So you've been invited to the big holiday party. Congratulations. All the bigwigs will be there. Now you just got to close the deal. But how do you go about picking up clients at the holiday party?
If you intend to pick up clients at a holiday party, the title of this post should be redundant. Because even if you're trying, you should definitely not look like you're trying. A holiday party is where people get away from it all. No one wants to be reminded that they're being sued or about to sue. So if you're hustling for some business, you're likely to turn a lot of people off.
Still, savvy rainmakers are able to get clients at holiday parties (and pretty much anywhere else). Here are some tips:
Relax and have a drink. People love telling their problems bartenders as they're great listeners. The same rule can apply to holiday parties. Kick back, have a drink or two and just talk to people. It doesn't have to be about business. Eventually, someone will ask what you do and once they find out you're a lawyer, they'll probably explain whatever problem they're facing. Let them steer the conversation.
Bring your business cards. While no one wants to talk about business while at a holiday party, they'll need to talk about these problems at some point. To anyone who asks, give them your card and tell them to give you a call whenever they get the chance.
Know the crowd. If you happen to be partying with coal company executives, try to dig up a few facts about the industry beforehand. If you're clueless and truly don't belong, no one will want to talk to you, let alone hire you as their attorney.
Make holiday plans. You'll be asked what you will be doing over the holidays. Have an answer ready that shows your personality, interests, and hobbies. This will allow you to bond with someone on a personal level, making conversation easier.
Don't get drunk. While having a drink or two can be beneficial to get the conversation started, you don't want to be the sloppy drunk at the party. Making a fool of yourself can seriously damage all the hard work it took to build up your reputation.