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Written By – Anwesha Ghosh
“I don’t build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build.”
– Ayn Rand
Each legal advisor pitches himself to those he meets, and particularly to his clients. Moral charismatic skill is basic in completing an occupation and in acquiring a client’s participation and support. Indeed, even the most moderate attorney benefits by persuading a client to follow his advice. This can’t be accomplished unless the attorney has first sold his abilities to the client.
A few attorneys think that it is less demanding to pitch themselves to clients than the others. In a few people, a great presence comes normally and they are the “born leaders” who transmit ability and competence. Their business work is simple. Others are not so blessed. The initial step is fearlessness. You can’t motivate others nor persuade them regarding your capacity unless you feel sure of yourself. This is a perspective and it can be accomplished.
For legal counsellors, the very first requirement is to have concern for their clients. When as a counsellor one is with his/her client, the client should feel that his issue is the most critical one that the counsellor is having. Every client must feel that he is your most critical client.
Here are five best ways summarised below for you as an advocate to attract clients:
- Personal Appearance of the lawyer – The Clients will see the way you dress and the way you look with regards to your environment. You won’t have the capacity to please everybody but you should also keep in mind few styles can cause a negative response. The best counsel is basically to keep away from extremes and to look the way your clients anticipate that their legal advisor will look.
What clients expect will differ. There are law offices that speak to customers in the staunch business tone where the attorneys themselves may be taken as heroes. There are also firms who work on behalf of poor people. The legal counsellors in these organizations dress in a way which does not scare their customers. The emphasis in this kind of attorney-customer relationship is ought to be on the legal advice and guidance which the legal advisor is giving and not on his fancy suit or his loud necktie.
- Showing Concern for Clients – Offering yourself and your services is a consistent procedure. It doesn’t end when the client requests that you handle an issue; it truly starts there. For legal counsellors who don’t advertise, the sale of their services relies on referrals from satisfied customers. Among the greatest foundations for the customer disappointment is delayed work or not giving out information about the progress of their case. As a lawyer, you are offering a service and hence you should give service as well. You should be of assistance to the client and part of this assistance is influencing him to feel confident that you are doing some work.
- Being in constant touch – Much has been said in regards to keeping clients informed as a major technique of maintaining client, but what any system for maintaining client contact really does is reinforce the client’s confidence in his lawyer and his dedication to the cause. This makes the billing process easier, and it also produces satisfied clients who will mention your name when a friend needs a lawyer.
Some firms have adopted a policy of sending copies of all documents and correspondence to clients. Some use a rubber stamp on the copy indicating, “For Your Information Only–No Action Necessary” to eliminate questioning phone calls. Others have trained clerical personnel to call the client and report verbally on the progress of their matter. Still, others have devised a status report form which is sent periodically whether the action has been taken or not.
Another way of evidencing concern about your clients is by promptly returning their phone calls and answering their written inquiries. Busy lawyers may find this a real problem, but they can train a secretary to respond by a note simply stating the fact that the letter was received and will be taken care of as promptly as possible, or by having a secretary to return the call for them when necessary. This common courtesy, as simple as responding to “hello,” can pay great dividends.
- Doing the work of the client as per schedule – An important facet of showing concern for your client and providing service is the performance of work on schedule. Many lawyers generate their own pressures by setting deadlines which they cannot meet. Clients generally understand how busy professional people are and know that they are not the only clients an office has. But if a lawyer himself sets a deadline and he misses the date which he has given to the client, the client might get annoyed. Realistic promises which are met are excellent sales tools. If you cannot meet a client’s request for time of completion, it is only fair to say so at the outset of the assignment.
Failing to meet deadlines is not only poor public relations, but also it can lead to lawsuits. If a client does not receive a professional opinion on a business matter prior to the time his business requires it, he may lose a deal and may sue the lawyer for malpractice. The meeting of deadlines can be very important.
- Honesty is always the best policy – One of the most important issues clients are likely to be concerned about is your perceived level of honesty. No one wants to hire an attorney who seems the least bit dishonest. The person who is charging his clients on an hourly basis should be someone that is telling the truth. Fortunes can be lost and rebuilt. Being fired for wrongdoings wherein ones credibility is not an issue can eventually be forgotten. But, if being an advocate you lose your credibility, you may never regain it.
Credibility can be defined in many ways, but at its simplest, it means the following:
(1) never being dishonest or lying,
(2) never failing to make someone aware of the truth behind circumstances when you should, and
(3) not cutting corners, and doing what you say you are going to do, and when you say you are going to do it.
You must never be dishonest or lie. Lying to one’s client is the major direct cause of loss of credibility. Most liars are exposed, and people stop trusting them. People do not want to give work to liars or do business with them.
Lying is all too common. When it occurs, careers quite often end. You simply cannot be good at any job and lie to others. It does not work.