5 secrets to make a great first impression

5 secrets to make a great first impression

With legal services, like all other professional services, the buying process is highly dependent on the relationship between the buyer of the service and the provider.

As the lawyer selling the service is usually going to be delivering that service, or at least supervising others who are going to be doing the work, the buyer must trust that lawyer implicitly. They must trust that the lawyer is going to deliver the highest quality advice (and with litigation there is an expectation that the case will be won), will always act in their best interests, will provide value for money, and will be capable of providing a smooth working relationship. The higher the costs involved and the greater the importance of the matter to the buyer, the more imperative is the need to have absolute faith in the lawyer being instructed.

For this reason, winning new clients is all about building relationships with decision-makers to the point where they trust you and are prepared to instruct you. In the legal market, it must be remembered that clients usually instruct the individual lawyer and not the firm. Alright, the resources and reputation of the firm sitting behind a particular lawyer may be important in the decision-making process, but ultimately most instructions hinge around the client’s trust in the abilities of an individual lawyer. The old adage that “people buy people, not firms” still applies today.

So, when you first meet a potential new client it is important to make a good first impression to get the relationship off to a good start. Fail to make that impression and you may never get a second chance. So what tips are there for making that first impression a memorable one?

Personal appearance

Well the obvious ones are remembering to smile, looking the person in the eye and giving a firm handshake on meeting. Also, giving attention to your personal appearance: hair combed, suit pressed, top button done up, etc.

However, I find that working with lawyers, who generally are a pretty professional bunch, all of this is usually a g

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About the author:

Kevin Wheeler has been advising professional services firms on all aspects of marketing and business development for nearly 30 years. As a consultant he helps firms to manage and grow their key clients as well as to win new ones. As a certified coach with WABC he works with partners and those approaching partnership to improve their BD skills.