You didn’t go to law school to be a salesperson. But, for solos and small firms, every new client is technically a sale. Clients need to choose you to represent them and you need to convey to them why you are the right lawyer for the job.
Thankfully, selling yourself as the right lawyer for the job isn’t like selling cars.
The articles this week can help you ensure you are making the most of sales opportunities, avoiding common pitfalls, and adhering to the ethical standards of the profession.
Sales for Lawyers: How to Close and Make it Rain
via AttorneySync by Gyi Tsakalakis
This article highlights the subtleties of sales for lawyers–emphasizing being a good listener to build rapport before closing the deal. Leveraging systems that will track leads, schedule follow ups, and measure results can be highly effective as well to ensure you are building towards success. Favorite Action Point: Rather than speaking overtly about your firm’s accomplishments, listen carefully to the client’s problem, then explain why you are capable of resolving it.
via Rainmaker Blog and MyCase by Stephen Fairley
Converting leads is crucial! Even with the best marketing plan in the world, leads don’t mean much if you can’t turn them into clients. Lead conversion begins the moment someone initiates contact with you, not after they come into the office. Favorite Action Point: Follow the 5 minute follow-up rule. Outside of this window, lead conversion drops by 400%– chances are, you will lose your lead to a competitor who IS answering their phone.
via AttorneyMarketing.com by David Ward
In one capacity or another, we all have to be salespeople. Marketing may not be as bad, or as much work as we think. So much of what we do, even if it’s not directly “selling” is aimed at helping our firms bring in business. Favorite Action Point: Start thinking of conversations as opportunities to strengthen your personal brand–Demonstrate your competency through words.
via Forbes by Kathy Caprino
As the saying goes, working smart is better than working hard–while your sales efforts may be valiant, it is crucial to ensure you are making the most of each sale by avoiding common mistakes including talking too much, not mentioning problems, and even over-selling. Favorite Action Point: As a lawyer, in most cases your prospect already knows what you’re selling. Rather than “Selling by Telling,” ask prospective clients questions that help them draw their own conclusions about why they need your service.
via TechCrunch by James Altucher
Sometimes we need to look at things from a unique perspective to better understand them. Many of our preconceived notions about selling are not necessarily true. For instance, it helps to realize that you are selling everything in your firm. Not literally, but realize that you are not just selling a product or service, but your services, employees, ideas, and a unique experience. Favorite Action Point: Saying “no” is okay sometimes. Not all customers are good customers–it is not unreasonable to drop a sale that isn’t a good fit, or if you know you can’t exceed expectations.
With sales and marketing for law firms, state ethics rules dictate what lawyers can and can’t do. This article breaks it down. Favorite action point: Don’t say you’re the “best” lawyer. Instead, focus on other things clients care about – namely, how responsive you are to your clients.
And just for fun…