Here’s What Your Potential Clients Are Thinking About You

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.


About the Author

Bill Jawitz, Law Firm Coach and Consultant

Bill Jawitz has been coaching lawyers to become more profitable and enjoy a higher quality of life since 2002.

He can be reached at or at 203.806.1300.

I maintain a deep library of hundreds of best-of-breed checklists, templates, guides, and white papers on every aspect of managing a legal practice and law firm, from lawyer marketing plans, to hiring process checklists, to alternative fee engagement letters.

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