7 Principles of Client Development: Making Their Bottom Line Yours

By Darryl Cross in discussion with Larry Bodine  

Darryl Cross is Senior Vice President of Business Development of Concep, Inc. in New York. The company does client surveys/market research, communications, client relationship management (CRM), graphic design, holiday cards, marketing, survey software and web site development.  He can be reached at (212) 925-0380 and darryl.cross@concepglobal.com.

Darryl Cross:  We're talking looking at things from the client's bottom line point of view instead of ours. That idea leads to seven principles of client development, consistent principles that we see on a regular basis, whether they are a 30 lawyer shop in Dallas or a big New York City law firm. 

Number one is leveraging our existing assets.  There is so much content and so much information available at law firms about clients; they're swimming in it.  We're talking about things like what relationships do we have?  What is the billing history of some very large maybe pharmaceutical clients?  It tells us a lot about what kind of problems they have.  We also look at things like who are the other people we know outside of here?  What is our matter history?  What part of our existing client base could be duplicated?  We have all this content at our finger tips.  A lot of times it's out of context, but we can bring that together using technology and some good old fashioned elbow grease be able to make some sense of it. 

Principle two is once we start compiling information and seeing all those assets, we have to have the ability to think small.  Think about last time you were asked to write a short 400-word article.  Hard, isn't it, Larry? 

Larry Bodine:  It's much harder than writing a 2000-word article. 

Darryl Cross:  It's a great exercise to take a 1000-word article and nail it down to 500, then 250, and then a 50-word synopsis.  It's a great exercise in thinking small.  Here's another one you should take back to your law firms to illustrate the need to think small when it comes to business development:  When you have a gathering of lawyers in the room, ask every lawyer to pull out of piece of paper and take 15 seconds to write down 5 clients they've never done work with before.  I've never run into a group that can't.  The world is way too big, and there are too many opportunities and too many possibilities. 

For the rest of the article visit the Originate Web Site at http://www.pbdi.org/Originate/default.asp?Action=GetDetails&ArticleID=99.  An annual subscription costs only $397.


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