How do you know what you clients really need or want? ABA Inside Practice offers “Keys to Understanding the Needs of Clients and Prospects” in an excerpt from The Lawyer’s Field Guide to Effective Business Development by William J. Flannery. The author talks about seven categories of needs and the ways to discern them in a conversation with your client: active needs, visionary needs, latent needs, ego needs, organization or company added-value needs, job needs and implied needs.
What do you do if one day your client decides to question your motives? What if a client accuses your firm of running up the billable hours? How do you respond? David Maister addresses such incidents in his article “Integrity Impugned.” (Hat tip to International Lawyer Coach Blog). There is a lot of good advice in the article from how to figure out the reasons behind the client’s actions to what to say in response. For example, if you need to buy more time to analyze what was just said, you can reply: “That’s interesting. Could you say a little more about that?” I like this recommendation because it can be used in a variety of situations.
How do you go about figuring out your clients’ needs? How do you respond if somebody questions your motives?