Have you heard the sales axiom that goes “All things being equal, people buy from people they like?” I certainly believe that because that drives my purchases. The other adage I don’t remember hearing before is “All things not being equal, people still buy from people they like.” That’s true too on a personal level, because I have paid more and traveled further to buy products and services from people I like.

Both maxims were included in the article “Kindness helps Win Legal Business” by Joey Asher that appeared in the Fulton County Daily Record, and also on Law.com’s Small Firm Business.

Asher relates several stories about how being nice lead to more business; and, how Cravath Swaine & Moore increased associate retention as a result of partners saying “thank you” to associates, which he attributes to a story in the The Wall Street Journal.

I agree with him that “[N]iceness really can be a business strategy.” Asher also tells us about the inspirational anecdotes he read in “The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness” by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, who run an advertising agency that attributes its success to being nice. One story involves how being kind led to the birth of the ice cream cone.

The article made me smile, which also happens to be one of the best ways of getting everyone you come in contact with to be nice. And that my law firm friends can lead to happy employees (from the receptionist to the copy room staff, not to mention associates), who will then treat clients with kindness, which leads to more business. Hmm, interesting concept.

Is niceness part of your firm’s business development strategy?