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Avoiding Client Breakups

Wicker Park Group Partner Nat Slavin shared several important tips on how to avoid losing clients in a recent Law360 article titled “5 Tips to Keep Your Client From Breaking Up with You.” 

  • Understand your client’s challenges. “Lawyers should ask what is going on in the client’s business in the next 12 months that they can help with and ask what challenges it is facing now. The client may not need to hire the lawyer for all of its challenges, but if a lawyer understands them, that will certainly lead to a deepening and growing relationship,” Slavin said. He added, “Once attorneys know what may be getting in the way of a business from growing, they may be able to offer their services as outside counsel to apply their experience from working with other clients or find another attorney in their firm that could help the client move forward with its goal.”
  • Provide timely and helpful communication regarding budget updates. “It’s one thing to alert a client its house is on fire, and it’s another thing to call up a client about the fire, but assure the client that you’ve already called the fire department and that everybody is out of the house and you’ve rescued the family heirlooms,” he said. “It shows you’ve thought about ways that you can be supportive.”
  • Learn about your firm’s best practices. “Clients often complain that they have a problem that somebody at the firm has already dealt with and why is their lawyer trying to figure it out for the first time instead of tapping into that resource,” Slavin said. “Firms need to ask partners what they are doing for clients that they highly value and how the firms can do it for more clients.”
  • Check in with clients throughout matters, not just at the end. “It’s good for lawyers to make sure that a client is still moving in the same direction and that the lawyer’s understanding of the client’s goal is still consistent,” he said. “Lawyers will charge down the path and keep going until they get to the end, but sometimes, after they check in with clients, they may realize that they don’t need to get to the end after all.”

To read the full article, visit http://www.law360.com/insurance/articles/539344

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