We were pretty wowed by a speaker at a recent Association of Legal Administrators Business Partner Showcase and felt compelled to share some of his insights. Not only was Ari Kaplan an engaging speaker, what he had to say was so valuable that we remained fairly riveted throughout his presentation. Whether or not it was the content of the presentation that made it riveting, his dynamic personality, or a combination of both, we left feeling as if we had just been given a gem of information.
The gem of information was simple, really – keep in touch, and keep it interesting. There are many ways of doing this. He reminded us that “half the battle is just showing up,” in fact, he practically screamed it. This woke up those in the audience who were dozing off, and the rest of us, well, we were nodding our heads, thinking, “it really is that simple.” After all, we had made that small effort to show up at this event, and already we were patting ourselves on the back for it.
Keep in Touch
We all lead busy lives for a multitude of reasons – work, family, hobbies, vacations, etc. Sometimes, in the midst of our busy lives, we forget to keep in touch with people. At the heart of this is friendship, but keeping in touch with business contacts can be equally as fulfilling, and often much more lucrative. Kaplan recommends making it a point to reach out to a business contact at least once a day in some form or another, and he gives some great advice on how to do so.
- If you’re traveling to another city, contact a current business acquaintance, or even reach out to a complete stranger whose work you admire, alumni from your school, or a recommendation from a colleague. Introduce yourself. Ask them out to coffee. You won’t die if they say no, and if they say yes, you have just opened a new door for yourself. Even if they say no, you have put yourself on their radar. This is part of the “half the battle is just showing up.” By reaching out, you showed up.
- Use Connections on LinkedIn – an integrated tool that alerts you to what is happening in the work and lives of your connections. Even better – it gives you a button to click on that will auto-populate a message to that person congratulating them on a promotion or saying Happy Birthday. Customize these messages, of course, but half the work has already been done for you! You may have also noticed updates in your feed about contacts being mentioned in the news. Use that as an opportunity to connect. Read the article for great insight into their accomplishments, knowledge, and news.
- Send postcards – this also falls under “keep it interesting.” Kaplan suggests sending a cool or fun postcard from the place you are visiting. Send to someone with whom you haven’t communicated in a while, just to say hello. Send to a current prospect to let them know you’re thinking of them. People like to receive postcards, and your gesture brings you back to the forefront of their mind.
Keep it Interesting
Kaplan asked us, “what makes you interesting?” We turned to our neighbors and told them what makes us interesting. For some it was hobbies and interests, for others it was an ability or talent. Whatever it was, Kaplan asked us to use it to our advantage. To be interesting is to be remembered. This goes for what makes you as a person interesting as well as interesting actions you take to get noticed. Sending a postcard is one of those things, but can you think of others? What about sending out cool marketing materials that really highlight your business – an auto-playing video card or a deck of cards with your images? Think about what you would like to receive – something useful and interesting – and use that to get attention and be remembered.
Since the event, we have been busy setting lunch dates and coming up with cool ideas for our clients. We reach out to new acquaintances more often and we attend events more often. If nothing more, we are making some great new friends, but we already know that friends make the best clients.
Ari Kaplan is a leading legal industry analyst, writer and speaker. To learn more about Ari, visit his website at www.arikaplanadvisors.com.