This is the first time this year that I have touched on one of my favorite subjects – lawyers should do the legal work they want to do for the clients they want to do it for. That should be the ultimate goal of every lawyer who wants to have a satisfying, successful, and long-term legal career. Thus, you should plan your legal marketing efforts to do work for clients you enjoy, in the fields of law that you prefer practicing in.
Okay, I admit I covered this topic at least 5 times last year (here, here, here, here, and here), and if you don’t believe in this concept, then you may not want to read the rest of this post.
The goal isn’t as hard to reach as it seems, but it does take COMMITMENT and PLANNING. One of the first ways to start marketing in that direction is to get rid of the clients you don’t want for whatever reason, so you can start marketing to those potential clients you do want to work for. Okay, as a practical matter, not necessarily in that order.
So, why am I posting on the topic today? Well, because I ran across another post by Mike McLaughlin at Guerrilla Consulting that deals with firing your client. As Mike tells us, here are “five telltale signs” of when you should fire your client:
- You’ve stopped growing professionally from the client’s projects (I might take issue with this one, if you can pass the work on to an associate and not damage the overall client relationship),
- The client has disengaged from your project, leaving decisions to others in the company (This may not be fatal, if it has been a smooth hand off by your main contact),
- It’s tough to get a meeting with your key client sponsor (this IS fatal),
- Your project profit margin is eroding (Definitely cut the cord), and
- The client nit-picks your invoices or payments are consistently late (Fire the sob).
As Mike accurately points out, cutting a “client relationship is easier said than done” and “it takes some time and courage.” I totally agree, and it is not easy giving up a paying client, but “the upside can be enormous.” AMEN! Look at your client list to see if there aren’t clients you should get rid of, so you can move forward in obtaining those you do want.