Nancy and I celebrated our 41st Anniversary on June 6. I decided to take a couple of days off from blogging. My guest blogger today is Lindsey Coley, an Associate with Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore. In the post today, Lindsey shares how she develops clients while spending time with her family.

Lindsey Coley.jpgAs a young female lawyer trying to balance the demands of motherhood and a legal career, client development was always pushed towards the bottom of my to-do list. Now, I view client development as one of the most important items on my to-do list because Cordell taught me two very important lessons:  (1) client development is not a one size fits all; and (2) not having a game plan will result in missed opportunities.

I learned that I do not have to be on a golf course or at a formal networking event to market myself.  I can develop relationships with potential clients by talking with the other preschool moms, carpooling on fieldtrips, and attending neighborhood yard sales.  After all, the most important step in client development is listening—not memorizing my resume or credentials so I can repeat them verbatim.

Clients hire people who they trust, respect and with whom they relate.  Inevitably, the question of “what do you do” will come up in conversation.  Now, instead of listing the areas of law I practice or where I work, I simply say, “I’m a lawyer.”  Ninety-nine percent of the time, the follow-up question is “what type,” to which I respond, “what type do you need?”  After I listen to their response, I determine how I can help them or to which of my colleagues to refer them.

I have my foot in the door once they realize how closely I have been listening while our four-year olds have been serenading us with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.