When asked “do you really know what clients value when buying legal services?” most lawyers say clients hire them for their expertise. ‘I’m a good lawyer, isn’t that enough?’
Lawyers are crazy smart. The work of a lawyer is intellectually rigorous. You must be able to demonstrate intelligence, ability to absorb, assimilate and analyze complex material very quickly. Logical reasoning, attention to detail, persuasiveness, sound judgment and strong writing abilities are all strong fundamental tools needed to represent your client successfully. You are the expert and as such should have all the answers. Which means you must have to do all the talking. Not so.
Clients consistently place a higher value on how well you listen to them. They want to LIKE you.
If the very sound of liking your client or your client wanting to like you makes you squeamish, you are not alone. Those touchy feely words do not belong in the legal profession and not only that, I don’t like to do that.
And yet, that may very well be the differentiator between you and your competitor when a potential client makes the decision to hire legal counsel. They want you to know their industry, they want you to anticipate industry challenges before they become legal issues, they want you to respond promptly, they want you to communicate regularly, and they want you to answer the phone. They want to feel like they are the only client you have.
So, how do you make the conversion? Ask questions and listen actively. Become interested not interesting.
Most clients assume you are a good lawyer but they place a higher value on how well you listen.