I think it's fair to say that every one of us feels the need to be known. This is not about being popular or famous, necessarily, but rather, about connection and affirmation. We show up every day, not only for ourselves, but for the people who know us. And this is something we cannot take for granted when it comes to how we interact with others. In our practice, and in our lives, the best way to foster strong relationships of any kind is to make an effort to truly get to know people.
Whether you are interfacing with prospective employers, prospective clients, existing clients, or colleagues, you will go far if you can demonstrate that you truly know the person or people with whom you are speaking.
- Prospective Employers
When it comes to prospective employers, you are more likely to have a successful interview and more likely to get hired if you can demonstrate that you are exceedingly knowledgeable about the particular firm or company you are interviewing with.
There is nothing more important than making a client feel special. We excel at this when it comes to pitching new clients (we research, learn everything we can about the client, and cater to the client's particular idiosyncrasies and nuances), but tend to get lazy about it once we land the client.
This is a mistake. It will serve you well to continually research and learn about your existing clients. Keep up with your clients' news and current events. Know your clients on a personal level. Take a few minutes every quarter to check in with your clients (without billing for it). The better you know your clients (and the more they feel you know them), the more loyal your clients will be to you.
In the interest of excelling in your office environment, in the interest of being well-known and well-liked by all, it is a good idea to interface with your colleagues as well. Get to know your colleagues. Ask them questions (and listen to their responses). Take an interest in what they are working on and in what they enjoy outside of work. By knowing the people around you, you will also be known.
Desiree Moore is the President and founder of Greenhorn Legal, LLC. Greenhorn Legal offers intensive practical skills training programs for law students and new lawyers as they transition from law school into their legal practices. Ms. Moore is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and was an associate at the law firm of K&L Gates. She can be found on Twitter at @greenhornlegal.