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Beware a Ghostly Kind of Wooing

casper“…; but still — it could not be fairly called wooing a woman to tell her that he would never woo her. It must be admitted to be a ghostly kind of wooing.”  Middlemarch, by George Elliot, chapter 62

The last Make It Rain blog suggests that a good way to spend time with especially hard to pin down potential clients is by extending invitations for personal, and not professional, events.  The invitations should be particularly attractive and targeted at the client’s interests.  When accepted, you always get face time.

This technique has one important addendum.  At some point during your social event, business must be discussed.  Hard to capture business people are busy.  They are also often important, at least within their work world.

People who are busy and important generally skew into two categories regarding invitations from acquaintances.  They may have large egos and really do believe you want to be their friend, not their lawyer. If you want their business, that needs to be corrected.  Alternatively, such people often believe everyone wants something from them, and you are at least subconsciously attempting to bribe them.  Even if someone accepts a shiny invitation, he or she may resent the attempted bribery and resist giving you work.

Your potential client needs to be made aware you are not expecting personal friendship or legal work, but do want to get across that you have high quality legal services to offer and do want consideration for their work.  If the client has interest, further meetings, in a business setting, will be arranged.  Actual work may come from those meetings.  Those meetings would probably not have been possible if you had not created an opportunity to spend time together and briefly discuss your services.

Unless, upon reflection, you do not want someone as a client, a circumscribed, brief business discussion at the special event shows you are not afraid of the topic and understand the desire may not be mutual.  Create the opportunity.

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