Dena Lefkowitz, a lawyer turned business coach, believes a preschool rhyme is worth remembering if you want to attract more high-paying clients.
“If you are a professional service provider, you’ve probably been exhorted to ‘eat what you kill.’ rather than relying on others to generate your work,” says Lefkowitz. “The current emphasis on professionals selling reminds me of the beginning of This Little Piggy by Mother Goose: ‘This little piggy went to market.’ If your business depends on attracting clients, you must go to market.”
What does “going to market mean” for today’s professionals?
“At the end of the day you may want to go home,” Lefkowitz rejoined. “You put in your hours and the lure of the hearth beckons; however, work isn’t done unless you’ve done something to get more clients. When you go home, there’s a 100 percent chance you will not meet anyone who can give or send you business.”
Lefkowitz motivates professionals to increase their marketing. I turned for advice to Dena Lefkowitz, a former lawyer with a national practice helping attorneys and executives increase career satisfaction by developing marketing strategies, increasing self-confidence, and learning essential skills for leading others. Lefkowitz graduated from Temple University School of Law and the College of Executive Coaching and contributes regularly to The Legal Intelligencer. She is certified by the International Coach Federation.
What can a busy professional do to incorporate more networking and marketing into their current workday?
Lefkowitz has two suggestions: “First, adapt the mindset that getting work is as important as doing work and you’ve got to find time. Priorities may need adjusting. Second, make your extracurricular activities a blend of personally intriguing and professionally rewarding.”
I asked for some specific extracurricular activities, and Lefkowitz was ready with a list:
Use Passion. “Pick something you’re interested in so there will be a good chance of follow through. An area of passion helps stay engaged.”
Make It A Target-Rich Environment. “Make sure there is a likelihood that your ideal clients or referral sources (someone who serves your ideal client in a different capacity) are involved with that organization or activity.”
Vet The Group First. “Once you’ve targeted an activity or organization, vet it to make sure your valuable networking time is spent wisely.”
Check The Schedule. “Look ahead and pick events. Register and put them on your calendar. Connect in advance with others who are attending or identify who you want to meet. Create these anchors that make it harder to blow networking off.”
Ask And Listen. “Think ahead about how to present yourself. Who are you? What problem do you solve? Whom do you serve? These are good ingredients of an initial introduction. Have some ice-breaker questions to ask and listen carefully to what you hear. That’s the gold you’ll mine later.”
Lefkowitz emphasizes the importance of making going-to-market a professionally satisfying activity; otherwise, you’ll dread and avoid it. “You must go to market,” she stresses, “so why not make it more fun by finding things you really care about and doing them with people you like, who you can help, and vice versa? You can make time for that, even when you’re busy.”