How to Influence Your Team and Clients
Does influence show up in your law firm? Better yet, do you know what influence even looks like in a law firm?
If not, you’re in the right place!
Today, we will talk about influence, how you can recognize it, and how you can increase both your influence and the influence of your firm.
This topic came to us at this year’s Clio Conference. Robert Cialdini wrote a book called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and gave a presentation on it at the conference. We’re going to cover some of the highlights from his book and presentation. Specifically, we’ll explain Cialdini’s “three levers of influence” and how you can practically use them in your own law firm.
Levers of Influence
In his book, Cialdini talks about different “levers of influence.” These are the tools that we use to have influence over people or use influence over other people.
The first lever is reciprocity. The idea behind this is that it requires one person to try to repay what another person has provided to them. For example, if you get a gift in the mail for your birthday, the idea of reciprocity says that you’re going to try and repay the person that sent you the gift. You might send them a gift for their birthday or do something else to repay them.
In the context of a law firm, reciprocity can be useful when you’re dealing with team members. If you want to gain the support of your team members, you might try and help them first. Then, when you need help, they’re wanting to reciprocate and give you help.
This can also work well with your clients or potential clients. For example, imagine you give new clients a small gift to welcome them to the firm and tell them how excited you are to work with them. A week later, you might follow up and ask them to fill out a questionnaire or give you a bunch of information that you need in order to represent them well. That is one way to use reciprocity well in your firm.
The next lever of influence is liking. People prefer to say yes to individuals that they like. We want to do business with people we know, like, and trust.
When thinking about the different things that make people like you, the first is physical attractiveness. The other two are similarity and association. We like people that are similar to us and are usually influenced more by them. Most of the time, this is all subconscious.
There are many ways to use the lever of liking in marketing. However, aside from that, there are other ways you can use it in your firm to influence your clients. The most obvious is getting to know your clients and making some time to find out information about them. Point out anything that you notice as a similarity. This will help them like you more and help you influence them.
The third and final lever of influence is social proof. The idea behind social proof is that we determine what’s correct by finding out what other people think is correct. We’re always looking at what other people are doing. It’s a shortcut we use so don’t have to spend as much time researching or figuring things out.
As law firm owners, we leverage social proof on our websites all of the time. You may display your bar association, especially if it’s a local one. On top of that, you should display testimonials and reviews on your website. This will build both social proof and likeability with potential clients.
The key with all of these levers of influence is to not stop using them when you make a sale. Once a client has been sold on your services, you still want to influence them. Using likeability, social proof, and reciprocity throughout the client journey can help make it a more successful relationship.
If you want to learn more about the levers of influence, check out Episode 069: How Does Influence Show Up in Your Firm? Part 1.