Your clients are people, with human emotions. The ability to convey empathy to clients bring a lawyer’s efforts to life. As it is with any counselor or advisor, the client wants to know that the attorney cares.
Here’s a simple checklist you can reference to see whether you show clients that you care:
Do you interrupt your client when they give explanations? Do you ask thoughtful questions afterwards before offering your thoughts? Do your clients feel that you are bored or impatient because of some personal bad habits (body language or glances at the cell phone)? The better you listen, the more your client reciprocates.
Remember that you’re helping your client through a challenging matter, so they want to know that you have their back. Listening carefully is critical to delivering excellent advice.
A great sales person finds something (anything) that they can relate to a customer with. Similarly, you should find a way to relate with your client. People enjoy being around others who are similar to them and enjoy feeling connected. This allows them to feel more relaxed and trusting around you, which opens the communication channels.
This paves the way for you to build trust through consistent acts of excellence.
Building great rapport shouldn’t just be reserved for interviews—build it with your clients! Remember that in addition to common courtesy, but it also means paying attention to non-verbal gestures as well as verbal gestures (your words should match your body language and expression, for example). Creating great rapport with a client invites the client to create rapport with you.