Cordell Parvin Blog Developing the Next Generation of Rainmakers

Do Your Clients Care About Your Coffee?

Posted in Client Development

Compared to the quality of your legal work and your client service, your coffee is a really small thing, right? Even if  it is a small thing, every interaction with a client, including your coffee, is important.

photo credit: Paul Stevenson via photopin cc

I have been blessed to work with lawyers at McCarthy Tétrault, one of the top Canadian law firms. Their lawyers are outstanding, and so is their staff.

When I am in Montreal, Rosa or Kim serve me a latte, just the way I like it. McCarthy’s food services team is outstanding in all their offices. In Toronto, I especially like the fresh vegetables served at lunch.

I thought of coffee recently when Nancy and I stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. The rooms were outstanding, the multiple pools were extraordinary and the staff was friendly and helpful. I rate it at the top of the many Hawaii resorts where we have stayed.

But, I had one small suggestion for the hotel when I left. They need to upgrade the coffee. In our room we had one of those plastic single pod machines with paper coffee cups. The coffee was not very good.

When I stay at Fairmont Hotels they provide a Nespresso coffee maker in the room and I can make expresso or regular coffee. Fairmont in room coffee even made the news: Fairmont Chicago Now Offers Swanky Nespresso Coffee.

What is the point? Every interaction your firm has with clients makes an impression. Your clients will come away thinking your firm is remarkable, ordinary or not so good. Potential clients will not decide to hire your firm because of its coffee and food service. But, it provides one more opportunity to create a positive impression.

BTW: If you come visit me at my office, I can make a latte for you.


  • Kevin McKeown

    Clients might be organizations but B2B relationships are always personal. And, personal starts with coffee or tea or whatever. Look at Starbucks does so well most of the time. So, I concur with Cordell: don’t skimp. Focusing on the “little” things leads to “big” things.

    My pet peeve: crappy, “bean counting” invoices that do nothing to build the client relationship. Hint, hint CFOs, controllers and bookkeepers…

    Now, given that I’m from Seattle, I’m admire Nestle’s for pioneering the pod coffee business but the Starbucks Verismo “…has an edge over the Nespresso is in the variety of beverages that can be produced with the Verismo machine.” See this Seattle Times article:

    Really, I’m just trying to cause trouble. I prefer green tea to coffee.

    On that score, Starbucks let’s me down. Green tea does not require much steeping time. Steeping too long results in bitterness and a less balanced flavor, Howard. Green tea should never be bitter. Will you listen to Cordell and get my green tea right? See this article to build a stronger relationship with me: