Don’t underestimate the value of how you decorate your shared law office space. Believe it or not, displaying interesting items that are conversation starters can lead to long lasting referral relationships. For this reason, make it a point to add your personal flare to your office and increase your network.
Just as your shared law office space should be designed to serve as both a place to accomplish your work and a referral marketing tool, your office décor should pull double-duty as well. Decorating your office is extremely important and often underestimated. It is often the first impression of yourself that you portray to your colleagues and clients. Think of it as another aspect of your “visual resume.”
When you are deciding on the feel of your office, pick pieces that you will enjoy seeing every day and that express something interesting about you to casual observers. It can be anything you love, like a piece of pottery from your Moroccan vacation, a Renoir print or your children’s art. Having these interesting pieces will not only make your day brighter but will surely garner conversation from your colleagues or office mates.
Of course, the décor is not as important as the story behind the object or the conversations it will inspire. At Law Firm Suites, we have found that social interaction on a personal level is more likely to lead to prolonged referral relationships.
Accessories reveal more of who you are as a person to your office mates. For example, a Law Firm Suites IP attorney is an avid runner. He has run the New York City Marathon three times and proudly displays his medals around his office. They are instant conversation starters and, as we have mentioned, conversation with like-minded professionals is the first step in receiving the ultimate value from your shared law office space: referrals.
His neighbor, a trusts and estates attorney, runs from his uptown home to work (9 miles!) every day that the weather allows. He saw the medals and instantly, a friendship was born. These two attorneys, in seemingly disparate practice areas, now network with and for each other. You would be surprised at the volume of referrals they have exchanged.
You do not have to be a runner to appreciate the marathon medals. This attorney regularly has people say to him “how they could never run a marathon”, or extend a compliment about his dedication and perseverance. The marathon medals now symbolize the type of professional that this lawyer is: he is the lawyer who is willing to persevere for long-term benefits in the face of adversity. He is a lawyer who is tenacious and dedicated; a lawyer you would feel comfortable referring to.
Take a look around your office as if you were seeing it for the first time. Then decide what, if any, decorating changes you need to make to start a conversation that will foster a long lasting referral relationship. You will be surprised to see how many conversations you could have with those in the space around you.