It’s no secret that COVID-19 has changed our lives and our profession. Take a look at How Coronavirus and a Bear Market Could Upend Law Firm Hiring, and The Impact Of COVID-19 On Law Firm Practices.  Both articles were posted in March.

I hope things are improving now, but now more than ever you must stand out from the crowd. You have to be persuasive to get hired by a law firm or to get hired by a new client.

I’ve written about persuasion several times over the last 15 years. When I practiced law I studied persuasion I read many books including the one I thought was best- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion . 

Well know professor and expert Robert B. Cialdini outlines the six principles of persuasion. I tried to use each of the following principles:

  1. Reciprocation
  2. Commitment/Consistency
  3. Authority
  4. Social Validation
  5. Scarcity
  6. Liking/Friendship

All of these principles should be applied to successful client development. The principle of reciprocation is that people are more likely to respond to people who have given them something of value. Find something valuable you can do for no fee or give to your clients, potential clients and referral sources.

The principle of commitment and consistency is extremely important in the client development. Studies show that when a person makes a commitment they are far more likely to follow through. If a potential client tells you he is searching for an opportunity to work with you, he is more likely to find one.

The principle of authority is that people are more willing to follow the directions or recommendations from someone they perceive to be an expert. So, your goal should be to become the “go to lawyer” to your target market or in your niche practice.

The principle social validation means your potential clients are more likely to hire you if they know you represent an important client in their industry.

The principle of scarcity means your potential clients would rather have a lawyer who is busy than a lawyer who needs the work.

The liking and friendship principle means that clients want to do business with lawyers they like and trust. Your clients should also be your friends and your friends should also be your clients.

I recommend this book.  In the meantime, I recommend watching this video.