Lisa Karczewski is an intellectual property lawyer with Fox Rothschild practicing in the firm’s downtown Los Angeles office. Among other client development efforts Lisa frequently writes on the firm’s Art Law Blog.

I have never met Lisa in person. I have never even talked to her on the telephone, but I have had a blast interacting with her each week as she went through my 7 weeks video coaching program. She was so enthusiastic that I asked if she would share her thoughts with you.

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I recently participated in Cordell Parvin’s 7 Weeks  Video Coaching Program. I am so happy that I signed up for the program (a colleague in my firm’s Los Angeles office signed up for the program and I thought I could benefit from it as well).

I have been building my intellectual property practice at Fox Rothschild LLP and thought I could get some new ideas and thoughts. I love continuing to learn and becoming the best that I can be in my personal and professional life (so I thought why not, I am determined to become a consistent rainmaker at my firm).

After having gone through the seven modules and accompanying exercises (yes, there are assignments to complete each week, but they are manageable and very helpful, and Cordell offers candid, honest feedback as a great coach should), I really feel like I have a strong foundation in which to make client development a solid part of my day-to-day routine each week.

The seven modules (i.e., Introduction to Client Development, Build Your Plan / Planning, Build Your Plan / Goal Setting, Build Your Profile / Writing, Build Your Profile / Speaking, Build Client Relations / Communicating, and Build Client Relations / Building Rapport – Communication) are truly all gems, but if I had to choose my top three takeaways from the modules/program and how I am implementing them, my short list would look like below:

1. (Build Your Plan / Goal Setting) Create A Written Business Plan Each Year

Before this program, I admit that I have not consistently created a written yearly business plan. A business plan not in writing (i.e., in your head) is not effective. In order to hold yourself accountable each week, month, year, one must have a business plan in writing. As a result of this program, I am completing a formal written business plan for this fiscal year and plan to do so each year thereafter. Never again will I hold it all in my head. A business plan in writing is effective.

2. (Build Client Relations / Communicating) Know Your Clients’ Learning Styles and Personality Types And Effectively Communicate With Them

This was my absolute favorite lesson gleaned from the program. Without giving too much away from Cordell’s program materials, there are three primary learning styles (i.e., visual, aural, and kinesthetic) and four primary personality types (i.e., analytical, driver, amiable, and expressive) of clients.

In order to effectively communicate with your client, you must know which personality type your client fits into as well as his or her learning style and communicate with the client in such manner.

For example, a CEO with a “driver” personality type prefers that you get down to business quickly, avoid too much detail, and be factual and succinct. If the client has a “visual” learning style, he or she will learn best by being shown information and communication will be to the effect of “I see what you mean.” I will definitely be more aware of this in my future interactions and communications with clients as everyone indeed has their own personality type and learning style.

3. (Build Client Relations / Building Rapport – Communication) Ask Good Questions, Be An Active Listener To Your Clients, And Build Trust And Rapport With Your Clients

This was another invaluable lesson. It is essential to ask your client good questions (use the SPIN model from a book by Neil Rackham – Situation, Problems, Implications, Needs) in the meeting and learn to be an active listener and let your client  finish what he or she has to say.

Doing so will enable you to build trust and rapport with your clients. This is a lesson that I have immediately implemented in my intellectual property practice as there is always room for improvement in how one asks smart questions to clients tailored to one’s specific practice area.

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So there you have it – my top three takeaways from Cordell Parvin’s Video Coaching Program (the next best thing to being coached in person). I can’t recommend it enough to my colleagues who are actively seeking to develop or fine tune their business development skills.

I am excited to continue to implement what I have learned from Cordell’s program and will complete a self-assessment shortly to see where I am at from when I first started the program back in early May.

I suspect that my overall score will be higher thanks to this highly effective program offered by Cordell – if you put in the effort, you will get so much out of it.

Thanks Lisa.

So, what do you suppose the key is for Lisa now? Sticking with it. I have urged her to make a plan for each week and if she would like, share it with me.