As appeared on Linkedin on July 6, 2023.
The names have been changed to protect the superstars.
I was getting settled in my airplane seat, flying home from visiting clients in California. As the plane door closed, I quickly called my husband to tell him we were taking off. While he usually replied with a perfunctory, “Have a good trip and text me when you land,” this time, he added something else. “It may be the last time you’ll be traveling for a while.” He was right. Just a few weeks later, in March 2020, most of my family was in New York, under orders to quarantine.
While there were millions of human tragedies that followed the Covid outbreak, one positive was that communications between lawyers, law firms and clients opened up across borders. Organizations, including the International Bar Association, Legal Marketing Association – LMA International, Association of Corporate Counsel and Practising Law Institute (PLI), became even more active with webinars to update their members and conversations involving multiple continents.
Having worked with so many women lawyers in Asia, Europe and Latin America, through my own consulting and coaching work outside of the US, I repeatedly see several traits from women rainmakers regardless of their jurisdiction.
🌟 They rely on systems. They often utilize technology (sometimes as simple as calendaring their appointments and reminders to follow up), or use CRM technology to update their contacts.
🌟 They remain in touch with their network, even when no deal or litigation is pending. They know that those in-between times are vital points in which to stay in contact. While they often send personal emails or notes, they use LinkedIn and tools like Passle to reach contacts and a broader secondary audience.
🌟 They understand the importance of secondary connections. These women know that it is not just their clients who are essential to remain in touch with, but their former clients, referral sources, and law firm alums. There is a “strength of weak ties” theory, which demonstrates how valuable these secondary connections can be in one’s network. I suspect it correlates to generating new business.
🌟 They look for and act as mentors. The most successful women rainmakers I’ve met over the past years often serve as mentors for other women. They are not simply doing it because it looks like the right thing to do, but as people who value mentorship, they understand the power of building networks with both newly-minted and more experienced professionals. They also know that doing good professional deeds is not merely a transaction but a way of conducting oneself professionally.
🌟 They have a plan. A plan may be in the form of a detailed roadmap set up with the help of a coach, or it may be as simple as a one-page “note to self” with an objective written at the top and a set of tactics listed below.
Having a plan and a direction is important, and following it through is even more so.