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“Holiday Marketing” vs. Strategic December Business Development

About this time each year, law industry publications are rife with advice about “holiday marketing.” The advice tends to be about gift-giving protocols and using social events to network and create relationships.

However, today’s legal environment requires more substantial analysis and strategy, a “Holiday Marketing 2.0” if you will. Here's how

Enough about “relationships,” please

The legal marketing and sales literature is inundated with a single word: “relationships.” We’re urged to deepen, strengthen, or expand them. Whichever, it’s always about relationships, whether with suspects, prospects, clients, or former- or dormant clients. Whoever they are, whatever their circumstances, we need to have a better relationship with them. Not. Here's a contrarian view.

No, it's not "all about relationships."

The new relationships are not personal ones between individual buyers and you, but "idea relationships" between organized groups of buyers (such as an industry) and your ideas. Whether or not they like you or would enjoy spending time with you -- or not -- is not germane. This is “professional intimacy,” not "personal intimacy."

What's the true cost of traditional networking?

By “relationships,” most people mean “personal relationships,” which really means “friendships.” According to the common wisdom, you’re supposed to go to networking events, meet people, and initiate a personal relationship with them. OK. Let’s say you do just that. Then what? You'll be surprised at the staggering cost of this approach.

Tips for Dining With International Clients

Some of your professional holiday invitations may include events hosted by people from other cultures. To help you fit in seamlessly, and avoid unintentionally creating an awkward moment, here are some examples of customs that differ from ours.