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How to Develop Relationships

Developing relationships is a skill that you need to have in any type of business situation, but its especially crucial for lawyers. There is a stereotype that lawyers are bad people and shouldn't be trusted - this makes the process of making allies a vital one. There's no one right way to develop a relationship so be open to trying different techniques with different people. Here are three key strategies to keep in mind.

1) It's important to know that even when you're not selling your services that you are selling yourself.

You are the best representation of your brand because you're often the introduction to it, and the first impression that people receive. That means you need to epitomize your brand as a matter of presenting consistency which in many peoples minds equates to reliability. Everybody wants a lawyer they can rely on.

2) Don't continuously offer discounts.

Just because it's possible to buy friends doesn't mean that it's a smart thing to do. When you lure people in by promising lower than advertised hourly rates if they hire you or regularly take on free cases in the hopes that it'll lead to paying work you put yourself in an awkward position that its incredibly difficult to get out of.

On the one hand, you'll probably have a huge network but on the other hand chances are good that your network won't truly benefit you. It's okay and even recommended that you engage in some philanthropic activities but you can't sustain an entire practice by running it like a discount store.

3) Look on the brighter side.

There's an old saying that says when you smile the whole world smiles with you but when you cry, you cry alone. That's just another way of saying that people prefer positivity.

While you should never lie or force out a smile that's clearly being faked, you can project a good attitude in other simple ways.

For example, avoid saying negative things about your competition or judges you've presented cases in front of, such comments don't serve any purpose except to make you look jealous or petty and you'll never build a quality network like that.