Why you should listen to your clients (and why you shouldn’t)

Lawyers and accountants often ask us why they should listen to their clients …

… they also ask why they shouldn’t though admittedly less often!

Let’s start by looking at some positive reasons why lawyers, accountants, barristers and patent and trade mark attorneys should regularly listen to their clients:

1. It shows you care.  If your clients know you care, you are much more likely to keep that client.  Moreover, they’ll tell others so you’ll end up creating more referrals and more new opportunities too.

2. It is MUCH easier to grow an existing client than it is to win a new client and client listening establishes the level of trust required to effectively grow a client relationship.

3. Growing your existing clients’ spend is more profitable as you have negligible (if any) cost of sales.

Looking at client listening for the other perspective, here are 3 potential consequences of not listening to your clients:

1. Clients could assume you don’t really value them which could push them towards your competitors.

2. Your relationship could become strained if you’re not communicating effectively and that strain could lead to them deciding they’re rather work with alternative advisers.

3. Your clients don’t give you the top-drawer online reviews you need which could dissuade other prospective clients from getting in touch.

There is a flip side to listening to customers too; when shouldn’t you listen?

People don’t know what they don’t know. Some of the greatest technology advances of recent time haven’t come from listening to clients!  Post-its, Google, texting, Twitter and even the Ford Model T, the telephone and penicillin spring to mind.

So, what lessons can we draw from why you should (and shouldn’t) listen to your clients?

Good business development focusses on addressing client issues.  Listening to your clients will uncover the issues you need to address.  This means that if you’re genuinely committed to improvement, innovation and ensuring all of your clients receive the highest levels of value and service, you need to listen to the people who know their needs best. 

And that’s the people who buy your services.

Would you like to find out more about our approach to independent client listening campaigns?  If you’d like to find out more about how your firm or chambers would benefit from listening to your clients, email us today and we can find a convenient time to chat.

Published by sizetenandahalfboots

Douglas is a director of Size 10½ Boots, a specialist business development agency that works solely with the professional services, helping firms grow by winning more new clients and more work from the clients they already have. Although every project is different our work generally falls into one of three camps - strategic marketing support, BD training and 1on1 coaching and independent client research.

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