Rainmaking Recommendation #21: Why you need to create realistic expectations

As attorneys, the most potent Rainmaking tactic is Word-of-Mouth marketing.  This is when clients tell others about the work you do and referrals are a result.  However, word-of- mouth marketing is also one of the ways that we lose clients as well.

The problem is that in most legal cases, at least in the clients’ mind, there will always be a winner and a loser.  While we would like to believe that we will always win our cases, someone will walk away with the judgment or the money; someone else will have to pay in one way or another.  Not only does this create negative feelings on the part of the “losing” party, but also negative word-of-mouth towards the attorney who was only doing their best to assist their client(s).

This is why you need to create realistic client expectations from the outset of your relationship.  This includes:

  • How, how often, and when you will communicate with them;word of mouth
  • What you are realistically going to do for your client while handling their case;
  • And, the various outcomes of a given matter – both good and bad.

If you create realistic expectations (and then attempt to exceed them) clients will be satisfied and be more likely to refer others to you.

What do you do to create realistic expectations for your clients?  Leave your comment below for other attorneys.

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month.   They are bite size tips that, when implemented will cause you to make rain. To sign up to receive them in your in box visit Marketing Field.com for instructions. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq.


  1. Since I am now in-house, my client is the company where I am employed. Even so, I still handle matters where I have to discuss possible and likely results. Generally I discuss what I think could or should happen based on the facts and the applicable law and I let the clients know that judges and/or juries are composed of human beings, who, like the rest of us have subjective feelings that will color their decisions. I let them know that I can guarantee that I will make every effort to put forth the best case on their behalf (or if I am negotiating to get them the best result) and that I cannot guarantee a specific result.

  2. Jaimie Field says


    Thank you for the comment. Yes, even in-house attorneys need to make sure that client expectations (your company) are managed. AMEN!

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