Potential clients know that you’re smart. You’re a lawyer – you have to be smart! In order to make a potential client into a client, they need to know that you can offer more. Most notably, they need to trust you. Unfortunately, most people are a little intimidated and leery of lawyers. There’s not a lot of trust at the start. So, how do you build trust as an attorney? More than anything, a trusting relationship takes time. However, there are a few things that may help you establish trust (and hopefully gain a client) in the meantime.
1. Listen to the client. This is, without a doubt, the most important thing you can do in order to earn someone’s trust. You need to know their concerns and understand where they’re coming from. You can’t just spout off about your accomplishments. You need to be able to listen to their issues and offer solutions. A potential client wants to know that you can help solve their problems. This is your chance to show them that you can help them in exactly the ways that they need help.
2. Do what you say and say what you do. A trusting relationship is built upon honesty. Therefore, you need to be very transparent with everything you do. Tell your client what you are going to do to help solve the issue, then do it. If you plan a conference call or a meeting – show up promptly. Do not hide things or try to fool the client into believing something that isn’t true. Be open and honest in all of your dealings.
3. Prove your expertise. Most people automatically have trust in someone that they consider to be an “expert.” The definition of that word certainly varies, but you get the idea. Prove your expertise to your client. Have you been published? Have you been interviewed? You don’t necessarily have to show these articles/clips to the client, but you should mention them. Have you handled a matter exactly like the one with which they need help? People want to know that you know what you’re doing.
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