So You Want to Run the Client Meeting (Part 1) | Jerome Shore

So You Want to Run the Client Meeting (Part 1) | Jerome Shore

15 January, 2020

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]So You Want to Run the Client Meeting [part 1]
Jerome Shore
My client is a partner in an associate heavy litigation firm. He has told us that he wants to attend less client meetings. He wants associates going in his place. Unfortunately they are not always ready so he wants to grow their client facing skills to fast track their independence and earn himself more time.
Of course associates must have legal knowledge, file management skills, writing know-how and strategic acumen as they increase their independence. Despite having those attributes many associates are still not ready to face clients alone. There are ways to hurry the process along. We’ve got six ideas for associates to consider. Two in Part 1 below. And four more in Parts 2 & 3 coming soon.
Body language: First of all an associate needs to look the part. This includes what you wear and how you groom yourself. There’s tons of “how to” information for that in magazines and from the people who sell clothes. But there’s another level of “look the part”. I spoke to Tessa Desatnik, a communication skills coach who focuses on overall communication whether visual, vocal or content delivery.  As she explained, “You may be an expert in your field but how you deliver your message and communicate this expertise, is key.  You are not a “talking head” and your body will either reinforce your message and confidence or undermine perceived confidence and expertise.  Vocal habits or idiosyncrasies will have the same effect.” With this in mind, here are two simple ideas to carry an executive demeanor.
Stand solidly on two feet.  Constantly leaning to one side or shifting back and forth can make you appear nervous or disinterested.  If you sometimes catch yourself slouching at inopportune times there are dozens of websites to show you how to hold your body confidently.
Use your hands to help you listen and communicate. The basic listening position while sitting at a table is to have your hands on the table in front of you with one covering the other or steepled. This is calming, making it easier to listen. From this position your hands can easily gesture to complement your message without becoming distracting.
Find a way to build rapport. Good rapport is in part, the absence of skepticism, and therefore makes communicating ideas smoother. The number of words needed to make a point is inversely related to the amount of rapport present. Rapport is a function of trust. And trust is built on common ground.
In face to face communication there are two ways to get to common ground fast. One is in the environment. Is there something to comment on that shows you’re interested in the same things as your client? Another way is to listen for clues in what you hear that you can identify as a common interest. Common ground. People feel safer, and more trusting, when they are speaking to someone with common interests. Find some.
So, those are hints on Body Language and Building Rapport. In Part 2 of this article we will cover Listening and Acting on Purpose and in Part 3 Using Constructive Discontent and Dialing in Your Ego for Situational Effectiveness.
Jerome Shore is an Executive Coach in Toronto, Canada. Clients to look to Jerome for help with Marketing, Leadership and Stress Management. He can be reached at or 1-416-787-5555.
Tessa Desatnik is a communication coach and Director with the Circle & Square practice of the Farber Group. She can be reached or 1-416-704-3884[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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