25 Rules For Better, Happier Clients

Cliff Ennico on

It's hard to believe, but I have been practicing law now for 40 years. For 25 of those years, I have been working out of my home without partners, assistants, junior lawyers, paralegals or other staff. It's been just me and my personal computer. Heck, I don't even have a dog.

A lot has changed during those 40 years, but a number of rules are still as important to remember now as they were when I was first starting out.

The most important of these rules relate to how you should communicate with, or otherwise handle, your clients.

Here are four inconvenient truths when it comes to clients:

-- You can't run a service business without them.

-- They are your bosses; you do what they want you to do, not what you want to do.


-- Every client is a potential plaintiff in a lawsuit.

-- If you are too nice to your clients, they will walk all over you.

Here are 25 rules I have kept in mind when dealing with my clients over the past 40 years. Whether you are a consultant, a lawyer or another type of professional, or if you just run a service business, print out this column, post it in a place where you can see it and re-read it at least once a week.

No. 1: Trust your gut when it comes to new clients. If someone behaves like a potential problem, they are almost certain to become one. There's plenty of business out there, and you don't have to take on everyone who calls or emails you.


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