Posted by: johnocunningham | December 30, 2013

New Year’s Reasons to Talk With Clients

The turning of a page from one year to the next presents a perfect opportunity to speak with clients about how you can help them achieve their goals in the new year.

This is a great time to visit a client at their office and/or take them to lunch so that you can:

1. Learn what the client’s top goals are for 2014, and how you can help them, professionally or otherwise, to achieve those goals;

2. Ask what the top challenges are facing the client’s industry this year, and ask how you might help the client conquer those challenges in any small or significant way; and

3. Ask if you can review a relatively new matter of importance to them – within your bailiwick – at no charge just so you can provide them with an overview of alternative courses of action they might consider for bringing that matter to a successful conclusion (and perhaps hire you to handle the matter if they like your thinking).

The conclusion of a year is also a good time to:

1. Ask how the client rates your performance in the past year, and ask what you could do better;

2. Ask how you can get better educated about their business and their industry; and

3. Ask for the name of at least one person who they know that you might be able to help (presuming they liked your service last year).

Of course, some clients will be busy, and some will not want to talk with you, but that alone should tell you something about how you are doing. When I was a chief legal officer and general counsel, I ALWAYS took time to meet with my most valued outside service providers because they were crucial to my success. I also frequently met with providers who did not have a major strategic role to play in our company’s plan, providing that I liked the person who was calling.

So if you are afraid to pick up the phone and ask for a meeting, particularly at this opportune time, perhaps you should ask yourself why.



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