A Quick Tip for Networking at Your Next BBQ or Pool Party

Last weekend, you probably went to a few BBQs, fireworks shows and other holiday parties where you had the chance to spend time with friends and family, while also meeting a few new faces.

At events like these, many people who are not already familiar with one another break the ice with a common question: What do you do for a living?

How you answer this question can make or break a great opportunity to build your professional and client referral networks. Many attorneys might respond with a simple answer: “I’m a corporate attorney.” Or you may respond with a technical answer: “I am an intellectual property attorney specializing in litigation related to the federal Lanham Act.”

While both of these answers are accurate, they really do not give the average person a real sense of what you do.Instead, you should develop a verbal business card to introduce your law practice to other people in a way that is both interesting and memorable. Your verbal business card should provide three things: your target market, how you help people in your target market and what services you provide.

Instead of saying, “I’m a corporate attorney,” try this: “I own a solo law office that helps small businesses grow and develop relationships with other businesses. They rely on me to handle contracts, regulatory requirements and all other legal aspects of their businesses at an affordable rate.”

In addition to providing three answers to one question, your verbal business card should invite people to ask more questions: What makes your law firm different that others? What are some of your success stories? Do you have a website?

By creating a more thorough answer, you will turn a two-second, forgettable response into a longer conversation that will help people remember you and your services even if you can’t carry your business cards with you in your swim trunks or you grilling apron.