.
You can search online for lawyers in the areas of practice and industries in which you work in the place you will be visiting. Then search for those lawyers and firms you found on LinkedIn to see if you are connected to them directly or through others. Ask your connections to set up introductions for you.
If you cannot find any connections though these sources, then find a few lawyers who align to your practice and start phoning them in advance of your trip. Also, prepare a followup email with links to your online profile.
Many people assume they are bothering others by reaching out to make a connection. You might be very surprised to know that they actually appreciate your initiative and welcome the outreach. Many long-lasting, mutually rewarding relationships have resulted from people like you with a passion for their clients and practising law. Reach out and touch someone today.