Here’s a client development tip for you as everyone heads back to work and gets ready for 2020 – carve out the time in your schedule to do client site visits with your most important clients.

One of the intellectual property lawyers with whom I work recently told me that his new client requires outside counsel to tour its plants and offices before being assigned to a matter. He said to him, “To really know how to best help us with our legal needs, you need to understand our business and more importantly, our products inside and out.”

There is an important lesson here for everyone – offer without being asked to go to your client’s office/facility/warehouse – whatever it is – to see firsthand how they do business and how they make what they make. I think this is very important for those in the IP/patent/copyright area but it is equally important for other industries such as healthcare, entertainment, sports, pharma, financial services and many others.

In addition, while you’re there, suggest meeting in person with the individuals at the client with whom you work each day to get to know them better and forge stronger relationships. Putting an actual face to a name really does make a difference. Ask them about their business goals and challenges, and what you can do to help them.

Going the extra mile will demonstrate how much you care about the client and provide you with valuable information that will enable you to do your job better, which is a win win for everyone involved.