This evening my wife and I went to dinner.  It was a pleasant Southern California evening with the sun still shining.  The wind was blowing but the gusts were significantly less than yesterday.  We walked from our home.  We decided to go to a sushi restaurant near our house.  We were about 10 minutes early and waited outside for the door to be unlocked.  The owner came to the door and was washing the door window from the inside; he then opened the door and washed the window from the outside.  He said it would be a few minutes more.  He then returned to the inside and locked the door.  In the meantime, we were getting colder from the wind gusts.  The noise of the door being locked clicked something in me.  I looked at my wife and said, “How would you like Italian food?  The other restaurant is just down the street.”  That’s where we went and had a very nice dinner.  The sushi restaurant owner could have let us inside, away from the wind gusts, even if the chef was not ready to serve.  But, he didn’t; he thought only of himself, not of his customers.  He could have said “hello, come inside.”  But, he didn’t.  I suspect he didn’t know or care that he lost business that night, and perhaps for the future.  There are more sushi restaurants in the area.

What are you doing in your law firm that favors your wishes, your desires, your idiosyncrasies at the expense of your clients and prospective clients?  As in the case of the sushi restaurant, most often you can accommodate the needs and wishes of the customer and yours at the same time.  It certainly would not have caused any problem to let us into the restaurant to sit inside rather than outside.  It certainly would not create a great burden to return clients’ phone calls promptly or educate the client about the process he is about to embark on … How much time would it take to ask about the client’s expectations or to tell the client about your expectations (like getting paid timely)?  There are other lawyers who do understand their clients’ desires and expectations.

Take care to think about your client and what he expects and whether you fulfill those expectations.