Five Tips for Managing Expectations

In our line of work, you can only truly advance (and excel) in your career if you know how to manage expectations. If you don’t set the expectation as to how you want to be perceived, then people will make their own judgments. Here are five tips on setting expectations with your clients (i.e., the partners in your firm):  

  1. Be honest. However, before you can be honest with a client, you need to be honest with yourself. TIP: If you need to say “no” (which I sometimes do), you should! If you don’t, it will destroy your credibility and your ability to advance in your career.
  2. Do more that you say you will do. As the saying goes “under-promise, over-deliver.”  TIP: Remember that your behavior, level of service, and value you bring will determine your own personal brand and how you are perceived. This is what sets your clients' expectations as to what to expect from you in the future. It’s how you define yourself.
  3. Define success. Before you agree to any new project, you must define the scope of the initiative accurately. TIP: This can’t be done without communication. Do this by asking: “What does success look like?
  4. Anticipate. In this market it is not enough to just be a good marketer. You need to know your clients needs before they do. TIP: If you are able to anticipate clients’ needs, and then surpass those needs (not just fulfill them), you will have them coming back for more!
  5. Communicate your value. Because we provide a service to lawyers (who are serving clients that operate on a very long sales cycle), it is easy for your work effort and that of your team to often go unnoticed.  TIP: Periodically communicate the value you have created or grown!

By Corey Garver, Client Development & Media Relations Manager at Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, L.A., for the November/December 2014 issue of the Capital Ideas Newsletter.

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