I’m not sure if I am getting wiser as I get older, but I certainly am getting to know myself better and what works well in a business context. Peregrine Law is a people business and the success of it and the quality of our brand is very much tied to the quality of our people and our clients. It was great to get our Peregrine lawyers together this week to strategise and socialise and seeing how engaged and passionate the team were about this business has filled me more than ever with confidence that we can do great things. I am convinced that to succeed as a professional advisory business you need the best talent from top to bottom and bottom to top.
This week I also attended Crowd for Angels’ first ‘Angels Forum’ at the Great Hall at the Institute of Chartered Accountants – a fitting venue for the formidable Tony De Nazareth to introduce his excellent crowd funding platform to more potential investors. The Forum gave 4 business owners seeking finance the opportunity to present to the hundreds in the ‘investor crowd’ and it struck me again how important the people were to the success of their fundraising and to their product. I had brought along some close contacts from the investment, fund management and professional advisory community and we all agreed that fundamentally we are only interested in investing in, advising or otherwise doing business with people we like and trust. The skill that the best business people have to strike up a trusting relationship with a stranger is one that is rare but priceless. I’ve definitely seen it among the lawyers I most admire and I look for it now when working with clients, targeting new clients and recruiting more lawyers to Peregrine. We also all try and do it of course when making (or not) friends.
Today’s online world is incredibly fast moving and exciting. The potential to reach lots of people in an instant across all media is amazing but as a parent it also concerns me. I want my kids to want to meet others and to learn ‘people skills’. I want them to have confidence to engage face to face and to use that in later life in whatever dreams they follow. I also want our lawyers at Peregrine to meet people, win their business and advise them face to face. Yes we need to build our reputation and develop awareness in our brand using all the online tools available but you know what, I think word of mouth is going to be critical for us. I don’t care if you’re a doctor, teacher, plumber, banker or lawyer – if I’m recommended to you by someone I know and trust, you’re over halfway there and it’s then your relationship to lose.
My coach Sarah who previously had a very successful career in retail used the ‘people buy from people’ adage the other day and it struck a chord. As soon as I’ve finished posting this blog I’m off outside to meet more people. You may want to do the same.