“Small” talk

Strong networking skills do not come natural for many law students (looking for a job) and law firm associates (looking for clients either inside or outside the firm).  For many, conversations feel forced and unnatural.  Unfortunately, selling oneself (to partners, potential clients, potential employers, etc.) is a major part of the business of practicing law.

LegalJob suggests that to become more comfortable in this area, it may be helpful to follow the advice of successful business/sales people.  As one good example, take a look at the Mackay 66, which was developed by Harvey Mackay when he was a young salesman.  Harvey is now a syndicated columnist and a motivational speaker and the founder of Mackay Mitchell Envelope Company.  The Mackay 66 is a 66-question customer profile that includes focuses on the person who does the buying.  In his case, the person is buying envelopes, a product, whereas law students and law firm associates are selling a service, but it makes no difference.  It makes no difference because the questions focus on the buyer not the seller or what the seller is selling.

The questions are not difficult but having them in your arsenal may help you connect more easily with your targets.  Notice that the questions do not focus on work but rather on family, hobbies, life outside the office, accomplishments, etc.

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