Will Rogers said, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” I took this to heart every time I met a potential or new client. My goal was to exude confidence without arrogance and create a welcoming environment. Smile, be friendly, be real.
Entrepreneurs have great stories and ambitions. It is not difficult to be interested and excited with them. However, it’s important that the client visibly sees that you are engaged. Using a laptop to take notes is not engaging; use a legal pad and actively listen, only taking notes when necessary.
Maintaining eye contact and nodding occasionally while the client is talking gives them the confidence that you are listening and interested in what they have to say. Remember, this first meeting is as much about you getting information from the potential client as it is them seeing if they would like to work with you or not. You need to gather facts and information.
📖 Review Jim Lovelace’s short article called “Learning to Listen.” Lovelace notes that there are three listening categories: Self-Focused Listening, Empathic Listening, and Comprehensive Listening. Which type of listener are you?
📖 Read this article by Annie Little, “Lawyers Suck at Listening: Three Ways to Turn it Around.”
💡 What will you do to become a better listener?