Amid all the noise and haste of the law firm business development RFP, client pitches, client development, selling - but not "sales," what we all tend to do is forget to, as my co-panelist Charlie Miller from Patton Boggs put it, "shut up and listen." Quite simply, how will you know what your client wants if you don't stop talking about your firm and let them tell you what they need...enough about me...what do you think of me?
As John Klymshyn so daftly put it in his keynote address, Moving the Sale Forward, "YOU" are the center of YOUR universe. But that applies to the client as well. THEY are the center of THEIR universe. If you don't step into their universe to get to know their needs, wants and issues, they won't care about your firm and all your great lawyers. Listen to your clients.
I moderated a panel entitled "Capturing the Voice of the Client" where Charlie Miller, Kyle Volluz from Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group, and Roberta Montafia discussed different ways to hear your client's voice. So often these days we hear about client interviews and formal surveys, but sometimes just picking up the phone (off the clock) and checking in is just as, if not more, powerful than sitting down once a year to ask how things are going.
There were so many more great speakers and presentations that I will have to cover more in future posts, but to get a glimpse of what was covered, here is the schedule from the conference.