By Stephen Seckler, from the CounseltoCounsel Blog – great tips to help you maximize your networking efforts – in building your practice or finding a new position!

“I was speaking to one of my clients the other day and he described for me what he does any time he makes a court appearance.  At the end of the day, he goes back to his office and takes a few minutes to document what happened.  He has a longstanding practice of doing this and he always tries to do it the same days so that his memory is fresh. In effect, he has created a habit which ensures that he does not have to rely on his memory to keep track of his cases.

Many lawyers do this as a matter of course.  In fact  it is good practice whether you are a litigator or a transactional lawyer to generate file memos that are written after you have met with a client or interviewed someone on behalf of a client.  As lawyers, we are very good at documenting in our case work.

But when it comes to networking meetings, we forget to use the skills we use all the time in practicing law.  We do not prepare in the same way, and we do not take the time to document our activities (and calendar next steps).

This litigation client of mine has begun incorporating his regular business practices into his marketing activities.  After each networking meeting, he makes sure to write down notes about the conversation (including both personal and professional things he learned from the individual).   I am also encouraging him to “docket” a next step with that individual (if he deems the individual to be a potential referral source or client).

No one likes to take time to do this.  Tracking time, documenting what you have done and making a point of deciding on next steps before the day ends is all cumbersome.  But when it comes to relationship building, documenting is an invaluable activity that can help you greatly as you cultivate relationships over time.”