Tim (littlebluedog) wrote,

managing the happy client

My client meeting this morning could have taken half the time it did, had the clients not expounded on how popular their product is going to be.

This happens often, and it's really easy to understand why. You come up with a good idea, you want people to recognize how good it is. Which is fine for talking to marketing people, or even, say, casual conversation, but probably not when you're consulting with me, your patent attorney. I certainly don't want to imply that I don't share your enthusiasm, it's just that you're paying a considerable amount of money for my time to give you advice on how to protect the niche you're trying to carve out, not listen to how easily your product will dominate the market. If your patent attorney truly cares about serving your interests, he'll minimize those fees by focusing on the relevant issues.

It's a delicate matter. Sharing in (or at least genuinely respecting) an inventor's exuberance is necessary for building a good client relationship, but it's certainly possible to fold this into the nature of the client-attorney dialogue without charging extra for the time.

Sometimes there's not a lot you can do. I've met with these clients before today, yet twice this morning I politely interrupted their excited chatter to essentially communicate "Look, I get it; I personally think it's a fantastic concept, and I'm really excited to work with you on it ... but let's focus on what we need to do, shall we?"

I'm not complaining. My chosen legal practice is one of the only ones in which my clients call me when they're happy.

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