Your clients do not care about what you do. Yet many lawyers I know focus on what they do as they try to develop business.

Your clients care about their industry, their business, and their problems, opportunities, internal changes and external changes.

What does it mean to be “client focused?”

Const Crane

Your focus is on your client and not on you. How can you do that in client conversations? Go visit your client’s place of business and then:

  1. Talk less and listen more
  2. Ask good questions
  3. Do not talk about your experience or expertise or your firm’s experience or expertise unless you are asked
  4. Figure out the strategic, operational and economic issues that your client’s or prospect’s team regularly discuss, including:
    1. Capital: funding for on-going operations, acquisitions & growth
    2. Products/Services: the what, when, where and how of commerce (customers, vendors, markets, distributors, intermediaries, etc.)
    3. Competition: differentiation and how they compete in their market
    4. Distribution: go-to-market strategies (direct, independent distributors, franchising, licensing, retail, wholesale and internet strategies)
    5. Talent: Recruitment, Training and Retention
  5. Small talk-limit it. When you talk about it, make it something they are interested in. That might be business news, sports, current events, their children.