It all starts with communication. Communication is the key to manage the client relationship. As much as people would like to think that a client just wants to be told what they want to hear, most successful people want to know what your opinion is or they would not ask. I think they appreciate the honesty and the fact that you are direct with them.
Essential to communication is listening, a necessary skill for any trusted advisor. When you listen you connect with your client. Clients have concerns that need to be addressed or they would not be seeking your services.
I always tell people what I really do is manage “emotion.” It is our job to listen thru the emotion and guide the client to the logical reality and at the same time, understand their sensitivity to the issue.
Of course, what comes with listening and interaction brings us to the heart of communication – the return phone call or email. Remember the emotion and anxiety a client feels when a situation arises is real and needs to be addressed. Many times I have had clients tell me they can’t get in touch with their attorney no matter what they do. Clients want to know what is going on.
The reality is communication skills are universal in our relationships, whether business or personal and the foundation on which a successful practice or business is built.