With the election still fresh in our minds, and analyses coming from all sides, I questioned whether the candidates, in their attempts to influence behavior, used tools in interacting with the electorate that can make a material difference in how law firms interact with their clients.      


Sincerity wins.

Whether a campaign stop, press conference, debate, words from surrogates or an ad, it was about communication as an art form.  Leaders who have the power to persuade use passion, excitement and realness to break through.   

In her article in Fast Company entitled “Leading Through The Power of Persuasion,”* Charlotte Beers, former CEO of the global ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, says that the best leaders influence and bring others on board by being genuine.  “[Y]ou have to be vulnerable, to show passion and belief in an unproven idea, and to risk failure by pursuing it . . . find a delivery style that allows you to communicate your conviction in a compelling, inescapable way.”

Passion and pathos, humor and wit, and imperfection are tools that persuade because they are genuine, authentic and disarming.  They create an emotional bond, remove the hard edges and give you permission to care.

Polls showed that relate-ability mattered.


“Clients don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you care.” 

This is a refrain often relayed by lawyers and law firm marketers who visit clients as part of a client feedback/retention program. 

We also hear “we hired them because they listened to us,” or “if we are all working late and the stress is on, I hope they are fun to be with.”

Clients assume their lawyers do good work and will get the best result they can.  Loyalty is about the work you do and the emotional bond you create. 

In sum:

  •   Realness can win over cool composure
  •  Put a premium on listening
  • √  Persuasion can be learned


*Adapted from her recent book, I’d Rather Be In Charge.