We’ve written countless blog posts about the importance of talking with clients “off the clock” to seek feedback and gain a better understanding of their businesses, strategic goals, preferences, priorities and pressures. The attorneys doing this well have seen the simple effort make a dramatic difference in the strength of their client relationships as well as uncovering new opportunities. Recently, an attorney who attended a business development workshop WPG conducted began a meeting to discuss a new matter with his client by asking about his strategic objectives for 2018 and how that specific matter fit into the big picture. He reported that the client was surprised (and delighted) that he took the big-picture view, and by doing so they were able to brainstorm about strategy. Instead of walking away with one new matter, the attorney walked away with four.
As 2017 comes to a close, there is no better time to heed our advice (also referenced in last week’s blog post) about taking a couple of hours to call or visit the clients you value the most to let them know they are appreciated and to find out what is on their minds and plates for 2018. Below are some great questions to start the conversation.
- What worked well on the matters we did together last year and what can we do differently in 2018?
- How is your/your department’s performance evaluated and/or your bonus determined?
- What are your/your business’s/your department’s most important strategic objectives and priorities in 2018?
- How are your goals and priorities established?
- What does success look like in 2018?
- What are you most looking forward to in 2018?
- What are your personal career and professional development goals for 2018?
- What new year’s resolutions are you planning to make (personally and professionally)?
- What support can we provide to make your life easier?
- How can I help_______?