Building relationships in business is key. When we communicate with people in a personal context, we know that they naturally like to be appreciated and given the opportunity to talk about themselves. Replicating these behaviours across and into a work environment will make it easier to establish/nurture lasting business relationships.
Recently speaking to a General Counsel of a private equity firm -who was also the former chairman of a law firm (he has sat on both sides of the table!) - it was fascinating to hear about his business development process. He explained that as a lawyer he’d mainly phone his clients to ask about their business.
Very quickly the client would come up with the challenge that he could look to solve as a lawyer (thus driving revenue). He commented how little this happens to him in his GC role now.
Getting that hook is key.
Your law firm's digital content also needs to mirror this process. Creating the same insight as your fellow/competing law firms has no chance of differentiating your experts and positioning them as the 'go-to' trusted advisors. Reflecting the challenge of your key clients with value-added insight not only does this for your networks, but is also likely to address the challenges of your competitors' clients too!
On this subject I’d highly recommend a read of Dale Carnegie's book 'How to win friends and influence people' (photo taken at Lake Annecy a few weeks ago).
A brief, no fluff, summary of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Techniques in Handling People Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. Give honest and sincere appreciation. Arouse in the other person an eager want. Six ways to make people like you Become genuinely interested in other people. Smile. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.