In my last post, I talked about some simple, smart ideas from Reid Trautz that were pretty easy to implement. One of them involved lawyers “experiencing” what clients experience upon entering the firm’s office.

Building on that idea, I came across an interview of Gerry Riskin of Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices by Arnie Herz of Legal Sanity. Although there are consultants out there who openly refer to themselves as experts or gurus (no names of course), Gerry is not one of them, because he doesn’t have to, and because he is too classy. But, he is one. And I’ve been a fan of his for years.

In his exchange with Arnie, Gerry relates a simple tale of how a powerful, successful person he met on an airplane told him in response to a question that his “biggest complaint about a law firm” was his “reception area experience.” He was pretty much ignored by everyone, including partners, who traversed the area as he sat there. It was as if he didn’t exist. I can sorta empathize with that person, except for the billionaire part.

Gerry points out that obviously this is not intentional behavior, but rather "blind spots, based on familiarity." He then goes on to say that what is needed is a fresh set of eyes, and "the best source of fresh eyes is your clients." And the way to get them is to ask your clients what they like and don’t like about their experience with your firm, and what should be done differently.

Good client experiences = successful business development.