Thanksgiving starts the beginning of the holiday season. It’s a time for us to reflect on how our year turned out. Many undertake a review that includes family, friends, personal relationships and goals as we head into 2018.

...think about what you can do to thank clients in a value-added and meaningful way

This time of the year provides a great opportunity to reach out to your clients and contacts to thank them for working with you and for being a part of their organization. Why not reflect on this aspect of the business relationship and think about what you can do to thank clients in a value-added and meaningful way? Every client will probably value something a little differently.

Let’s explore how we might give thanks and provide value to our clients, referral sources, and colleagues. In addition to the typical holiday gift baskets and bottles of wine, here are a few ideas to get you started on that focus on individual clients' needs and preferences. 

  • Conduct some research on the client, getting up to speed on what is happening and changing at their company. Reach out and offer to meet with them, at no charge, to help start planning to meet their business needs for 2018.
  • Identify an organization that the company or your primary contact supports and make a donation to this charitable entity.
  • If, during the course of the year, you have had conversations with clients that revolve around their children or family and you found out something specific, such as a favorite book or type of book that their daughter enjoys, send a copy of a book by this author or about this topic to your contact.
  • Take a proactive stance and offer to come to their offices to discuss their preferences in the delivery of services such as a conversation about legal operations, or something less formal that involves improving the efficiencies of the legal work you are delivering to them.
  • If you know about a specific conference or area of interest for a client, consider offering to register them for a conference or event that might help enlighten or educate them.
  • Offer to create a custom seminar or webinar at their offices in an area that they, and/or their staff, have a need to learn more about.
  • If you are aware of any pain points the client is experiencing consider putting together some thoughts on ways they might ameliorate this pain.
  • Offer to come in and have a frank conversation about the technologies they are using when interfacing with their outside law firms and internally within the legal department. Be prepared to talk about the technologies your firm is currently using such as e-billing or e-discovery software.
  • Consider meeting with your three most important clients by the end of Q1 to ascertain how they perceive the delivery of your legal services. Strive to uncover “moments of truth” you were previously unaware of and follow up implementing what needs to be done to rectify the situation. (These meetings are like mini client feedback interviews.)

This type of value-added service is the stuff of trusted advisors; it’s a great time of the year to reflect and give thanks. 


[Merry Neitlich is managing partner of EM Consultants located in Irvine, CA. She can be reached at or 949-260- 0936.]