How to Stand Out in the Networking Crowd & Networking for Lawyers

Attend any networking event you and you’ll probably meet at least 6 financial advisors, 4 realtors and 3 attorneys.   If you listen to their 30 second commercials they begin to sound like the Charlie Brown cartoon where the teacher is talking, you remember, Wahh, Wha.., Whaa… with no discernible message that actually engages you and makes you say ‘Oh I really really want to talk with them.’
Our lesson today is to stand out from the crowd, be heard, and engage with prospects.   That’s what a powerful 30 second commercial will do for you.   Social media has made everything easier, and more complicated. It has gotten easier to broadcast a message; what’s difficult is that it’s now a level playing field. Everyone can afford Twitter, Linked In and Facebook. They’re free. The only barrier to entry is taking the time to learn it and do it well. Why do you care about social media you ask? You clicked on this blog to work on your 30 second commercial. Well, the world of prospecting has changed, and it used to be your 30 second commercial would have to stand up to the ride up in an elevator challenge. Or engage a prospect in dialogue to get invited to an appointment. Now they go to Linked In and find you through group discussions or listening in on your status update and following you to learn more about your perspective.
Studies have shown you have 7 seconds to capture someone’s attention and have them make the decision of whether or not they will invest another 30 seconds in learning more. Then if they like what they hear, they will gift you with 3 minutes.   Today what we will talk about is how to gain each of those milestones of attention of the right people – your best prospects!

3 elements of the 30 second commercial

We will talk about each one and I’ll give you exercises to gather the information you need to compose your own 30 second commercial.

What will get someone’s attention?

7 seconds. Your headline. This is where I pull something from media, articles, published data, or statistics. An example for a client in the employee benefits arena – Did you know recent studies show 85% of employees who are currently employed are looking for other jobs? Now that’s a pretty big # that gets the attention of people who don’t want expensive turnover. But what does that have to do with their benefits plan you ask? Now we have earned their attention we have 30 seconds to relate why you may offer a solution to expensive employee turnover.

Who do you best serve?

30 seconds. You notice again we aren’t talking about what you do. That’s by design. People don’t care about you. They care about their issues, problems and how you can be a smart person to talk to for a solution. Describe the ideal prospect you serve with your solution. Adding the next element to the commercial from our benefits producer, ‘We work with companies who recognize the employees who are most at risk are the ones they least want to lose. Those same studies show that employees who know their benefit offerings and are engaged in wellness initiatives are more productive and happier on the job.’   Now you’ve just painted a picture that’s pretty attractive for them to be in.
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Why is it smart to meet with you?

This is where you outline the benefit of your solution. Not what you do, but the benefit of what you do. Remember people don’t care about how great your widget is, they only care about whether or not you can save them money, improve their life or fix something that is broken. Finishing up our Benefits Producers 30 second commercial, our final statement is ‘We work with employers who recognize their employees as their greatest asset and they are successful when they are engaged, happy and motivated. When you would like to review your employee engagement strategy, we should talk.’   Notice not once did you give your ‘title’ as employee benefits producer.

Wrap Up

Your name and company. Now that the people you want to talk to are paying attention to what you say, you share your name and company. Not at the beginning where they determine – Oh he’s (or she) is just another insurance guy and I already have one of those.

What Not To Do

What not to do with your 30 second commercial:

  1. Ramble – Your 30 second commercial should be brief. I’m not kidding with the 7 second part to capture attention and 30 seconds to engage.   The 3 minutes is when you are having a conversation, not when you’re explaining how smart you are.
  2. Use buzzwords or metaphors that might not make sense to them. If they have to get you to explain what you said because they ‘don’t get it,’ you won’t get it – their business. Oh and if I hear one more financial advisor say ‘We have built a better mousetrap’ I’m going to throw my cat at them.   You really haven’t.   At least not in the prospect’s mind.   It’s a lot like the weight loss commercials promising you’ll lose 10 lbs in 10 minutes after taking their pill. It’s all blurred together.
  3. Try to explain everything you do in one commercial. The best solution I have found is to rotate your commercials based on client experiences in areas you address.
  4. Keep the same commercial. You network with the same people and want to capture their interest in knowing a smart person. The more you demonstrate your ability with a 30 second commercial that highlights other areas of expertise you bring, the more someone will recognize something they need now. When you see them again, they should hear something different to help them realize the breadth and depth of your expertise.
  5. Use ‘I’ language. Prospects really don’t care about you. I hope I’ve made this point. They care about what you have done for people that look like them. Gather your insight from your current clients. Ask them why they moved from another attorney to you. What was it that was different? Ask probing questions regarding the specific problems you solved and the business results achieved. By the way, take great notes, write their case study and ask if they would be willing to post it on your Linked In profile – Bonus!

This exercise is tiresome and many people just don’t want to do it. But when you take the time to really outline they why of what you do, who you serve and why they benefit from knowing you, you will find much greater engagement in your prospecting effort.
Editor’s Note:  Frustrated with endless coffee meetings that never lead to clients? Register now for our webinar on
Have a wonderful day and I wish you Good Selling!
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Guest Blogger: Breandan Filbert has the ability to sift through the product or service ‘noise’ and get to the real basis of relationship building- the people. She partners with her clients to create long standing highly productive relationships with their clients and referral partners.   She has worked with attorneys and other professional service providers to increase their book of business and attain ‘Top Rainmaker’ status within their firms. She is the founder and managing partner of SalezWorks in Kansas City.