Meeting with clients can be awkward.
If your clients come to you at a vulnerable time, they may be overwhelmed by legal jargon and the degree on your wall. Other clients may have plenty of experience dealing with lawyers, and you are expected to convince them that you understand their business and are better qualified than all the others.
In the first case, awkwardness or shop-talk can be unrewarding. In the second, straight up-and-down legal advice may be too dull. Being able to engage with your clients on a person-to-person level will set you apart and set them at ease.
Engaging with your clients may be as simple as telling them the story of how you started in this area of law, or as confronting as telling them your personal stories of similar circumstances.
The most important thing is that making sure that what you talk about it relevant to that particular client. Telling effective stories is about knowing your audience. Listening to their stories will give you insight into what they need, what they’re missing, and what they will respond positively to.
Listening to your client may seem obvious, but meeting clients can be overwhelming and it can be easy to lose focus. The need to fill in every awkward silence means that small talk or the “pitch of everything” takes over the conversation.
Once you know what your client is looking for, you can tailor your own stories to engage and influence them.