Two for Tuesdays: Client Service

It's hard to believe that only three days ago at this time, I was snorkeling with my clients in Costa Rica and seeing my first sting ray! Spending a few days with my clients always gets me thinking about networking, as you know, but it also gets me thinking about client service. So for today's Two for Tuesdays, I have two tips for improving client service!

Tip One: Say Thank You

In the US, this week is Thanksgiving, so people are talking a lot about gratitude and what they are thankful for. After a tumultuous few years in the world economy, I think we can all agree that along with family and friends, we're also pretty grateful for our clients. What better time to tell them?

While I advocate active gratitude on a yearly basis, Thanksgiving can be a good reminder for this. Reach out to your top five clients this week and thank them. Even if you're not in the US, use it as a reminder to offer your clients your gratitude. Try: 

  • Thank you for trusting me with your business. 
  • I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with you. 
  • Thank you for being a client. 
  • I appreciate being your business adviser. 
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Silence Isn't Golden When it Comes to Managing Client Relationships

You are in for a treat today, while I'm away at the ILN's Regional Meeting of the Americas - we have a very special guest post! We're welcoming Joanne Thorud, the Director of Marketing for the ILN's Boston member, Davis, Malm & D'Agostine. She's talking about one of my favorite subjects - client service - and shares with us an excellent post on why communication is so important in keeping clients happy. 


Last week, I attended the Legal Marketing Association New England’s annual regional conference in Boston. The theme of this year’s conference was Simplify to Maximize. There were a dozen programs and over 30 speakers who presented topics focused on cutting through clutter and static and delivering clear and concise messages. One message that resounded in almost every program I attended was communication is key to maximizing client relationships. It is not a new or revolutionary concept, but it is extremely relevant, especially in today’s legal climate.

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Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: 2015 - The Year of the Client

I'm easily pleased, so I'm happy to report that I'm currently typing this blog post while on a plane to Costa Rica - I love inflight wifi! 

I'm bringing you another excellent rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field today, who is declaring 2015 the "year of the client." I couldn't agree more! 


I am officially declaring 2015 - The Year of The Client.

2015 is going to be the year that client service is going to become one of the most important business
development tactics you can improve for your law practice and firm.

Why? Yesterday, November 18, 2014, Jackson Lewis, a 780 attorney law firm with 54 offices, declared that it will be eliminating billable hours for its associates. The firm’s chair Vincent Cino stated:


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Two for Tuesdays: Networking Mistakes

Since our Regional Meeting of the Americas kicks off on Thursday, there's no more appropriate time to check in with some networking tips than today! We've covered a lot of "to dos" when it comes to networking, so today, I thought we'd take a look at what we should avoid doing when it comes to networking, and how to fix any networking mistakes we might make. 

In early October, Mashable shared this great list of the 5 Worst Networking Flops, and How to Recover From Them. There are two that are particularly important for lawyers when networking, and those are the two we'll focus on in today's Two for Tuesdays. Add your big pet peeves for networking in the comments, and your suggestions for recovering from them! 

Flop One: Too Much "You" in the Conversation

Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you - you're deep in conversation with someone you've just met (or even someone you know well), only to realize that you've been talking about yourself the whole time! What to do?

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ILN Firm of the Month - Cordero & Cordero Abogados, Costa Rica!

We are happy to announce that this month's firm of the month is Cordero & Cordero Abogados, who will be hosting our Regional Meeting of the Americas this week! 



 Member of the International Lawyers Network

The ILN is proud to announce our latest "Firm of the Month" - Cordero & Cordero Abogados of Costa Rica!

Cordero & Cordero Abogados is a prominent and well-respected law firm in Costa Rica. It was established in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1940 by its founding partner Mr. Hernán Cordero-Zuñiga. Currently, it congregates a team of high-level attorneys, paralegals and specialized staff capable of assisting domestic and international clients with their everyday legal needs.

This general practice law firm strives to serve its clients on the basis of strict ethical principles, excellence in the services it provides and a personalized interaction with all of its clients. Since 2001, it expanded its Real Estate, Corporate and Foreign Investment practices to Liberia, Papagayo and the Tamarindo and Flamingo areas.

Full descriptions of Cordero & Cordero Abogados' services, expertise, and lawyer profiles are available on their ILN profile.

Lindsay Griffiths
Director of Global Relationship Management
International Lawyers Network

Lindsay Griffiths


Learn More


Main Contacts: 

Ricardo Cordero

Ricardo Cordero Baltodano

Telephone: +506 2258 2525

Practice Groups:
Corporate, Real Estate, Condominium Law, Due Diligence, and Maritime Zone Law

Hernán Cordero

Hernán Cordero Baltodano
Telephone: +506 2667 4242

Practice Groups:
Banking & Finance, Corporate, Real Estate, Energy Law, Transactions and Joint Ventures

Alan Griffiths

“Cordero & Cordero is hosting our 2014 Regional Meeting of the Americas in Guanacaste, and we're excited to experience their warm hospitality!

Alan Griffiths
Executive Director
International Lawyers Network



Week of November 10, 2014 on ILNToday - A Roundup!

We're mid-way through November (when did that happen?) and the first flakes of snow were falling already last night! I'm having a bit of trouble wrapping my mind around being in a tropical climate this time next week and packing for the same, but I'm looking forward to getting our Regional Meeting of the Americas underway! 

Since I'm busily wrapping up conference details, I will get on with the roundup! 


Development Strategies for Associates - A Webinar Recap

On Tuesday, we had the pleasure of welcoming David Ackert of The Ackert Advisory for a special webinar presentation on Development Strategies for Associates. 

David began by sharing the agenda for the session, which included looking at: 

  • Getting a head start: why business development at the associate level is so critical
  • Leverage points: playing to your strengths
  • Networking strategies
  • Mentorship
  • Establishing credibility in your niche: this is a key way associates can start to differentiate themselves as they're going about business development

Getting a Head Start

Business development for associates is all about getting a head start. David mentioned that the techniques that he'd address are designed to be as efficient as possible, because lawyers don't have a lot of time at any level to do the kind of business development exploration that they might have in a more idea setting. They have to get there quickly. 

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Two for Tuesdays: Community Work

Here in the US, today is Veterans Day, a day to remember and thank those who have served our country. I have had family and friends in the military - everything from Army and the Air Force to Marines to Navy and Coast Guard - so today is an important day for me. I like to give thanks to our military as much as possible, but I'm all in favor of any day that especially calls for it.

So it's got me thinking about the community work that our companies and firms do, and how we can extend the reach of that in different ways. My most favorite way to give back is anonymously, but when we're doing it as an organization or firm, it's best to try to get as much publicity as possible for the charitable organization we're supporting. 

There are many different and creative ways to do this, but I want to focus on two as they relate to social media. And while I'm at it, I also recommend checking out some of the many amazing Veterans' organizations out there and offering your support! 

Tip One: Use Social Media to Showcase

Supporting community organizations is one of the best ways that firms can communicate what they care about. Whether it's through teams of employees joining together to run for a cause, or jeans Fridays to raise money, there are tons of ways that firms and their employees work together and individually to show they care. 

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Week of November 3, 2014 on ILNToday - A Roundup!

Somehow, it's already November - this year has flown by! We're busily putting the finishing touches on the ILN's 2014 Regional Meeting of the Americas, which gets underway in less than two weeks. We've also got a number of other exciting specialty group projects we've been working on. And our lawyers are just as busy, including producing some great content! 

Here is this week's roundup: 


General Counsel Corner: Considerations When Selecting Outside Counsel

I always enjoy hearing what factors into a general counsel's decision to hire outside law firms - it gives great insight into what firms should be focusing on, both when it comes to the delivery of legal services, as well as the message that they're promoting.

In our latest edition of the General Counsel Corner, I asked the employment counsel for a large international company to describe the factors that they consider when hiring outside counsel.  

Our GC contributor told me: 

In selecting outside counsel, we seek attorneys at reputable firms with a proven track record in the particular areas of expertise for which we are seeking counsel, who provide counsel taking into account not only the law, but also the pragmatic realities of our business and provide guidance as to how best to move the forward while mitigating risk to the company. Ideally, our attorneys will have an existing relationship with the outside counsel to increase the likelihood that the outside counsel will care about our business and the counsel being provided, as opposed to merely looking to generate a book of business. We also appreciate counsel who work efficiently and are mindful of minimizing attorneys fees and costs given the current economic climate and renewed focus on managing budgets."


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Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: An Attitude Adjustment

Today's post from Jaimie Field, Rainmaking Coach and Trainer, is the perfect follow-up to our second Two for Tuesdays' Tip about being more open-minded. Today, she talks about attitude, and that anyone can learn to be a rainmaker if they have the right mindset!


Recently, a few articles, one in the New Jersey Law Journal and one in the ABA’s Law Practice Management section’s Magazine, were written about Rainmaking Coaching. They asked whether rainmaking can be taught (as you know from my tag line, which I have used for almost 15 years, “Rainmakers are Not Born, They Are Taught sm”, I believe they can and the attorneys with which I have worked can attest to this).

While the articles are mixed on the what it takes to be a rainmaker, it is agreed that they can be taught. After working with hundreds of attorneys, I have found that the most important factor of whether or not you can become a rainmaker is the belief that you can.


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Two for Tuesdays: Up Your Game

One of the things I think a lot about is client service - I'm regularly trying to figure out how I can bring more value to my own clients, but also looking critically at how others meet their clients' needs and wants. 

For all of us, no matter what work we do, we are all acting as providers and receivers of client service. As a receiver of service, I can be quite demanding - I'm very detail-oriented, I know the level of service I deliver to my clients, and I expect the same attention to detail and passion in those I'm working with. 

Unfortunately, it's fairly rare that I'm impressed by someone's level of client service. Which got me thinking this afternoon about two ways we can "up our client service game." Although these are two separate tips, they generally have to be undertaken together in order to really wow someone. 

Tip One: Responsiveness

I almost can't believe that I have to include "responsiveness" as a tip for great client service - we've talked about it SO much, and I've heard it mentioned time and time again, so it should be the norm today instead of the exception. 

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Lawyers: Reach Out and Touch Someone

If you're a regular reader of Zen, you'll know that I love to look outside of the legal industry to find ideas for how we can market and develop business differently. With that in mind, I'd like to share a story with you - bear with me, and I'll explain the legal connection.

If you read my Twitter profile, you'll see that one of the ways I describe myself is as "crazy about my bassets." I have two basset hounds (Barney and Oliver), and like any good pet parent, I love to take photos of them. I share a lot of these shots on social media, and have been tagging them with various hashtags (such as #bassetboys, #bassets, #bassethounds, and #dogsofinstagram). 

I don't have children yet, so I dress my dogs up for Halloween - basset hounds are very particular looking dogs, and seeing their faces when they have on hats, sweaters, costumes, etc. always gives me a good laugh. 

So on Friday, I shared a couple of photos of my dogs, in their costumes (including the one above), which led to a conversation with Purina. It played out as follows: 


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Week of October 27, 2014 on ILNToday - A Roundup!

Not only is it Friday today, but it's also one of my favorite holidays - Halloween! I'm very behind this year, in that I don't even have any candy to hand out to trick or treaters yet and I'm not even wearing a costume! 

But, to celebrate, I did put together a JibJab video for your viewing pleasure, featuring the ILN Administration, our Chairman, and a couple of our Board members! 


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Two for Tuesdays: Networking Negatives

Despite a lingering migraine this afternoon, I am bringing you a Two for Tuesdays post! Last night, I got thinking about some of the negatives that I've heard from my lawyers about networking, and how to combat those. Today, I'm bringing you two of the top complaints I've heard and some suggestions for solving them.

Networking Negative One: Awkward Silences

There are some people who can talk with anyone - my brother-in-law is like that. Put him in a room with a bunch of people he doesn't know, and he excels at connecting with them without awkward silences.

But for many of us, that is unfortunately not one of our strengths. I'm a prime example of that. Raise your hand if you've ever been speaking with someone, only to have the conversation taper off and leave you standing there wracking your brain to come up with something to say? 

*Hand raised*

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