When I played baseball (long ago), we referred to those who were not at the top of their game as “bush leaguers.” (And, no this reference has nothing to do with President Bush.)

In my long career, I have known some lawyers who are bush leaguers. I hate to say it, but I have acted that way myself. I guess the good news is that I recognized it, caught myself and made changes.

Here are the top 10 bush league mistakes lawyers make in client development.

  1. They are always selling the next project.
  2. They convey they are most interested in what they can get from the relationship.
  3. They talk too much and don’t actively listen.
  4. They treat all clients or client representatives as if they are the same.
  5. They don’t know their client’s business, its industry or what the client values.
  6. They assume information they do not know.
  7. They are always going after the potential new client, rather than making “raving fans” of their current clients.
  8. They are unable or don’t see things from the client’s perspective.
  9. They do not get to know the client representative on a personal level.
  10. They over promise and under deliver.

In your client development efforts you never want to be viewed as a “bush leaguer.” The top 10 mistakes listed above happen every day, yet they are simply common sense. If you put yourself in the client’s shoes, you will avoid these.

P.S. There is actually an 11th mistake I see all the time. It is requiring associates to write or otherwise help with client development and then taking full credit when a new client calls as a result of the associates efforts.