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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fire bad clients

Tom Kane has a good post over at the Legal Marketing blog here. He discusses five categories of clients that you should fire.

Focus drainers (the wrong clients in terms of your core business, or targeted service sectors),

Low-profitability clients (here I might take issue, since in our business it is not always about money (i.e., with pro bono obligations and all), but, of course, one must pay attention to profitability unless they’re a charitable organization),

(those who complain about your work, your staff, your fees; and just don’t appreciate what you do for them),

“Something for nothing” clients
(those who don’t value your services, complain about your fees, and generally are slow in paying reasonable fees), and

Time wasters
(this type doesn’t listen to your advice, and/or take up too much of your time unjustifiably).

In the client generation area, this issue along with the problem of taking on clients who don't pay consistently were absolutely our most troubling problems at start-up. I think the tough one to say no to is the HIGHLY profitable focus-drainer. I'm still finishing up with a few of those from start-up. You need $$, but it's outside your focus area. To be frank, we got good results for many of these, but I think we got out-lawyered on a couple because the cases were outside of our focus area.


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