Hamptons Legal – The Daily Detail

News, Service & Small Practice Management

Why Clients Leave – Part I – The Thrill of the Hunt

Posted by pbsweeney on October 10, 2006

It’s true, sometimes we like it when a client leaves. A collective sigh of relief permeates the firm. The high maintenance, time sucking, energy draining, irrational nightmare is over.

But sometimes, it’s not all them. Sometimes a relationship deteriorates into an adversarial quagmire, and there is little hope of satisfaction for the client no matter what the outcome of the matter.

How did that happen when everything started out so well.

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The Thrill of the Hunt – Unfortunately, bagging a client doesn’t mean we get to put up a trophy (like on our web site list of impressive clients) and leave it at that. It’s only the begining. In the arena of this mentality, the feel good enthusiasm of the client lasts as long as the immeditate pain that brought the client to us in the first place is alleviated. Sometimes this happens very quickly because, after all, we’re good at what we do. At this point, some of us who are really skilled at selling legal services and can make a client connection just by going out for the paper, begin to lose interest. The adrenelin rush of the begining of the matter noticeably dissipates and so does our spot on attitude. Things can deteriorate quickly. Interim steps in the matter are easily postponed, client contact is left to a subordinate associate or for when we get around to it, and as the pure dogged drugery required to follow through and win the ultimate objective looms, we get annoyed, bored, or exasperated. See where I’m going here? If any of this sounds familiar, a little self examination is in order. If we’re a hunter by nature, we need to partner up with a farmer or develop a system of support that allows us to function like one throughout the life of the client relationship. It’s not really that hard to fix this once we identify the pattern and start implementing solutions.

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