Preventive law — Serve better and more!

Patrick J. Lamb, in his new blog, says:

“There is a difference between hearing what the law firm can do to improve the work it is currently doing and whether there is more work to handle. I’ve done north of twenty client service interviews. I know clients are savvy enough to distinguish between a discussion about how you can serve them better and how you can serve them more.”

I agree that the client will know, by the “smell test,” whether you are seeking to serve him better or serve him more!

When you make the opportunity to talk with a client about work being done or work having been done (a client survey), to find out whether the client perceives he is being well served, it is an opportunity to learn more. In fact, I believe it is your obligation to learn more … to learn about the hopes and dreams and fears of the client.

When you know the path the client expects to travel, if you can see “latent pain” (problems or challenges) that the client will encounter, it is your obligation to disclose and discuss this with the client. Will you fix the client’s problems immediately? Not likely. As Patrick suggests, you may need more information and investigation to help … Is this “selling”? In the minds of some, yes. But, if you can show your client how to address a problem (an ounce of cure) before it becomes a major issue (requiring a pound of cure), the client will be indebted to you … and not worry about providing more, new work to you …

There is an obligation on your part to help the client and an opportunity for you to benefit. What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing!

Louis B. Brown, the Dean of Preventive Law, with whom I had the honor and privilege of working on several occasions, said that it is better to show the client how you can help him stay out of “harm’s way” rather than extract him from the “perfect storm.” The former is easier, less painful and less costly … and will earn the loyalty of your client!


Categorized in: