Why Office Style Matters to Clients

Think back to your first visit at a new dentist. What was on the walls? Were the chairs new? Was it clean?

Modern Conference Room

First impressions are important and they impact decision-making. In fact, studies show that humans make judgements in seconds.

Because of people's propensity for snap decisions, a law office should showcase professionalism, individuality and competency as soon as someone steps in the front door.

When a client shows up at your office, they come with assumptions and expectations. And aptitude is easily recognizable.

Just like you wouldn't return to an unclean dentist's office or a restaurant with a filthy bathroom, potential clients will stay away from an unprofessional and uninviting law office.

You should expect clients to weigh each office style decision you make, whether positive or negative. Does their analysis get you hired or call your expertise into question?

Yes, the way you speak, the way you dress and how a client is met by reception are crucial to the process, but office style is an often overlooked and underutilized tool to gain more clients.

What to Showcase

When a client is waiting in your office, they won't have much else to do but look around and see what's on your walls and tables. If they see consistent examples of your expertise and success, trust is built toward the decision-making process.

Meeting rooms and public spaces are most important because that is where most prospective clients come for consultations. They want to know you have legitimate credentials. As a result, a good presentation means you can tout your accomplishments on the wall, on a shelf or in a bookcase in a way that is unobtrusive and prominent. A diploma is a good start, but if you're a Super Lawyers or Rising Stars list selectee, what better way to showcase competency, and influence return customers, than displaying that you're one of the top lawyers in your state or region?

If you were found on the Super Lawyers or FindLaw online directories, a client may not immediately know or understand what a particular legal accolade means. As a result, using your meeting spaces as a soft promotion opportunity is a great option. Give excellence the attention it deserves by placing a Super Lawyers recognition plaque in common areas or meeting spaces to build trust and start a conversation.

Creating visual cues that emphasize your Super Lawyers list selection or Rising Stars list selection might give the necessary push for a prospective client to become a current one.

Giving clients a positive first impression doesn't simply mean getting back to them and saying you're the best attorney for the job, it's about creating an atmosphere where they feel comfortable. And don't be afraid to have a little fun. Showing off your personality and interests helps clients know a little more about you and only adds to a sense of trust.

The way you present yourself as an attorney is often the difference between a client hiring you or finding a different attorney. Make sure what you showcase convinces future clients they made the right decision.

From making your awards and achievements visible in your office to issuing a press release to creating a blog presence, Leveraging Your Legal Accolades Playbook provides a practical guide on the significance of self-promotion. Download the playbook here.