Working with clients is part of most attorneys’ daily routine. We have to first draw them toward us, then meet with them, and hope they stay with us throughout their entire case. Many attorneys attempt to gain client trust by emphasizing their own success in the profession, sharing recent stories and beefing up the firm’s ego. Instead, lawyers should focus more on the potential client, connecting with them along with understanding their case. Your personality goes a long way in getting clients to side with you.
Your Skills are Top Priority for Clients
Clients see attorneys to get the results they want. If you don’t come across as a professional with the knowledge and expertise to truly help them, they most likely wouldn’t have come to you in the first place. A majority of clients today know that multiple lawyers can help them gain the compensation they want, but you want to ensure that they’ve made the perfect choice in working with you.
While clients may know that you can help them, they should be able to know that you are a good fit as well. This means they may want to get to know who you are as a person, as opposed to simply what you can do for their case.
Don’t Neglect Small Talk
Ignoring the practice of small talk is a common mistake for attorneys. Many lawyers treat their clients as if they’re simply prospective moneymakers, and don’t take the time to get to know them as people.
You should work on evoking comfort in clients, letting them know that you’re not one of those shark-like lawyers they’re used to seeing on TV. Most clients are stressed about their situation, hence you should show them that you intend to help relieve that stress as much as possible. Small talk is an excellent way to build up a rapport between you and your clients.
Add Personality to the Office
The environment you establish can often say a lot more about you than you do. You’re not likely to divulge all of your credentials to a client through conversation, or any awards you’ve earned throughout the years. You should have those on display in your workplace, but you may also want to add some objects of interest, such as newspaper clippings from a famous case or personal pictures of you and your friends, family or coworkers enjoying company picnics or other outings.
If you have kids, placing a picture of them on your desk to help relate to clients can help relieve potential tension. If you’re a sports fan or have a particular hobby, you may want a couple of photos or other items in your office to express those interests without intruding on business. These items can help you spark a small conversation that develops a better client-lawyer relationship.
Personality Accompanies Usefulness
Promoting your skills is hugely important in getting prospective clients to believe you will help them. While your abilities and clients’ cases should be at the frontline in every meeting, don’t forget that your personality matters. Let clients know that you’re a successful lawyer rather than a robotic one.