Why we attract needy clients

This week's question from my portal “The Neagle Code: Directions for Life” comes from someone who wishes to remain anonymous. 

Neagle Code Question

My partner and I have a law practice. It’s always our goal to provide excellent service to everyone.

But sometimes we find ourselves feeling compelled to do far more for a client. We’ve found that those individuals end up being unhappy, or lashing out at us. We know there’s some kind of correlation there — between our going overboard with our services, and having unruly clients. We’re struggling to identify what we’re doing to cause that?

Neagle Code Answer

You’re taking on clients you shouldn’t be taking on. They’re needy.

When you initially sit down with someone who’s a potential client, there needs to be a little bit of THEM selling you on why you should take them on as a client.

If you’re taking on just anybody, you’ll overlook red flags right from the very beginning. They’ll be the most giant pain-in-the-ass you’ve ever had to deal with.

Here’s an example:

Say someone’s sitting in front of you, telling you about what’s going on in their life. I would look at their problem and say:                                     

“I understand your situation. Here’s this issue. In order for me to help you with this, you’re going to have to follow my directions. If you can’t do that, then we’re both going to be miserable. I’m not willing to be miserable. So, tell me why I should take you on as a client?”

You’re going to piss off some people when you say that.

But for those who know how to accept responsibility for their own results, they’re going to appreciate your directness. They’re going to tell you why you should take them on as a client.

If someone said that to me, I would totally get where they were coming from.

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1 comment

  1. This is great advice! Thank you David! In my law practice it does become a working relationship with our clients, for us to be successful, the law firm depends on the client being cooperative in the process of helping them resolve their legal issues. If the client is dragging their feet, not providing the necessary documents, not returning phone calls, and not taking their case seriously, it becomes a miserable relationship for both of us!