During my tenure with GE I had the great good fortune to work with the legendary Lloyd Trotter, the former corporate vice chairman, president and chief executive officer of GE Industrial Systems, and driving force behind GE’s operational prowess. One of the most enduring lessons I learned from Lloyd and his executive team was a simple performance metric: the “say:do” ratio, a measurement of commitments met.
Attorneys cannot guarantee a specific outcome, but they can commit to attaining high levels of client service. Particularly for small and solo practices, a reputation for a strong say:do ratio in client engagement can be a powerful differentiator, helping firms win new clients, retain existing ones and support higher billing rates.
A few simple “starter” actions:
- Make reasonable commitments on the timing of deliverables so you can always meet them.
- Return messages promptly, even if you don’t have an answer. Respond, if for no other reason, to acknowledge receipt of the original message and communicate when you’ll have the requested information.
- Don’t be late for meetings. Clients are paying for your time, be respectful of theirs.
What’s your “secret sauce” for maintaining a strong “say:do” ratio?
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