How to Make Your Clients Feel Heard and Understood
Being a good lawyer isn’t just about doing research, negotiating deals, and making good arguments in front of a judge. It’s also about building client trust and maintaining excellent relationships with your clients. To accomplish that, you’ll need to spend time making your clients feel heard and understood.
But what’s the right way to approach this and why is it so valuable?
Why You Should Make Your Clients Feel Heard and Understood
These are just some of the reasons why it’s important to make your clients feel heard and understood:
- A better working relationship. Giving your clients validation, support, and understanding will lead to a better working relationship. You’ll have fewer disagreements, you’ll recognize and support each other more, and you’ll both end up having a better experience.
- Confidence and cooperation. Listening actively to your clients will fill them with confidence, making them feel reassured about your abilities – and the fact that you care. Confident clients will be much more likely to cooperate, and more likely to think highly of you when the case is over.
- Ratings and reviews. The clients you serve will have an opportunity to leave ratings and reviews about your firm, and about you specifically. A single bad or neutral review won’t hurt you too much, assuming you have plenty of better reviews. But providing clients with consistently positive experience will give you a steady supply of great reviews, which can only help you.
- Referrals and recommendations. Think beyond reviews; clients that feel heard and understood will be much more likely to recommend your services to other people. Do this frequently enough, and you’ll end up with a stream of new clients based only on your past interactions.
- A general positive impact. Remember, your clients are human beings. Simply being there for them and providing emotional support can make a huge impact on their personal lives. It’s a small way you can make the world a better place.
Important Strategies to Make Your Clients Feel Heard and Understood
So how do you do it?
- Truly listen. Online, you’ll find ample cliche advice that to showcase understanding, it’s important to nod, make eye contact, and provide filler phrases like “uh-huh.” While these strategies can be valuable, it’s even more valuable to genuinely listen. If you’re actively paying attention and you care what your clients have to say, you won’t need to simulate listening.
- Remain patient. Show as much kindness and patience as possible during your client interactions. If they tell a long story, remain quiet and listen. If they feel angry or respond in an unhealthy way, try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Try to separate yourself from the situation and be as objective as possible.
- Mirror their language. When talking with a client, occasionally repeat back what they’ve said, rephrasing it slightly to verify your understanding. It’s a clever way to prove that you’ve been listening and that you understand the concept and context behind what they said.
- Watch your body language. Pay attention to your body language as well. If you’re emailing with a client or talking to them on the phone, you won’t need to worry about this – but if you’re meeting face-to-face, you’ll need to hold yourself to a high standard. Maintain an upright posture, lean in, make eye contact, and don’t fidget. If you frequently look at a clock or your phone, you’ll be passively signaling your own distraction.
- Make helpful recommendations. Go out of your way to make helpful recommendations for whatever the client seems to need. For example, if you have a client struggling to make ends meet while waiting for their settlement money, you could refer them to a lender that offers pre-settlement funding. Pre-settlement funding, also called a lawsuit loan, gives your clients immediate capital they can use for anything they want. It’s also non-recourse, so your clients won’t be stuck owing money to a random company if they don’t happen to win a settlement.
- Express sympathy. Recognize your clients’ emotions and express your sympathy for them. You can explain that you know it must be hard to deal with this type of injury, or even talk about a similar accident you were in previously. A little bit of emotional understanding goes a long way.
- Avoid judgment. Avoid judging your clients for anything they’re doing, saying, or feeling. You may think it’s irrational to be angry or impatient, given their set of personal circumstances, but you shouldn’t ever express or imply that. Let them feel however they feel.
- Ask clarifying questions. You can learn more about your clients and show how much you care by asking clarifying questions. For example, “How do you feel about the news that you’re going to need physical therapy?” or “Are you still financially struggling?”
- Push back delicately. If you need to push back against your client, correcting them on a mistake or providing them with alternative recommendations, do so gently. You can be resolute in your statement but try not to be aggressive or insensitive.
- Be responsive. Another easy strategy to follow is improving your responsiveness. In meetings, address your clients’ questions directly whenever possible and don’t change the subject or provide an ambiguous response. Similarly, it’s important to answer phone calls and emails as quickly as you can to show your desire to communicate politely and effectively.
- Ensure all your staff members follow suit. You’re not the only member of this team. Make sure all staff members who interact with your clients follow the same strategies and principles that you do.
Validating and establishing bonds with your clients is the fastest path toward better relationships and more referrals. That’s why so many personal injury lawyers are helping their clients by directing them to trustworthy, reputable pre-settlement funding lenders like Capital Now Funding. Contact us for more information today or encourage your clients to apply for a settlement loan directly!