Relevant References Build Rapport with Potential Clients during Speeches

Great legal work alone rarely keeps clients happy:  lawyers also need great relationships to bolster the client-attorney connection.  Sometimes cultural impediments arise in relationships between clients and attorneys, even when they speak the same language. One way to boost the attorney-client relationship is by connecting with clients–building and maintaining rapport with them across cultural divides.

Lawyers can build this rapport early on–even while giving speeches to potential clients from other cultures.  I was reminded of this a few days ago while I  listened to Sir Howard, Director of the London School of Economics, as he addressed a group of American LSE alumni on a very British topic: Brown’s Britain vs. Blair’s. 

Recognizing that his audience was American, he began to build rapport with culturally applicable analogies.  For example, Sir Howard included parallels to the Republican and Democratic parties, and other US-centric references. Not only did this add interest to his speech, but it also helped to create rapport.

In his book Wake Em’Up:  How to Create Alarmingly Good Business Presentations, humorist and speaker Tom Antion addresses this topic.  He describes how he built rapport with a group of Indian businessmen in America; Tom researched the name of the top Indian comic, and quipped that he was standing in for the Indian comic who unfortunately couldn’t make it.  The audience roared in appreciation–and this built bridges between the speaker and his audience.

 

Next time that you are speaking to potential clients from other cultures, include analogies and other references to their culture. Acknowledging and appreciating their culture will help to bridge the gap and build attorney-client rapport.

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