One of the most intimidating parts of operating a law firm is meeting potential clients. How you come across to guests is a crucial aspect of whether they retain your services. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to make potential clients feel at ease. Here’s how to make a great first impression when meeting potential clients.
Eye Contact Is Key
When you are meeting a potential client, the first thing likely to happen is you will spot them from a distance. Before the handshake, before the cordial introductions, there’s that initial eye contact. Eye contact is crucial for making a great first impression. You must always meet their eyes with your own. Making eye contact shows that you are personable, as well as exhibiting confidence, engagement, and a willingness and desire to meet with them.
While shaking hands isn’t a cultural norm across the globe, in the legal world a handshake is usually the standard method of introduction. This greeting is one of your first opportunities to make a lasting impression – don’t miss it!
A good handshake should be firm and engaging. It should also, however, be brief. If you find yourself feeling our hand is being crushed, you are not shaking hands firmly enough. If you feel like you are about to propose marriage, your handshake is taking too long. A good handshake shows that you are “present” and displays a desire to meet with and conduct business with your potential client.
Remember Their Name!
This tip may seem like the most difficult thing in the world – and for some it is – but not remembering someone’s name is a deal killer. If you struggle to remember a person’s name, here are a few that may help:
- Repeat their name as soon as they tell you (“Hi Mike, nice to meet you”).
- Try to say their name in the context of the conversation as often as possible.
- Introduce them to others.
- Get their business card or contact information.
Remembering a person’s name is one of the best ways to show them that you are engaged – and they are important.
This may seem obvious but being yourself is critical to making a great first impression. Far too often, lawyers may try to give a potential client a false air of importance to impress them. Unfortunately, not only are these attempts often misguided, but they also come across as fake. Being authentic – and confident in your own authenticity – lets a potential client know that you are a regular person, just like them. It gives them the peace of mind that you understand them and can relate to their problems.
Now that you understand the importance of a good first impression, it’s time to put that knowledge into action. At Attorney Business Consulting, we’ve helped hundreds of lawyers take the next step in growing their firm – and we’d like to help you, too. As the premier law office management consulting agency, we can assist with every aspect of running your firm. Contact us today at (339) 337-2655 for a free consultation.