Follow these 5 tips to improve your rapport with new clients and improve your firm’s bottom line.
Ensuring a pleasant and enjoyable experience is crucial for the success of any law firm, no matter the size. But it should come as no surprise that creating a pretty website, posting on social media and sending newsletters is not enough to create that quality experience. To help you hold onto your existing clients and close with new clients, you need to build a strong rapport with them and build mutual respect, instead of numbers that boost your firm’s bottom line.
What are some of the best ways your law firm can build rapport with clients, especially in the early stages of the relationship? These 5 tips will help ensure you and your clients build happy relationships that will keep them coming back as well as referring you to their peers.
1. Set Standards Right Away
Set your client experience up right by setting the standards from the beginning. You should be sure to explain the communication schedule as well as how you will be reaching out. But you should also ask how often they would like to be updated and by which means, from here you can potentially combine your processes with their preferences to make them happy.
This will set the expectation for how clients will be treated in the future and will have a major impact on their opinion of you. If you provide a good initial experience and set communication expectations right away before closing the deal, they’re likely to trust you’ll take care of them throughout the remainder of their legal process.
2. Understand Your Client’s Position
Whenever someone comes to you for legal advice, you start to understand their case. It’s the first thing you do. However, you should also understand their psychological position, so you can provide the best experience for them.
Maybe this is someone who has a problem paying a consultation fee, so the conversation about money is stressful. Try to sense the client’s position, so you can offer a solution that works for them and for yourself.
Maybe they are under a lot of stress since they are trying to solve a family issue. Are you able to empathize with that?
The legal advisor should always offer a personalized experience, suited to the client’s needs. Your attitude is not governed by laws and regulations. That aspect that you can always adjust.
3. Ask More Questions
To build a strong rapport with your clients, every lawyer should do their best to know their clients well, both as a person and as it pertains to their legal matter. You should always ask more questions than just their legal matter itself. Ask about things that everyone wants to talk about, such as their kids, upcoming vacations, where they grew up or went to college, etc.
Everyone loves it when other people take an interest in their lives, what they do and why they do it. Then once they start talking all you have to do is sit back, take notes for future follow-ups and let them go for as long as they want. Then when the conversation is done, you will be remembered as the thoughtful lawyer that genuinely wants to help and know their clients.
4. Remember The Little Details
This tips directly relates to the previous one. When first starting a relationship, remembering the small things about your clients can have the biggest impact on how your relationship grows moving forward and how they will come to feel about your firm and overall brand.
This will leave a lasting impression on potential clients and can even be the difference-maker when it comes to hiring you or another lawyer. Just think about it, if you were shopping for a certain service and then later on during a follow up they ask about how that vacation you mentioned was or your kid’s soccer game, that will impress you. If you can provide that level of humanity and kindness to your potential clients, then you’re going to close more deals.
5. Spend Time Together In Person
Instead of communicating only through email or over the phone, if you want to build a good rapport with a new client or colleague, spend some time with them in person.
Whenever possible, you should make time to go out for lunch or coffee with their customers in order to build a rapport face to face. Or another option would to schedule regular meetings in a conference room or shared law office space when you need to keep things a little more professional. As a solo law firm, these meetups can sometimes be difficult (especially if you run a home-based law practice), but you can always try to meet with several clients in one day when you make the trip or hop on a Zoom call with new clients or colleagues instead.