Years ago when I was a new hire at one of the busiest, most successful personal injury firms in New York, a client who suffered a terrible accident that almost crippled him—and otherwise would have killed him instantly—came in to fill out some very important documents.
I won’t bore you with the details: in short, we needed these critical documents to get him the best possible outcome at his upcoming trial.
But, to do that, I had to sit down and ask him the dozens and dozens of pre-written questions, detailing every excruciating detail about how much his life had destroyed by the accident.
Questions such as:
– How he functions when in constant 10 out of 10 pain, every waking moment of every day.
– What it feels like as a former athlete to now struggle with basic, every day things like picking up a laundry basket—or even playing with his children.
– And even how badly has his marriage has suffered now that he can no longer care for (or even make love to) his wife anymore.
These are hard questions for even healthy people to answer. And they were downright unbearable for him tell a relative stranger.
So much so, he had a breakdown right in front of me.
That couldn’t take the pain and the struggle anymore…and he wanted to kill himself.
I wish I could say I sprung into action immediately—that I knew exactly what to do in order to calm him down and remind him that his life was worth living.
Instead, I was terrified.
That is, until I remembered how I’d been trained to handle our other clients when they were feeling extremely distressed, in pain, and hopeless. (Which was often, because of the business we were in.)
One of the things I’ve learned while working in law (besides getting everything in writing) is the importance of knowing who exactly you’re speaking with, so you know exactly how to deal with them.
Especially when it came to clients—in our line of work (personal injury) it was important that clients felt safe and, most importantly, reassured that they were in good hands.
(Which is exactly why our firm was so successful to begin with.)
Why? Because we needed our clients to be in the right frame of mind (helpful, willing, and even a little optimistic) so we could get what we needed (the clients’ help or, sometimes, the right evidence) to get what they wanted (our clients’ just compensation).
But, not every client was the same.
What was reassuring to one, would be soul-crushing to another.
And it was very, very important to know the difference.
Otherwise, it could be costly (the client could leave for another firm or just flat out not help us get the information we needed).
Or, like with this client, it could be outright life-threatening.
So, I couldn’t talk to this client in a way that I’m “supposed” to or even the way I’d want to be talked to if in the same situation.
I had to talk to him the way HE needed me to.
And, this came from knowing how he processes information, how he interprets his surroundings, what his priorities are, and how he preferred to engage with others.
In other words, knowing his personality type.
And, by doing that, he calmed down and grew at ease—and became not just a client to _my_ client. Because he trusted me.
Now, as I’ll say (again and again, and not just to cover my arse), I probably should have called someone when that happened. And, this is something I would adamantly insist anyone else do if they were in my shoes at the time.
But, this is nonetheless indicative of how powerful and persuasive personality typing can be—and how it can be applicable to almost any sort of client situation.
I go over these applications in Biz Typology, which is open for membership—but the bonus 30-day group coaching is coming to a close very soon (in two hours, to be exact)
To join Biz Typology—and confirm your seat in the bonus group coaching including weekly modules and Q&A calls—go here before 11:59pm EST: