Client Development Coaching: What Are You Doing Differently?

I have written many blog posts since I started 8 plus years ago. I sometimes wonder if any of you reading this one were with me when I first started.

Over the years, I have found that some of the very best posts come from lawyers I have coached. This is one of them. I hope you find it helpful.

Client development coaching is about making changes. If you worked with me, what are you doing differently?

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Cordell Parvin LLC | |
5203 Beckington Lane | Dallas, Texas 75287 | Phone: (214) 866-0550 | Fax: (214) 866-0331
Client development coaching for me has been like my progression in running. It got me
to start taking walks around my professional ”neighborhood,” and now I’m beginning to
move from walking to an occasional run, and I’m noticing some results here and there.

Weaving client development into your professional routine will help you
make marketing a monthly, weekly, and eventually daily occurrence. If you’re already
marketing your services, client development coaching can potentially help you do it
If in all honesty, you haven’t been marketing yourself, client development coaching
can potentially inspire you and give you ideas about how to start. To tap into that
potential, learn from your colleagues in the coaching program, share your successes
with each other.
Give some thought to your meetings with Cordell — if you have an idea, share it with
him. Once in a while, he’ll pat you on the back and say, “That sounds great.” The other
99 times, he’ll provide a suggestion that will make a good idea great.

Cordell Parvin LLC | |
5203 Beckington Lane | Dallas, Texas 75287 | Phone: (214) 866-0550 | Fax: (214) 866-0331
Cordell taught me how to do little things better: Handwritten notes, e-mails of articles,
small gifts, etc. This past December, I can’t tell you how pleased I was to get several
phone calls and messages from client contacts laughing appreciatively about the
perfect gift I had sent them. Not one of these gifts was expensive. Every one of them
was thoughtful in the literal sense of the word.
Client development coaching made me willing to take the risk of doing big things. One
of the first things I did after getting involved with coaching program was to get on an
airplane and went to see someone with whom I had worked on a fairly large case that
had concluded roughly a year before. Quite frankly, it knocked me out of the office for a
couple of days and it yielded no tangible results.
Yet, I learned from the experience, and most importantly, I developed a willingness to
risk my time in the pursuit of richer relationships with business contacts. This led to a
later, much more time intensive trip that actually led to a couple of files
getting overnighted to my desk, along with a slew of new business contacts to build
Client development is not a mathematical formula — we might all wish it were so easy.
Things that work for you might not work for me. No one is going to tell you precisely
how you can get from Point A to Point B. That is at once frightening and liberating. Be
open-minded, be patient, and be willing to ease outside of your comfort zone.
Congratulations on becoming part of a terrific firm initiative.
So, what is your takeaway from Keith’s advice to his firm’s next coaching group?

Cordell Parvin LLC | |
5203 Beckington Lane | Dallas, Texas 75287 | Phone: (214) 866-0550 | Fax: (214) 866-0331

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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