… identifying and connecting with priority contacts now will lay the foundation for a productive first quarter.
The holiday season is the time of year when we all reflect on what for and who we are grateful for. We would be remiss if we did not include our clients, prospects and referral sources in this group.
Before it sounds too much like Christmas, I suggest you embrace your inner Santa Claus: make your lists, double-check them, then send your sincere wishes as good business development practice.
Who is on the list?
Hopefully these are mostly nice people and not so many baddies, but you can make that call.
Ideally, your list will be made up of your top customers, prospects, and referral sources. Can you find 30 contacts relatively easily? Otherwise, don’t panic like Rudolph’s parents did the first time they saw his nose light up. Take a deep breath and think about these additional ways to identify priority contacts:
- Did you write an alert this year, or speak at an event? Ask your marketing team for readership and / or attendance statistics to identify any recurring activity. These people are clearly interested in what you are saying and therefore constitute privileged prospects for this awareness.
- Are you a regular LinkedIn user? If so, did any of your posts get particularly high engagement rates? Dig into the “likes” and comments on these posts and examine the contributors. If someone likes more than one of your posts and / or has left an insightful comment, consider adding them to your prospect list.
- Are you on a board of directors or are you involved in a committee? Take a closer look at the composition of the board / committee. Is there anyone who could give and / or send you stuff? If so, they should be added to your list.
Don’t forget your law classmates, co-secretaries, former colleagues / alumni, and old friends.
You’d be amazed at the creative research you can do to find where those connections landed on LinkedIn, not to mention the platform is a great and easy place to reconnect.
Check it twice
Now that you’ve made your list, start thinking about prioritization.
Which of these individuals has sent you business this year (your clients and referral sources)? They are Level 1.
Which of these individuals could realistically give you business in 2022? They are Level 2.
Everyone falls in Level 3. Given the limited bandwidth at this time of year (because, hello, billable work), let’s focus on tier 1 and tier 2.
Send end of year greetings
Staying in the foreground is of the utmost importance in securing new business.
Not only are the holidays a great time to relax with loved ones, but they’re also a great excuse to check in with your customers – a gift as sweet as a pecan pie (my favorite holiday treat!).
Send a note to each of your level 1 and level 2 contacts. If that sounds overwhelming, just think that if you start now with a handful per week, you will be done on New Years Day. Something as simple as what following would be a good start:
I just wanted to contact you to let you know that I really appreciated
I offer you my best wishes for a happy holiday season,
A handwritten note – maybe even a greeting card – would be ideal, but an email is just as good. As long as you connect on a personal level.
Taking the time (maybe while sipping hot chocolate or fortified eggnog by the fireside) to identify and connect with these contacts now will lay the foundation for a productive first trimester.
Rebecca edwards is Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development at Williams Mullen. She helps lawyers develop their relationships with their clients and strives to streamline opportunities to develop and improve their practices. Connect with her on LinkedIn.