Business Development Client Relations

Clients come first

This September as you prepare your plan and budget for 2013 remember this: clients come first. In my coaching work with lawyers on business development the greatest focus is given to maximising the opportunities with existing clients. Clients deserve this attention for these reasons:

1. You have already done the work of bringing them into the firm. By developing and investing in the relationship you open the door to further engagements.
2. In collaboration with colleagues in other practice areas you may find opportunities to expand the client relationship to other areas of the firm.
3. Loyal clients will refer their contacts to you.

Here are the three main activities to engage in with your significant clients.

1. Visit your client’s place of work.
2. Schedule a feedback interview to learn what more you can be doing to support your client.
3. Engage in non-billable dialogue with your clients about their priorities, opportunities, and challenges. Knowing what is keeping them up a night will help you uncover needs that you may not currently be serving and can help you to be more valuable to your client.

Opening up opportunities for listening to your clients is at the heart of business development. This fall take your listening skills up a level. Don’t miss this article by Kare Anderson in Forbes about how to put your listening skills to work.

About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and one of the most senior coaches for lawyers in North America. I have helped countless clients over the past fifteen years, develop thriving legal practices and before that served as director of marketing for award-winning law firms. My specialty is uncovering the thinking traps and gaps holding clients back and helping them acquire the mindsets, skills, and habits for growing successful and rewarding legal careers. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and now coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.