Meet: Lawyers – great idea
Over on my (small but very friendly) Rainmaker Network Linkedin group we've been discussing using Linkedin for business development in professional services.
One idea I'd not heard before came from Julian Johnstone. He's set up a group called Meet: Lawyers where lawyers who are travelling can set up “meetings for coffee” with other lawyers in the cities they're visiting.
One of the best sources of referrals for many professionals is other professionals in the same field. This might either be in complementary or non-competing specialisms (a lawyer in a corporate practice referring to a divorce lawyer in a family law practice for example) or even from direct competitors (a divorce lawyer recommending a “competitor” as they clearly can't represent both sides in a case).
Sometimes professionals are asked to recommend people in other locations – and small firms are at a disadvantage here as they often don't have good contacts outside the town they practice in.
The Meet: Lawyers idea really helps with this. And for a lawyer alone in a different city, provides a bit of social contact too (hey, someone's got to feel sorry for lawyers).
Check out Julian's group here