Every couple of years, I recommend one of my all-time-favorite lawyer marketing articles: it’s called How Clients Choose, by David Maister, and you can – no, you should – read it here.
Though 25 years old, it remains the gold standard summary of what prospective clients experience while they’re sitting across the table, thinking about hiring you. After a quick intro, Maister adopts the first person voice of every person with whom you’ve ever sat in the hopes of landing business. Here are some highlights of what his amalgamated EveryProspect says:
- I’m taking a personal risk – by giving up control
- I’m feeling insecure – I’m not sure I’ll make the right decision (about my course of action or about selecting you)
- I’m skeptical – I’ve been burned by the promises of well-spoken professionals before
- I’m feeling exposed and a little threatened – I’m going to have to reveal things to you that I don’t want to
- I want evidence not assertions
- I don’t want to be patronized
For each of these, Maister explains (again, in the first person) why the prospect feels what he feels and thinks what she thinks. And by doing so, he creates a powerful road map for successfully navigating the delicate dance that gets you hired. It’s also a great resource for focusing on the essence of your client service. Remember, it’s rarely poor legal work that causes client attrition — it’s almost always negative service experiences. So read the article here. And then forward it to all the members of your team.