Dear Attorney: Would You Hire You?


I’ve been conducting free consultations with attorneys who want to earn more and/or work less. I’m pretty quick at getting to the heart of the matter, but since we have just a few minutes together, I’ve asked each attorney to answer a few questions before we speak. One of those questions is, “What are your strengths?”

Most of the attorneys say pretty much the same thing. They’re good at what they do, they provide good service, and their clients seem to like them.

Good stuff. But is it true?

How do you know you provide good service? How do you know your clients like you? This is your perception, after all, and let’s face it, you are just a little biased.

Do you ever ask your clients for feedback, through surveys, questionnaires, or interviews?

Do you ever have a “mystery shopper” sit in your waiting room and watch the way clients are greeted? Does your staff greet them with a smile and make them feel welcome? Are they offered something to drink? How long do they have to wait?

Have you ever listened in on phone conversations between your staff and your clients? Have you ever recorded yourself speaking with clients and listened to the conversation?

No matter how well you’re doing you can always do better. But you have to put some energy into it. Start by looking at what your firm does through the eyes of your clients. Take inventory of what you do and how well you do it.

Your clients like you but that’s not enough. You want them to love you, to be so enamored with the way you treat them that they are not only willing to refer clients to you, they go out of their way to look for people they can refer.

Commit to making superlative service a fundamental part of your firm’s culture. Conduct meetings, trainings and weekend retreats with your staff, focused on improving client relations. Recognize and reward your employees who treat clients right.

If you regularly receive referrals, testimonial letters and thank you notes from your clients, that’s good. But don’t settle for good when you can be great.