You want to attract, retain and expand relationships with clients. You have a pretty good idea what you should be doing. Yet, you are not doing it. I have worked with many lawyers who share this challenge. So, don’t feel you are alone.

Why is client development so challenging?

What makes leadership (client development) hard isn’t the theoretical, it’s the practical. It’s not about knowing what to say or do. It’s about whether you’re willing to experience the discomfort, risk, and uncertainty of saying or doing it.

As you can see that quote was about leadership, but it is also about client development. I found the quote: Why So Many Leadership Programs Ultimately Fail. It could have been titled:

Why So Many Client Development Training Programs Ultimately Fail.

On the same day I read this Seth Godin blog post: Nature and nurture (professional edition). It included this:

The boss, conference organizer, co-worker, interviewer, parent or client who wants your best work, your art and your genuine enthusiasm:

…can demand…

…or they can nurture you, encourage you, set a high bar and then support you on your way. They can teach you, cajole you and introduce you to others that will do the same.

You see, these two quotes really express, better than any way I could express it, what client development coaching is all about.

I have coached many of you who read this blog. While I may share ideas with you about what to say or do, the vast majority of our work together is helping you overcome the discomfort, risk and uncertainty of saying or doing it. I love the opportunity to nurture you, encourage you, set a high bar and support you on your way. Finally, I introduce you to other lawyers I have coached who do the same.

If I have coached you, I am confident you will understand that watching you overcome the challenges and find your own success is one of my greatest joys. If, you are a reader and I haven’t coached you, I encourage you to be willing to experience the discomfort, the risk and the uncertainty of making that one single client development effort that if you do it successfully will make other efforts easier.