Delivering outstanding advice to your client or customer is what you should strive for. My firm has defined its culture and “Deliver outstanding legal advice” is fundamental #1 of the JW Way – Without this, nothing else we do matters because this is central to why clients hire us. The same is true of your clients or customers no matter the nature of your business.

To achieve the goal of delivering outstanding legal advice, I have to strive to meet the challenges of the other fundamentals set forth in the JW Way. The list is long, but without clarifying and managing client expectations (JW Way # 3), listening fully (JW Way # 5), walking in my clients’ shoes (JW Way # 4), demonstrating respect you (JW Way # 11), and otherwise following the fundamentals, it challenges my ability to deliver outstanding legal advice. You get the idea.

Delivering outstanding legal advice is what I want to be remembered for by my clients. When a client remembers me for this, it means I did my best to support and honor them, their circumstances, and their thoughts in relation to their issues. Isn’t this what you want of your clients and customers?

Sometimes it means I have to tell a client I’m not sure of the best course of action and want to think about it. Sometimes the best advice involves taking a moment to think through the options and their consequences before making a recommendation. It’s the analyzation of issues and client concerns, as well as caring about the recommendation I’ll make, that makes the difference between going through the motions and truly delivering what I believe to be outstanding advice and service.

Other times it means explaining to my client why their legal position isn’t good. In those instances I have to leave my ego at the door (JW Way # 9) and communicate to be understood (JW Way # 10), among others. This is another moment it’s good to think about what I’m going to say and how I’m going to communicate the message I want to convey. Taking a few minutes to prepare can go a long way in making a difficult conversation more productive and comfortable.

Clients and customers come to me and to you to make recommendations and direct them, whether it is legal advice or for a retail item sold where you work. In every interaction strive to be honest, direct, and clear. Your clients or customers will thank you and will be much more likely to tell others about the outstanding advice they received, as well as the outstanding experience even where, in my case, they may have been on the wrong side of the legal issues.