So often, lawyers are the bearers of bad news. What will get you sued. Signs a lawsuit is coming. What you can’t say (even though you’d really like to say it!). What “wouldn’t be prudent”. (h/t SNL).
Today, we’re turning that on its head, with 3 signs that you will NOT be facing the business end of a lawsuit in the near future.
Some good signs are obvious. Such as when a client sends you more work, refers you another customer, or says “Hey, swell job!” But here are 3 unusual things that are good signs, if only you understand what they are really saying:
1. The Complaining Client.
When your client complains to you about something you’ve done, not done, or promised but failed to do, that is a good sign. Yes, you heard right. Complaining is caring. It is when you don’t hear anything that you could be in the most trouble. If a client is complaining, they are telling you that you need to fix something. That something may or may not be fixable, but at least you know that they value you enough to *want* you to fix it, so they can continue to do business with you. So the next time a client complains to you, remember, it’s much better to have a complaining client, which you can fix, than a completely mad one that will disappear, without a word, to the architect or engineer down the street. Or worse still, to their lawyer’s office. To sue you.
2. The Always-Calling Client.
If your client calls you to talk about the project a lot, that can be a good sign? Yes, even if they interrupt your train of thought and your design process. If your client is not afraid to pick up the phone and call you, then you are keeping the communication lines open. It is when you don’t hear from clients regularly that expectations are missed, misunderstandings accrue, or unpaid invoices result. A happy client is an engaged client. An engaged client will be in touch- often. This is not to say you can’t set parameters, such as what times of day you return client phone calls. But calling is good, regardless of the subject (short of a Trump-like “You’re Fired”).
3. The No-Boundaries Client.
When your client asks your opinion on non-design issues, that is a great sign. She wants referrals to your accountant. He wants to know where you think he should take an important investor to dinner. Any time you find yourself having conversations about things that are not, strictly speaking, work-related, that is a very good sign indeed. People do business with those they know, trust, and like. They also tend not to sue those that they know, trust, and like.
Your thoughts? Do any of these ring true to you? Share in the comments below.