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Potential clients: how can we attract the right ones? (I)

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All lawyers want to have the right clients, those who, by virtue of their personality and values, make the lawyer’s work easier. Attracting the right clients entails one unavoidable preliminary step: becoming the right adviser.

Personality is the key. You will go further if you improve your personality, even if only by 5%, and your self-image. Do you really know what your strengthens are, and where there is room for improvement? Are you aware of the invisible barriers that stop you from attracting certain clients? How high are your self-esteem, optimism, positivism and enthusiasm? Very high, you may think. However, what image do your business partners, friends, relatives, etc. have of you? Be bold. Find out. Improvement is about being aware of one’s virtues and shortcomings.

What does the client actually hire? In a conference I gave recently to some lawyers, they gave me up to 25 different answers. Basically there is a single factor, which is more powerful than “the result”. We will talk about that another day.

Why should the potential client choose you instead of your competitors? Find out what gives you the edge. Any lawyer or firm has at least one competitive edge, even if they do not actually know what it is or do not convey it explicitly. Knowing what this edge is should be a priority for any lawyer.

Why do potential clients hire a lawyer? Because they like the lawyer. People hire professionals that they like and whom they feel they can trust.

What about training? It goes without saying that ongoing training in legal questions is indispensable. So is training in paralegal skills. Skills usually make a difference. As Iolanda Guiu, partner at Barton Consultants, said in one of her articles: “Some partners do not want to train their workers because they think that the latter will eventually leave the practice”. The question is: do you realise what failing to train the professionals that do stay on in your firm means?

© Francesc Dominguez, legal marketing and personal branding consultant, www.francescdominguez.com