It’s not what you say; It’s how you say it
In my last LPM tip, I discussed the importance of
creating a clear and focused biography for your website. Similarly,
I suggested that it is also important to have a profile on LinkedIn
which communicates the same message. Deciding who you are as a
professional (and who you are not) is a critical step in trying to
differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace. If you have a well
defined niche and you have a good strategy for keeping in touch
with your referral sources, over time, you are much more likely to
generate leads. But what happens when you have a live prospect who
is thinking about hiring you?
Being able to speak about what you do in a clear and succinct
way is also important. Someone who is thinking about buying
legal services is looking for someone they can trust. Part of that
trust comes from the belief that you have experience in helping
similarly situated clients with similar problems.
While the words you use are certainly important, your non verbal
communication is actually even more important. Does your body
language project confidence that you can help the client? Does the
tone of your voice suggest that you know what you are doing and you
have handled problems like this for many other clients?
It is well documented that your body language and the tone of your
voice communicate far more than the words that come out of your
mouth. If you make good eye contact and hold yourself in a
confident posture, you are more likely to convince a prospect to
trust you than if you are looking down or slouching. Similarly,
demonstrating that you have good listening skills is another way to
engender trust. Greet someone with a solid handshake. A limp
handshake communicates weakness. A bone cruncher communicates
In short, all of these nonverbal cues will tell someone a lot more
about who you are and whether or not you are trustworthy.
In poker, there is a concept called "a tell," a nonverbal
indication that gives the other players clues about what you really
have in your hand. So like a good poker player, try to elevate your
awareness of your body gestures, the tone of your voice, how you
hold your body, and whether you are making good eye contact. Even
if you are a newer lawyer and don't necessarily feel that
confident, you can still project confidence and this will go a long
way towards helping you to get the prospect to retain you.
Tip courtesy of Stephen Seckler, president, Seckler Legal
Consulting and Coaching.
Published October 11, 2012
To learn more about the Law Practice Management
Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members,
contact LPM Section Chair Thomas J. Barbar or Vice
Chair Cynthia E.