Resolve to be your clients’ creative guru.
You don’t just want to be your clients’ problem solver (though that is better than ‘problem resolver’), you want to be the person they go to when they need to think about ways to grow their business, tackle new challenges, make more money, and be happier.
Here is an amazing list of almost 200 different creativity techniques that you can use with your clients to help them be more creative. Who knows, you may just learn to be more creative yourself.
Resolve to understand what you sell. This is pretty straightforward. Ask your clients what they are buying from you. If they answer “time,” then by all means continue to sell it. If they answer something else (and it will be something else), learn to sell that instead.
Just to get you started, here’s one of my favorite posts of 2006:
Having a difficult time “selling” your value as an advisor instead of a tecnician? Here’s an easy-to-understand way to communicate the differences between Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom, from the Across the Sound podcast (via Howard Kaplan):
Data is "the sun rises at 5:12 AM"
Information is "the sun rises from the East, at 5:12 AM"
Knowledge is "If you're lost in the woods without a compass, follow the direction of the sun to find your direction"
Finally, wisdom is "Don't get lost in the woods"
I rarely get a negative comment when I hand the card to someone, and the cards almost always begin an interesting conversation. And isn’t that what a business card is supposed to do?
Lawyers Appreciate Gifts. Here are three things I’d like to (belatedly) give all my lawyer friends for the holidays:
1. A family who loves them.
2. A community who respects them.
3. Great clients who pay them.
And if I didn’t spend all my budget on those three things, I’d add four more:
4. One hour each day to dream about how they’d make their business better.
5. The courage to try the things they’ve thought up.
6. The wisdom to ignore those who say those things can’t be done.
7. Friends like Gerry to cheer them on.
Another favorite tip: When your clients come to see you, resolve to help them see you.
Ever have clients come by your office who need to read documents? Get a load of this tip (for waiters and waitresses) from Tricks of the Trade:
Keep a pair of reading glasses at hand. At least once every few days you'll get a customer who forgot their glasses and are unable to read the menu. Produce your spare pair and a good tip is secure.
Reading glasses are cheap at Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Grab a few pairs and your clients will “see” what a great lawyer you are.
Here is a really simple one. If you want to get more done (and you don’t dictate everything), resolve to type better. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to think of a cheaper and better way to improve office-wide productivity, than to get everyone typing faster.
Of course, if partners responding to their e-mails could get the response off in a “.10” instead of a “.20” clients would benefit as well.
Resolve to tell your family and friends how much you love them.
2. Subscribe to the RSS feed for each search.
3. Notify your clients whenever you see something relevant to them or their industry.
5. For each tag, Google Reader allows you to create a unique URL for that tag that you can share with your clients.
6. Give each of your clients their tag’s unique URL and everytime they open it in their browser, they’ll see everything you’ve “marked” for them to read.
* This post will be expanded into a longer how-to in January.