A couple of years ago Seth Godin made the point in a blog titled: The appearance of impropriety. He said:

Marketing is actually what other people are saying about you.

Your clients are talking behind your back whether you like it or not. Obviously you want your clients to tell the world that you are an outstanding lawyer and trusted advisor. Then you want that word to get back to you.

There are certain things you never want a client to say about you. Those rarely get back to you. A few years ago I surveyed both business management and in-house lawyers. Here is a list of what they told me they did not like about a lawyer who had done work or their companies:

  1. I don’t trust him.
  2. He is not responsive and very difficult to track down.
  3. He doesn’t listen to me.
  4. He always talks about himself.
  5. He doesn’t understand our business or me.
  6. He is always trying to get new business from us rather than just focusing on the current project.
  7. He is arrogant and talks down to me.
  8. He talks about his other clients behind their back.
  9. He is not an innovator.
  10. He only tells me we can’t do something rather than searching for another way to accomplish the same goal.
  11. He overcharges us.
  12. He is sloppy and does not proofread his work.