There are three fundamental rules of Client Relationships. The first one is Know Your Business (see post above). Rule #2 is STOP SELLING.
Now, I know you may think it odd that a marketing consultant advises you to stop selling. But, the truth is, you can't sell Peace of Mind. Your client develops Peace of Mind when dealing with you. There are three steps in that development process:
- Establish Trust -- Studies consistently show that clients want, above all else, an advisor whom they can trust. Establish trust with your clients by listening to and focusing on their needs, desires and concerns.
- Form Client-Centered Relationships -- Stop talking about yourself and the history of your firm and your prestigious legal education. Let the client talk about their needs, desires and concerns. Many attorneys handle the initial consultation something like this: "Hello, my name is Dave. I'm the managing partner of this firm and I have 22 years of legal experience. I'm a graduate of Prestigious University Law School and have published numerous articles in Prestigious Trade Journal magazine. In addition to my prestigious law degree, I also have several other prestigious designations. But, enough about me. Let's talk about you. What do you like best about me?" This is not a client-centered relationship!
- Meet Needs & Fulfill Dreams -- Stop explaining the usefulness of your service in terms of dollars and statistics. Listen to your clients' needs and dreams, and go about trying to fulfill them. If you are discussing complex litigation with a business owner, ask them how quickly they would like to get back to the business of their business. Let them share with you the pain this matter has caused -- the worry, the lost revenue, the lost sleep. If you are meeting with someone to discuss their estate planning needs, let the client explain how they wish to ensure all of their childrern are treated fairly, if not equally. Ask them about their wishes for end-of-life care. Ask about how they would like to remembered -- how their financial legacy could reflect the value of a lifetime's efforts. Let your clients share they needs -- and their dreams -- then make it your job to help meet needs and fulfill dreams.