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“I’m too busy doing the day job!”  “I haven’t got time for networking!”  “When I’m not working, I’m not earning!”  These are common cries when trying to get employees and, in some cases, senior management, in professional services firms into networking.

What are your views on taking time out from fee earning to meet new prospects and build on your business relationships?

Networking needs to be about identifying the right people in the right arena.  In today’s digital world, we are talking about online networking as well as face to face events.

There is no point attending endless breakfast meetings or collecting business cards and then doing nothing with those contacts.  Likewise, there is little value in having the most LinkedIn contacts out of all your colleagues, if you’re not then also actively engaging with them online.

So, what are the advantages of networking?

  • Make useful contacts. These are the kind of people who can add value to your business – such as sub-contractors, consultants, prospective clients, new employees or collaborators.
  • Build relationships. Having a network of ‘go to’ experts you know and can trust will make your job easier. There are many opportunities for building these relationships through professional networking sites like LinkedIn or industry-specific forums.
  • Keep in touch with your clients. Client loyalty is built on excellent customer service and if you are up to date with what your clients are saying, you will be able to deal with any feedback, either good or bad, in a timely manner.
  • Social listening is great for gathering business intelligence. Find out what your competitors are doing – what are their strengths and weaknesses?  Are there any gaps in the market that you can fill?  Get ideas for the next big thing to drive your business forward.

Cal Partners is an award-winning marketing agency and business development consultancy for professional services firms.  Each member of the team has direct experience of winning business as a result of face to face networking and being active on social media and professional forums.  If your firm is serious about building client relationships and good customer service, we believe that networking, on and off-line, is a vital part of that.

About the author

Alison O'Neill

Account Manager, Alison, is a former Forensic Scientist who moved into professional services marketing in 2008 and is a Chartered Marketer and Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM).

Marketing for Professional Services

Cal Partners

The go-to strategic marketing partner for ambitious professional services