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The Business of Relationships

14.05.2010

In a hectic business world of networking events, seminars and conferences, a systematic campaign to keep in touch with key contacts is a crucial strategy for maintaining the sustainable business development pipeline.

When it can take 15-20 interactions to turn a relationship into business, and when business roles and relationships are becomingly ever more transient, the danger of forgetting – or being forgotten by – an important contact is an increasingly significant concern.

Cultivating Contacts

Some lawyers will need to keep in touch with many people on a frequent, but perhaps a slightly more impersonal, basis. Others will need to cultivate fewer, deeper relationships with key sources of business. Both have inherent dangers, of being known to many people but trusted by few, or of putting too many eggs in too few baskets, but a successful Keep in Touch strategy will combine the two approaches.

The Broadcast Media

Keeping in touch regularly with a large pool of contacts can be done relatively easily through a generic contact system – such as a newsletter(!). Of course, key personal contacts will also receive this, but it is an ideal way to ‘touch base’ with many people on a regular basis, without the drain on resources (physical and financial) associated with constant networking or generic advertising.

The Personal Touch

Within this larger pool of contacts there will, of course, be the crucial people with whom we have good personal relationships and who are consistent sources of profitable business. These people naturally deserve a more personalised approach, but this should still be monitored systematically so that they are not lost under the mountain of fee-earning work (which will constantly need replacing in any case, if the business development pipeline is to flourish).

Profitable Relationships

Keeping in touch with clients, allies and prospects forms a crucial part of the sustainable business development pipeline – an approach that underpins our Profitable Partnerships Programme, helping partners and key solicitors measurably improve business development and profitability.

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