Making Rain: Serving Rather Than Selling

Scott Funk is a Gray Reed & McGraw shareholder from Houston. One of the primary things Scott learned when I worked with him eight years ago was the importance of asking friends good questions, even if the friend was happy with his outside counsel.

Scott shared this story that I have told to the many lawyers I coached after him. I want to make sure you get a chance to read about it.

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One of my long time friends owns an oilfield equipment and service company that
primarily operates and sells in the U.S., and has operations in India and China. Based
on our conversations, I knew my friend was happy with his existing corporate attorney.
But I could also tell my friend was looking for something more.

Cordell Parvin LLC | |
Dallas, Texas | Phone: (214) 305-5322
Before our coaching, I would have tried to “sell” him on hiring our firm and why we were
the right firm for him, and probably tried to convince him to use LRM instead of his
existing attorney.
Based on what I learned in the coaching program, I first set out to find out more about
my friend and his company. I learned more about his background, and more about his
company operations and opportunities in China and India. He let me know he wanted
to expand his company by acquiring a Canadian company. When he said he was hiring
a New York firm to help obtain financing for a $1,000,000 fee, I asked him to give me
30 days to help him find financing at a lower cost.
In the next 30 days I introduced my friend to consultants, several bankers, an
investment banker, and a private equity firm. He let me know he was extremely
thankful and impressed. While he said that he liked his attorney, he was impressed that
we went far beyond just focusing on the legal work.
After he got the financing for the acquisition, our firm became his law firm.
I don’t think I would have obtained this client before coaching program because I would
have tried to talk instead of listening, and I would have tried to sell our firm rather than
demonstrating how we can add value.
So, what is the point of Scott’s story?
It is really pretty simple. When you go from thinking about how you can get hired to thinking about
how you can add value without expecting anything in return, good things happen.
Scott asked questions, listened and uncovered a need where his firm could add value.


Cordell Parvin LLC | |
Dallas, Texas | Phone: (214) 305-5322

Cordell M. Parvin built a national construction practice during his 35 years practicing law. At Jenkens & Gilchrist, Mr. Parvin was
the Construction Law Practice Group Leader and was also responsible for the firm’s attorney development practice. While there he
taught client development and created a coaching program for junior partners. In 2005, Mr. Parvin left the firm and started Cordell
Parvin LLC. He now works with lawyers and law firms on career development and planning and client development. He is the
co-author of Say Ciao to Chow Mein: Conquering Career Burnout and other books for lawyers. To learn more visit his Web site, or contact him at

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