Once the foundation of your interview program is laid, it’s time to decide what clients are the most appropriate candidates for your interviews. Some criteria we recommend considering:
- With whom do you hold your most longstanding relationships?
- Who are your top ten revenue producing clients?
- With whom are there perceived problems or threats?
- What clients have taken their business elsewhere?
- Who has had a recent change in management/personnel?
- Who are your new clients?
- What clients have been spending less with you?
- Where might there be cross-selling opportunities?
- With whom might there be attorney succession needs in the near future?
Sometimes deciding who to interview is an obvious choice. Other times, it’s a complicated decision that requires consideration of many opinions and politics. If you formed a client interview committee as one of your internal buy-in measures, we advise reconvening with committee members to garner their input at this point.
Institutional clients likely have more than one point of contact within a firm, and it’s crucial to be politically correct in deciding who to contact regarding the interview. In companies with larger legal departments, make sure that the general counsel or chief attorney is consulted. We find that they do not often attend the meetings but appreciate (require) being called.
It can be challenging to navigate the waters of other attorneys’ client relationships, firm culture and red tape, so tread carefully. But the good news is… you know your firm best!