How to Build a Relationship with Clients
According to the American Bar Association, attorneys who build a good relationship with their clients realize increased success with cases. Sometimes there are a group of attorneys working with one client. Each attorney can have a good relationship with one client. Building an excellent relationship with a client helps build trust and understanding of the client and their needs and specific goals. The first meeting between the attorney and the client means the start of a possible working relationship.
According to an American Bar Association and the survey they conducted among various attorneys over many different legal areas, there are vital factors available to building a relationship with their clients. These attorneys gave their points of view on the best ways they know to develop, create, and sustain excellent relationships with each client they serve. Each client has individual needs and unique circumstances. Thus, the formula for developing attorney/client relationships may differ from client to client. The views given to the American Bar Association seem to work for most attorneys and client relationships. These are a few methods enhancing a good client/attorney relationship. These vital attributes of any attorney are not limited to the following attributes as follows.
Little Happens without Excellent Communication Skills
Excellent verbal communication is the foundation of any attorney/client relationship. Without honest and forthright verbal communication, it is impossible to build a relationship. The attorney is not a mind-reader. When communication is limited to digital letters, email, or text it is never sufficient. The attorney cannot successfully represent the client without transparent, understandable, effective, efficient, and honest in-person conversations. A lack of communication between the client and attorney impedes a successful case.
Society, in general, is moving away from verbal communication and turning to text and emails. This form of communication via text and email is acceptable in some instances as it gets some issues in writing; however, prudent face-face communication is vital. An in-person meeting with the attorney is necessary because the attorney can read the client’s body language and visualize their understanding of the issues.
The Client Must Trust Their Attorney and the Attorney Their Client
The client must trust their attorney, and the attorney must have a high level of trust in their client. How does the attorney build this trust, remembering the attorney must work to earn a client’s trust, and this takes time. The client is more likely to give the attorney inaccurate or incomplete information when they do not speak to their attorney in person. The attorney must trust that the client gives them the most complete and accurate information possible. The attorney must believe what the client tells them. If the attorney finds that their client is untrustworthy, that attorney may dismiss the case, and the client may have to seek other representation.
Trust must be present with both parties for a relationship to work to the benefit of a successful case.
Attentively Listening is the Key
Not all people are great listeners. However, attorneys need to hone up on their listening skills if they fall short. In most situations, a client who seeks an attorney’s services needs to vent. Each client has a story to tell, and the attorney must talk less and listen to the client more. Carefully listening avoids the attorney jumping to conclusions. Attorneys have heard many stories and some of the same scenarios. However, not all aspects of each case are the same. Attorneys must not dismiss what clients tell them. While the attorney must take an active stance on being a good listener, it helps the client establish trust in the attorney.
When the attorney speaks, they need to ask the client questions that demand answers. This method can give the attorney a clearer picture of the client’s situation. Simultaneously, asking questions shows the client that the attorney cares about them and their issues at hand.
Clients frequently get off track. The attorney can steer the client back on track by telling the client that they want to know more about an issue mentioned earlier. This technique reveals to the client that this attorney is listening to their story, issues, and concerns.
Legal issues for anyone is stressful and upsetting, especially when the client must seek legal assistance by an attorney with the expertise needed. While many people have probably gone through the same upset, and the attorney may have heard the same story many times before, each client at hand is unique and fighting this first-time issue for them.
The attorney must show empathy, concern, sympathy, and understanding. If the attorney lacks pity for other people that attorney needs to be guided by others -such as more seasoned lawyers, co-workers, family members, or friends. Attorneys need to have a certain level of empathy or compassion for each client they serve. Attorneys who lack empathy, probably lack compassion and understanding. These are all necessary attributes of a good attorney. No client wants to hire an attorney who does not exhibit these personal qualities.
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