You have likely heard the phrase: I don’t want to have too many eggs in one basket.

I actually experienced both the good and the bad of too many eggs in one basket. On the good side, when I generated the most revenue, I actually had the fewest number of clients. On the bad side, I totally lost all the business from a large client when the company hired a new general counsel. This actually happened to me twice with two different clients that generated over one million in fees annually. One time, I was able to replace the mega client with another mega client based on the recommendation by a high level company executive with the client company I lost.

How can you avoid this problem and what should you do when it occurs:

To avoid the problem, you must:

  1. Never take any client for granted. A valued client is the most precious asset a lawyer can have. (I am reminded of Willie Nelson‘s song lyrics: You Were Always on My Mind)
  2. Never be content. Keep up your client development efforts, even when you are extremely busy.
  3. Never stop becoming visible and credible to new potential clients and building relationships with them.
  4. Spend the time necessary to understand your client’s industry and their business.
  5. Build as many relationships in a top client organization as possible.
  6. When a client representative leaves your large valued client, stay in touch.
What must you do when you lose the large client?
  1. First and foremost do not panic. New clients do not want to hire “needy” lawyers.
  2. Do not “tell” potential clients about your problem and “ask” potential clients for business to solve it. They really do not care about your misfortune.
  3. Develop a detailed plan with action, including what actions you can take that will likely produce new business in the next six months.
  4. Get out of your office.
  5. Reconnect with clients and referral sources.
  6. Write, speak and create webinars.
  7. Repurpose materials and content you have already created.
  8. Do some client development activities, no matter how small, each and every day.