In recent weeks, the Lawrence Stephens team have been out and about networking with our peers, clients and friends old and new at various industry, networking and social events across London and beyond. We pride ourselves on our personal touch to our work, and it is essential to us to ensure that we get to know every one of our clients individually.
At Lawrence Stephens, we love getting the opportunity to network; it enables us to create exciting new relationships and strengthen existing ones and it can reap many benefits both from a personal and business development perspective. This quarter, we have seen many of our trainees and newly qualified lawyers enter the professional networking circuit and benefit from making many new connections, in addition to gaining an increase in confidence alongside invaluable networking skills.
Networking with people you have not met before can seem daunting, especially if you are relatively new to the legal profession. However, it is so important to embrace networking events as much as possible – after all, you could make a connection that lands you your next big deal!
As we lost out on networking events for the best part of a year since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, we consequently missed lots of opportunities to make new connections and new business leads.
Taking every opportunity to network responsibly with other professionals is therefore vital to our professional and business development. While it can help us to gain new business leads in an ever challenging market, it also provides an easy way of enhancing publicity for our law firms and – on a personal level – can help individuals to significantly boost their confidence and public-speaking skills.
While we may take advantage of networking events to seek out new clients, we must remember that it is equally as important to network regularly with existing clients.
Checking in with our clients, whether that be over a coffee, a LinkedIn message or some beers after work, shows that you care about their business goals and their wellbeing, and enables you to get to know them on a more personal level.
By taking the time to network with your existing clients regularly, you can significantly strengthen your business relationships and have the best possible chance of ensuring client retention and repeat business.
We shouldn’t only think of networking as a way to target clients. Networking with our peers from other law firms, chambers or organisations is just as – if not more – important. Joining lawyers’ groups or arranging events with other law firms or chambers in your local area can be hugely beneficial for career development, especially if you are a trainee or junior legal professional.
Having reliable friends in the legal industry can be extremely useful, not only for the opportunities to cross-refer work, but also for support and guidance as you work your way up the legal ladder.
Especially during times of high pressure and unprecedented challenges – like those we have experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic over the last 20 months – the support of fellow legal professionals cannot be underestimated.
Fortunately, many organisations and businesses have developed technology to facilitate socially-distanced networking, including Meeow and Allbright. Even good old-fashioned LinkedIn can be a goldmine for making new business connections; the important thing is to dedicate at least an hour a week to properly utilising whatever digital networks you are involved in to find new contacts.
It is vital to remember that networking is always possible, wherever you are and whatever the circumstances, and committing some regular time to network each week can considerably enhance your business prospects, as well as your own career.