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Published by: RelSci
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Legal Industry Networking and the Importance of Effectively Leveraging Relationship Capital

Published by: RelSci
Published on:

Lead generation for law firms has a very different look and feel to it than other client-centric businesses

If someone is looking for an attorney, it is likely for a serious and complex matter that affects their personal or professional life. In other words, clients need a lawyer whereas they may only want an investment advisor, software provider, and the like. This underscores the importance of preemptive relationship development methods compared to other businesses because lawyers need to create relationships before a potential client is in a situation that requires legal action or advice.

As you can imagine, a law firm’s ability to proactively bolster their relationship capital has been dramatically reduced by the new reality we are living in where conferences, working lunches, and other in-person events have been indefinitely suspended. With the remote mentality and shift to all things virtual likely to become further integrated within “normal life” firm’s must find new approaches that effectively and efficiently modernize their processes for business development and relationship management.

In a study conducted by Acritas, a legal research company, Jen Dezso, Vice President, Acritas USA, explores the impact on Lawyer Productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dezso explains that,

“When it comes to remote working, 77% of stand-out lawyers say the number one challenge to the firm’s bottom line is difficulty in developing business. Even in the best of conditions — which these are not — lawyers too often struggle to engage in business development conversations with clients.”

As important as business development is, the truth is that many attorneys dread hearing the word “networking.” They imagine shameless self-marketing and handing out business cards at Chamber of Commerce events, which takes time away from what they enjoy – the practice of law. But that is the old-school way to think of lead generation for lawyers. In reality, legal industry networking has evolved to be more like scientific match-making, and the strategies used by the most successful law firms are often very much within the wheelhouse of most attorneys. Lead generation will always build upon the strength of a person’s relationship capital, but now the legal industry has a much deeper and broader capacity to leverage that capital.

Part of successful business development depends on your ability to find new and creative ways to establish connections

It’s all about technology nowadays, and the effects of the ongoing pandemic have emphasized that reality even further. With so many new and likely lasting disadvantages, any attorney that seeks to gain new business will have to stay ahead of the game, and finding the most advanced technologies to aid your development processes will be critical in doing so. According to the Thomson Reuters Legal Consumer Report, 81 percent of legal consumers surveyed contacted or seriously considered just two attorneys or law firms. So, while an influx of information has provided today’s clients with access to limitless options to address their legal issues, it’s still your job to get on their short list. Then, it’s up to you to provide an experience that leaves them satisfied and willing to talk about it, online and in-person.

These new findings suggest that traditional methods for advertising such as posting ads won’t be sufficient in your attempts to gain new business. Despite an enormous increase in general access to information, prospective clients need to be connected with in a more human and personal way. This means that leveraging existing relationship capital and adding to said capital will be of paramount importance.

How RelSci Can Help Law Firms Build Relationship Capital

Legal industry lead generation relies upon having a strong network of relationships that enable access to potential clients. Attorneys engaged in traditional legal industry networking face challenges in building and maintaining these relationships, but the proper tools can help. An attorney’s relationship capital – the intangible value of his or her relationship with clients, colleagues, family, and their extended networks – is his or her most valuable resource. With proper relationship capital management tools, law firms and lawyers can supplement their current strategies to easily generate more leads and referrals.

Relationship Science offers technology to law firms and attorneys that helps them fully leverage their relationship capital. RelSci’s sophisticated tools, complex algorithms, and proprietary data enable clients to master relationship capital management.

Here’s how the RelSci platform can enhance traditional legal industry networking:

Power Search – Perform a Power Search within RelSci’s proprietary database of 10+ million influential decision makers in nearly 2 million organizations by industry, name, role, educational institution, political cause, donation, and more. Search results reveal a custom map of connections to target industries or leaders. For example, a lawyer specializing in health care can use Power Search to identify CEOs or other decision makers at hospitals, insurance companies, medical research non-profits, and more. These CEOs and decision makers can then be cross-referenced with individuals within the lawyer’s network to find key connection points. The more connections an attorney has, the greater the likelihood that the connection map will have multiple “pathways” to a lead, increasing the chances of a gaining a warm introduction.

Profiles – The profiles of the decision makers and organizations within RelSci’s proprietary database are exceptionally detailed. All the information a lawyer or law firm wanted to know but wasn’t sure how to find is now easily accessible in one consolidated dossier. Profiles of companies and individuals are populated using thousands of independently verifiable public sources. RelSci profiles are research-based and include rich details such as connections, potential relationships, career history, corporate boards, non-profit boards, education, memberships, donations, public holdings, awards and honors, events, and more.

Path Finder – This feature reveals an attorney’s first-degree or extended connections between people, companies, relationships, and curated lists. As its name implies, Path Finder uncovers pathways to potential clients that a lawyer may not know they had and provides information on how to reach those leads. These paths show how each of these connections know each other, whether through business overlap, board positions, and more. RelSci’s complex algorithms determine relationships strength based on these shared experiences to help you determine the probability of utilizing that path to connect with your target prospect.

Discovery Tool – Designed for senior executives, such as law firm partners, who are focused on the big picture, the Discovery Tool provides a dashboard view of a company’s relationship capital. Executives can see direct relationships and extended networks across an industry, location, and role to aid them in making critical business decisions. This tool is particularly helpful with strategic decisions that relate to some of the most prominent current legal industry trends, for example which micro-niche is a prime target.

360° Alerts – This feature is particularly valuable as an extension of the online research performed during the attorney lead generation process. 360° Alerts gives you a reason to reach out to potential clients and stay in touch with existing connections. It’s a customized email delivered daily that contains information not always covered in the mainstream media like job changes, stock sales, transactions, donations, and other key professional developments. It’s essentially an intelligence report on the people (and all the entities that person is affiliated with) and companies you’d want to keep up to date on. These alerts allow attorneys to track the activities of both current and potential clients in dramatically less time that it would take to seek out this information online.

Lists – The people, businesses, and entities a lawyer wants to track either through 360° Alerts or for their own personal lead generation efforts can be easily organized into lists within RelSci’s software. Customers can create and edit lists and arrange them as needed. Afterwards, they can set up alerts on this list, run paths to see how best to connect to the individuals or organizations on the list, or gain insights through Relationship Discovery. A lawyer can upload a list of current clients, and then identify paths from this list to target companies and individuals to see who could make a referral to prospective clients.

Contact Management – To harness the true potential of RelSci, lawyers can upload and manage their contacts so all the information they require is in one place. Get rid of all the business cards cluttering your desk and stop losing track of your most recent introductions. Use RelSci’s step-by-step instructions to sync or upload your Outlook, Gmail, or LinkedIn contacts; sync your mobile phone contacts; or upload a CSV file. This is the starting point for an attorney or law firm to fully leverage the value of their relationship capital.

Radar – This add-on capability automatically pulls in contacts and their communication frequency from a law firm’s email traffic (To/From/CC fields), calendar entries, and stored contacts. Email contacts are automatically synced to RelSci’s platform to help you manage your connections as well as calculate strength of relationships based on connectivity. Users can also opt-in to receive daily email briefing reports that will deliver critical pre-meeting intelligence on the individuals and organizations that you are scheduled to meet with. Extensive controls exist that allow clients to control which data items are accessible by Radar and stored in the cloud. Radar is an easy way for a law firm to create an invaluable repository of every connection its employees have, while also creating a collaborative environment in which colleagues can easily stay in sync with each other and avoiding crossing wires. The software is maintained by RelSci and nothing needs to be stored on the client’s side, guaranteeing ease of use and excellent scalability.

API Integration – Law firms that are concerned about adding another software system to the existing in-house technology stack can utilize RelSci’s flexible API. Smoothly integrate RelSci’s robust data into any internal system or daily workflow.

Law firms and attorneys can significantly enhance their networking and client acquisition strategies by fully leveraging their relationship capital

This also enables them to more easily weather the highs and lows of market forces affecting all businesses. Those with effective relationship capital management achieve a new level of influence that greatly eases the effort of generating leads and referrals. RelSci’s relationship capital software is built to help those in the legal industry reach their growth goals and bring science to the art of business relationships. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help!