The principle behind networking is simple: your aim is to get more business and connect with people who can refer you to attorneys who handle the kinds of cases best suited for your legal nurse consulting skills. You may be interested in working with medical malpractice, personal injury or workers compensation attorneys. You may be an expert witness, life care planner or behind the scenes consultant. Your objective is to find attorneys who can give you work.
Get more business through networking by making a deliberate effort to connect with your ideal customer – through others. You can network with people over the phone, but going to the meeting of an organization may yield you higher results.
Types of Networking Organizations
The easiest way to take advantage of the power of networks is to start locally. Since your objective is to find people who know attorneys or are attorneys, think about where such people hang out. The local Chamber of Commerce consists of business owner – often the power people in a local area. This organization is set up to give referrals. Business owners understand the power of word of mouth referrals – they want to give and receive referrals.
Networking groups are designed specifically to make connections. These are for profit groups that charge fees to attend the meeting. Business Networking International, LeTip International, and EWomen Network are examples. They often have breakfast meetings that are convenient to attend before starting the work day.
Do Your Homework Before Starting to Get More Business Through a Networking Group
Before you join any organization, do your due diligence. Be clear about what you want to accomplish. Find out about the composition of the group. Determine the cost of joining. See if you can attend some meetings first without joining to get a feel for the group.
Think about cross promoting. Members of a group might not use your services but could refer you to people who would. You might, for example, join a group of legal vendors who market to attorneys.
Before attending a meeting, speak with at least one member of the group. Ask about the group’s strengths and weaknesses. This person will usually introduce you to the group, and will be a familiar person you can connect with when you walk into a meeting for the first time. If you are introverted, plan on getting to the meeting early when there are fewer people, so you can ease into the event. When you attend a local organization, carry your business cards.
How you can help the people at a networking event? Who do you know that would be of value to their business? The concept of reciprocity applies to networking – you help others and they want to help you. Be prepared for feeling unique. Few legal nurse consultants use networking groups to get business. You are unlikely to face a sea of competitors. Expect people to be intrigued by what you do.
Can You Really Get More Business from Networking Groups?
Don’t expect fast results. The people in these civic and local organizations will want to get to know you, to be able to trust you and understand about your business. They want to be able to confidently refer you to attorneys, knowing that such a referral will not come back to haunt them.
On the other hand, you may hit it off with a person at your first meeting who can connect you to a powerful attorney. For example, the first day I met her, a woman at my church gave me the name of a defense attorney who handled nursing malpractice cases. The fact that we had the same values made her comfortable with me and in referring me to an attorney.
Explore different types of groups. You are investing in the power of networking by finding people who can refer you to your ideal client. It takes time, but it works. You WILL get more business through networking.
Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC shared more great tips about finding work through networking. Request the replay of a free webinar called Get More Clients and Leave Your Competitors in the Dust. Request the program here.