David Ackert, M.A., is the President of Practice Pipeline and a mentor to high-achieving service professionals and their firms. He has developed and implemented business development programs for hundreds of firms across the globe, many of whom hail from the top of the Am Law list. Widely recognized as a business development pioneer in the legal field, David’s programs have won the Legal Marketing Association's “Your Honor Award” in the US and Canada. The combination of technology and coaching has become a hallmark of his programs. David has published and been quoted in many major media outlets, and often leads panels and makes seminar presentations on effective communication and business development strategies. He regularly keynotes at law firm partner retreats and trade conferences. He serves as a guest lecturer at USC’s Marshall School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, and at the UCLA School of Law. David holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, Ithaca College, and University of Santa Monica, from which he earned a Master’s in Psychology. He is also a certified Business Coach.
As we go through life, pursuing our various agenda, we occasionally lose sight of the fact that we are not at the center of the universe. Yes folks, there are other people out there whose priorities are just as important to them as yours are to you. And the irony is that focusing on their needs almost always brings you closer to fulfilling yours.
Your clients have businesses, families, hobbies, unrealized dreams, and bucket lists. They grope through life, trying to make the best of suboptimal circumstances, sweating the small stuff, wishing they had the right resources to solve their problems (sound familiar?). Sure, you want your clients to continue sending you their business, but as you get to know them, seek to learn about the issues that do not directly pertain to your services.
You won’t have to look far. We human beings love to complain about our problems, especially when in the company of someone who shows a genuine interest. So make it your mission to glean and address as many of your clients’ needs as possible. Your advice and expertise are well and good, but through your network, you have access to everything from outsourced services to potential employees to weekend babysitters. Learn your clients’ pain points (personal and professional) so that the next time you see them, your interaction will be an exchange of needs.