Doing a good job for your clients, keeping them informed, not overlawyering or overbilling, treating them with respect, and visiting your clients off the clock are just a few of the ways you can bring value to your client relationships.

Jim Durham, formerly CMO at Ropes & Gray in Boston, spoke to the Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group recently and equated the phrase “Listen to Your Clients, Stupid” with the KISS truism.

Not only is listening to clients simple, it is vital IMHO.

Jim’s speech, as recounted by Julie Meyer on’s Small Firm Business, addressed successful marketing principles AKA listening to clients by providing value and seeking feedback.

Some of Jim’s suggestions included:

  • Asking clients for input to your business plans,
  • Communicating effectively,
  • Seeking and responding to client feedback,
  • Listening to clients (at least 50% of the time, I might add),
  • Showing clients you care, and
  • Offering alternative fee options.

Retaining clients basically boils down to whether they value your services, and that may equate to whether they had a good experience in dealing with your firm.

Jim also highlighted two signs where clients may not have had a good value experience:

  1. When a firm is asked to respond to a client’s RFP, and
  2. A client mentions the name of an attorney with another firm in response to the “Who is the best lawyer” you have ever worked with?

So again, how would your clients value your services?

  • A great topic, one that cannot be written or discussed enough.
    One of the ways we try to create value is by meeting clients in their home, especially our elderly clients. I used to think this was corny—as in, we are the big shot attorneys, they should come to us! But, we’re over that. It’s not about us, it’s about the client. Without them, we’d be sleeping under a bridge!
    It’s much easier for us to visit clients in the comfort of their home. They are more at ease, and it’s usually quieter (no laptop or phone on desk distractions).
    Right now, both of us meet the client(s). Which allows both of us to LISTEN to what he/she/they say. So if one of us misses something, the other usually gets it. We also think of different types of questions, so we cover more ground during one meeting.
    After every client meeting or phone call, we send a summary letter. This makes the client feel that we’re working on their case and we’re in contact.
    Finally, our firm name is Green Street, so at the closure of their case, we give them a box of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies (if you’re not familiar, they come in a green box). Clients LOVE it.
    These may seem like small things, but we feel they will pay off.