When is the last time you visited one of your clients at their office? Or suggested lunch for no reason at all other than to catch up?
Would you be more likely to do if it meant, say, $10,000 in revenues? I know I would.
I heard a story about this topic yesterday from the general counsel of life sciences company here in North Carolina. But more on that in a second.
I'm not sure where I first came across the notion of "know, like, trust" as the three building blocks small business marketing, but I associate it with John Jantsch's Duct Tape Marketing. For those of you unfamiliar with the know, like, trust concept or Jantsch's excellent work, Jantsch has a helpful white paper on it available here.
As critical as those blocks are to marketing a law practice, they need one more element to come to life: staying top of mind. If your name is not the first one to come to mind when the right issue arises, all the knowing, liking and trusting in the world isn't going to matter.
Back to the general counsel.
She had lunch scheduled with one of the outside counsel her company uses, a lawyer who just happened to be in town from another state. That morning, before she left for lunch, an issue arose at the GC's company and she needed to find an outside lawyer to handle it. It was a strange issue, not the regular course of business. The key thing she needed to find was an outside lawyer who had a positive working relationship with a particular, high level individual inside her company.
Now, the thing is, there were probably ten or so outside counsel who fit that description. The lawyer she had lunch scheduled with just happened to be one of them. The GC confessed, the lunch lawyer would never have been the first, second or third person she would have thought of - he practices in another state, handles a different kind of work - but because he was on her calendar at noon, his was the first name that popped into her head.
It turns out, he was the perfect fit, and his impromptu and agenda-less lunch turned into a new engagement for his firm. Had he not reached out to the GC to suggest lunch when he was in town, the new engagement would have gone somewhere else.
I asked myself, would I have done what this lawyer did in his place? If I were traveling, would I have reached out to a contact for lunch just for no reason other than just to have a pleasant time and remind him I exist? I don't know. Like a lot of lawyers, I'm not a born marketer. I'm just as happy - maybe happier, if I'm being honest - having a quiet lunch poring over fantasy football stuff as I am in having a bite with an acquaintance.
But the lesson here isn't lost on me. Know, like, trust will get you in the door. But if your name isn't the one that floats to top of mind in the moment, it won't get you much more.