What’s the nerviest thing that you’ve ever done to bring in clients? For me, I suppose it’s been cold calls, though I’ve always longed to do more. For example, every time I attend a dull alumni lunch or bar event, I yearn to stand up, ting my glass and introduce myself and my practice. What harm could it bring? And yet I hold back.
But I’m reconsidering after reading this post from the blog.inc.com describing how one man’s gutsy announcement at jury selection yielded a job:
When [Ben] arrived at the lower Manhattan court house, he was directed to a large waiting room and given instructions to sit and wait until his name was called. He looked around and saw at least a hundred people, and he was immediately frustrated. He was the only one who had forgotten reading material. Rather than dwell on his minor oversight or beginning to recount his to-do list in his head, Ben had a different idea. “Out of all these people, someone’s got to be involved with pharmaceutical sales or at least know someone who is.”
Ten minutes later, Ben finally mustered up his courage and walked up to the front of the room and stepped up onto the stage. He cleared his throat and said, “Excuse me! Is anyone here involved in pharmaceutical sales or pharmacology?” He paused. “Could you please raise your hand?” (Today Ben jokes about how the potential jurors might have thought he was asking those questions in the capacity of a court-appointed official. Regardless?)
One man raised his hand, and Ben said, “Thank you. I will be right down to talk with you.” Ben approached the respondent, introduced himself, shared his interest in pharmaceutical sales, and asked if the man knew anyone in the field. The man was a pharmacist, knew many pharmaceutical sales representatives, and, even more fortunately, was going to a meeting that night that was hosted by a pharmaceutical company. Ben went to the meeting and had a few great conversations with representatives of two major two major pharmaceutical companies. They both asked Ben to contact them about beginning an application and interview process. One thing led to another, and several months later, Ben started working as a pharmaceutical sales representative.
There was no cost to Ben’s marketing effort, except guts. And there’s no reason why it can’t work for any of us lawyers as well.