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January 04, 2007


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You know at first I was going to post a rebuttal, because I'm often seen bustling through the reception area by clients waiting to see partners. But the more I think about it, the more I think it could really help to stop and say Hi, since it would only take one of them mentioning to the partner how pleasant the Neil fellow who stopped and shot the breeze for a few minutes was, for me to prove my worth immeasurably. I'm going to give it a try next time I see someone (who doesn't look like they'll bite my head off if I so much as glance in their general direction - which is often the case).

Gerry Riskin

Michelle, you are not alone. I interviewed a pharmaceutical billionaire about the major law firms he used and what he liked least about the firms he frequently dealt with parallels your experience. It seriously bugged him. Sometimes I think as lawyers we get so deep into our cerebral world that we forget completely about the fact that the client is experiencing us as well as consulting us. Keep up your great blog!!

Diana Knight

I believe this entry is so right! We have a policy here to NOT walk through the lobby area or use it as a shortcut (we strategically placed our stairwell entry doors so that they DON'T open into the lobby area). However, sometimes it is unavoidable. On those occasions we need to remember that our visitors in the waiting area are NOT mushrooms - we need to acknowledge and greet them in a FRIENDLY manner. I sent this blog entry to all of our firm personnel to remind them to look at, acknowledge and greet our visitors whether they see them in the lobby, in the halls or anywhere on our premises.


Another reality check, I call my own offices from time to time and really listen, both to how my live receptionist answers and also to my outgoing voicemail message, as if I were calling for the first time.

And how about that out-of-office email message? Every one of those is another chance to leave a negative impression...or a positive one.

Brenda Richter, CPA

Perhaps one of the problems is that the firm is billing by the hour, and the team members don't have a place on their time sheet to bill a client for saying "Hi" and being pleasant.

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