With apologies to Wayne and Garth, it is true that some potential clients are not worthy of your significant attentions. And, the sooner you find that out, the sooner you can cut bait, and run (or close to it), very much in the other direction, and far. Now, it’s not like clients are so many packages of brown eggs, selected for their freshness. (In fact, you’d probably want to pan for the least fresh ones.) But, you do have to think about how busy you are in proportion to the amount of wasted time any potential client is likely to make of your days.
There are two points at which you can effectively disincentivize, or disengage from, a client. Previous to this blog post, we have discussed a number of marketing topics hereat. A significant shadow topic within those discussions has been emphasis on the importance of marketing to your target client(s). One way, then, that you can effectively remove yourself from engagement with potential problem clients is to make sure that they never darken your doorstep. The way to do that is by marketing to target clients. Targeting your advertising means that you are more likely to hit your mark than if you don’t target means that you’re more likely to get the clients you want anyway, without having to sit down with rottening apples, spending your time with them then, to find out what your marketing might have already told you. Of course, no marketing system is perfect, and very nearly every act has unintended consequences. It’s inevitable, then, that some outliers will streak your door, some bad news, potential clients who nevertheless somehow get the wind of your exclusive marketing pitch, and against whom you’ll wish you painted lamb’s blood above your door.
What happens if these folks sneak through the cracks, and slink into your lowered office chair(s)? Well, that’s when the ladies from WANSS appear, to help.
WANSS is the Women Attorneys Network of the South Shore: here’s the website. (I like their acronym because it sounds like a whine. (NOT a shot at women. C’mon now, you know I love the ladies. Anyway, the group is not restricted to women–perhaps necessarily, as there is no MANSS counterpart).) WANSS is a tremendously effective networking group founded and managed by South Shore attorneys Leanna Hamill and Alexis Levitt. (I can vouch for the effectiveness of their meetings, my having, once, appeared to speak, which appearance gave rise to so many intelligent questions that I was left with no choice but to answer those queries via a long-form blog post (I know, What other kind is there?).) Leanna and Alexis were kind enough to pass along to me a handout on client selection from a recent meeting of theirs, which handout I felt was important enough to pass along to you, my faithful readers, and which handout, perhaps transparently, now, has given rise to this blog posting:
The WANSS “Client Selection Tips” handout is available at this drop site. In addition to red flags, the WANNS tips also provide for some green flags (= the universal language of go, alright!), advice for how not to take a case and on how to fire a client, and links to some useful sample forms.
Also of interest, and referenced within the WANSS tips, is Matt Homann’s Client Worthiness Intake Scale, linked back there, for your pleasure.
Don’t say I never did anything for you. Now you’ve got information on how to avoid taking bad clients, and how to get out from under them, if you do take them.
Of course, I haven’t done any of the work here, and nothing worth valuing do we ever accomplish on our own anyway. So, I must give due credit, much propers and my gratitude to Leanna Hamill, over at WANSS, for passing this handy information along to me.
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If you want more information respecting WANSS, or wish to join, go to their website, accessible here.