Are You Tired of Struggling with Sales in Your Law Firm?

Sales gets a bad rap. While some of it may be warranted, most of it comes from a misperception. When we hear sales, many of us picture the stereotypical used-car salesman and then proceed to get the heebeegeebees.

Whether we like it or not, we’re all in sales. If you own your own business, you’re in sales. Every time you talk to a prospective client about engaging your legal services, you’re in sales. We just don’t think of it that way because we aren’t in a low-budget commercial screaming, “Come on down!”

Unlike marketing, which speaks to a wide audience, sales is a one-on-one conversation. Both you and the prospective client are figuring out if working together is a good fit. While the client will likely have specific questions, during a sales meeting (or consultation) we as the lawyer should not be the one doing all the talking. Because the sales process isn’t about us at all. It’s about the client.

I spend most of my consultations asking lots of questions and then closely listening. While the dynamic is certainly conversational, I’m working through a predefined structure to gather the pertinent information I need. The process starts even before I chat with the prospect because they’ve filled out a customized intake form. With that initial information in hand, I ask questions about:

  • How soon they expect to make a decision
  • Where they are in the court or litigation process
  • What are they concerned about
  • Whether they’ve spoken with other lawyers
  • What success looks like
  • What kind of help they are looking for
  • What their budget is or what they’d ideally like to spend (yes, really)

Just as lawyers don’t come in a one-size-fits-all mold, our practices shouldn’t either. We shouldn’t have just one service offering for a certain type of case. Based on the potential client’s answers to my questions, a customized solution can be created that will best fit their needs. Only after the prospect has talked most of the time, answered all my questions, and shown they would be a good fit as a client, do I talk about the solution. When I do so, I tie that solution back to the pain points they mentioned so they can directly see how working with me will help fix their problem.

Unless the prospect asks a specific question about it, at no point in this sales process do I talk about me. Ever. I don’t talk about where I went to school or how long I’ve been practicing. I don’t talk about accolades or organizations or memberships. Why? Because it’s not about me. It’s about them. It’s about listening to their problems and offering a solution. If your solution doesn’t work for them, that’s ok. Not everyone is a good fit. But if it does – bam! You just made a sale, you salesperson, you.

And you did it all with out sleazy tactics, cheap graphics, or late-night commercials. You just had a conversation.

How do your sales meets go now? What questions are you asking? Is the prospective client talking more than you?