Rising to the Top Of the Maybe Pile

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In the smash pop hit of 2012, “Call Me, Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen sings about giving her phone number to a hunky stranger with the hope that he will call her, “maybe.”

We all want more business, not more maybes, but follow me on this. If you really want more business, you need to be on the radar of many more people than just those who will end up hiring you.

Best-selling business author Barry Moltz recommends “getting into as many maybe piles as possible.” This will maximize your chances to be hired. And when someone has a legal need, you want to rise to the top of the maybe pile.

So, how to do that? There are three ways. First, be visible. Maybe piles have short half -lives. Just because you were in the maybe pile five years ago doesn’t mean you are still there.

Visibility comes through a variety of ways: blogging, presenting at conferences and ­sharing articles regularly are just a few ways to remain visible.

Often, lawyers complain about sharing articles to LinkedIn or Twitter because they don’t seem to get hired as a direct result. But it isn’t about a direct relationship — share five articles and bring in one client. Sharing is about visibility and building a reputation.

Second, create a list of the potential clients you think you have a shot at. Do you only have three you can think of? Start with that. Build this list and update it regularly. More important than keeping it updated regularly is to use it regularly.

Reach out to the individuals on this list on a regular basis — not daily, not weekly, but regularly. They will forget you if you don’t keep adding value by sharing articles with them, showing them on a regular basis that you care and are ready and willing to help.

There is an old rule of business that you need seven quality touches with a potential client before they will hire you or buy from you. “The number is now 21,” Barry Moltz said. “People are being bombarded by so many ­messages, seven touches isn’t enough ­anymore.” Twenty-one lunch appointments would take you a year, though, so use tools like LinkedIn and Twitter to reach out more often to these top contacts.

Third, maintain a strategic focus in your personal online brand. Make sure you update your LinkedIn profile and web bio regularly and speak directly to your ideal client. Remove any information or practice areas that don’t demonstrate your specific expertise to those key targets. Take the time to regularly update these profiles, to show that you are on top of the major developments in your field.

Now I know I’ve just met you, and this might sound crazy, but create a process to keep in touch with the top contacts in your industry, and they will call you. Maybe.

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