*This article appeared in Mass Bar Lawyer’s e-Journal - Tip of the Week: 10/22/2009
A little bit of southern hospitality
I recently met with an opposing party for a divorce case who was raised in Texas, and what surprised me was that he was extremely polite. After giving the client bad news, he says to me, “Yes sir, I understand. Thank you for telling me.” I was floored.
After the meeting, I was reminded of one of my law school internships. The owner would say, “Good night” and “Thank you” to every employee, whether it was the secretary or an associate, when they left for the day. It was just two simple words―thank you―and it made all the difference. I still remember it because it made me feel good. It made me feel as if my day and my efforts were appreciated and it contributed to making the boss’s day better.
This also translates to better client relations as well. Treating your clients with respect and understanding them, even when what they’re saying doesn’t make sense or you don’t agree with them, will foster a better and more respectful relationship between you and your clients. And when your representation is over, why not give them a call (in addition to the closing letter) to tell them you appreciate their business and to thank them. It’ll make them feel good and it’ll also make you feel good.
Thank you for reading.
This tip is courtesy of Gabriel Cheong, member of Starting out Solo.