Great advice. I remember reading Jay Foonberg's book on starting a law practice, in which he tells of one of his first clients. This person liked Foonberg's candid approach so much that he wanted to hire him even when Foonberg protested his own lack of experience.
As an attorney I try to avoid even the appearance of a "hard sell", because I want potential clients to be at ease. I think a lot flows from the mindset of a practitioner-- looking at every contact as a chance to make a buck, versus as a chance to help someone with brief advice and potentially start a lasting relationship, whether or not the person needs one's services at that point in time. It could be that I'm too soft, but my experience has been that avoiding pushiness not only is the nicer way to be, but tends to make people want to hire me more. I just try to project being a straight shooter (and of course try to actually be one as well).
I agree about the ratings on these sites being subject to manipulation. Choosing an attorney on such a basis alone is tantamount to picking the one with the biggest, flashiest ad in the phone book.
Excellent points. I have all the wonderful ratings -- AV Preemeinent, Super Lawyer, Legal Elite, Avvo 10.0, etc., etc. That's all nice to have, but every bit of it can be manipulated easily by anyone who knows how.