Being an effective attorney involves much more than a firm grasp on the law and how it applies to situations. It also involves a strong ability to present this knowledge and form a persuasive argument. This ability does not always come naturally. Some people are born with the gift of easily influencing others, but many of us have to work to develop the skill.
Persuading others towards accepting your argument or point of view is important for almost every aspect of effectively practicing law. From gaining clients to convincing jurors to closing deals, a persuasive attorney will often be a successful one.
The talent of persuasion is one thing; it involves a natural ability to influence others. However, we believe that the art of persuasion is something else and can be developed for those who are not gifted in this way. The skill of persuasion can be even more effective because it is a conscious act that has been perfected through knowledge and practice.
Even your first interaction with a client will be an important time to use this skill. Throughout your relationship with the client, you will continue to persuade them and eventually close the deal. Here are a few tips that will help any attorney be more persuasive and help close the deal.
Persuasion is not only about the message you mean to convey but about how you convey it. As an attorney, your job will often involve taking complex information and compacting into short, easily digestible bits. The more simplified the language, the more persuasive it will be.
Be a Chameleon
People like themselves. They like people who act like them. You can use this simple fact to your advantage. Use similar language, tone and vernacular as the client. Studies have shown that mimicry of body language also makes a person more likable and persuasive.
It will be hard to persuade someone on your point of view if they do not believe you are knowledgeable and confident about it. Be certain and avoid hesitations like “umm” and “I mean.”
Learn from Others
The next time you are in a sales environment take notice of what they do and how they try to persuade you to buy a product. Salesmen and marketing specialists have some of the most effective persuasion skills of anyone, and you can learn a lot from them.
Tell a Story
Language is nothing more than symbols that invoke mental images. Keep this in mind when speaking and use words that will cause your client to draw the image you want in his or her mind.
Don’t Let Them Know
Nobody likes to think they are being persuaded. It is an uncomfortable position that naturally causes defensive reactions. Although persuasion may be obvious in some instances, try to make it seem as though you are having a natural, friendly conversation.
Persuasion is an invaluable skill in many occupations such as retail associate or car salesman but is particularly crucial for attorneys. You must convey a level trust in order to sell someone on your services, expertise, and ultimately your personability. The next time you call in a potential client, try these simple methods to get them on board with your firm.
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