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Regardless of good times or tough times, we all have clients who value our work. In fact, many think enough of us to urge their friends or colleagues to hire us. 

It's always uplifting to get a call from anyone who was referred by a client. We feel appreciated and validated. 

Don't, however, do what one lawyer did last week when she got a call from a prospect referred by a client. She assumed that she could take a shortcut and coast her way into the engagement. As a result, she lost it.

Don't shortcut the vetting process. Just because you come "pre-screened" by a referral, do not think for a moment that your preliminary work is finished.

Stick with the basics. Have a conversation with your prospect that demonstrates what kind of lawyer you are, and what it's like to work with you. "Product sampling" is a proven marketing tool.

Ask your prospect: 

  • What (business) problem are you trying to solve via the legal system?
  • What are its current consequences?
  • Who has the most to lose?
  • Who else is impacted by this issue?
  • Do all the stakeholders see things the same way? 

Don't just assume you've got the engagement by virtue of your client's ringing endorsement. Remember that defeat can always be snatched from the jaws of victory.  

Stay with a disciplined investigation: 

  • Identify and confirm the Door-Opener problem that's driving this discussion. 
  • Test for the Cost of Doing Nothing. (If it's low, there may be no engagement to win.)
  • Discuss categories of solution options and their respective ramifications.
  • Test for alignment. Does this buyer agree with how you think?
  • Assume that there are others with a stake in this decision. Pursue "stakeholder alignment" to help them with their immediate problem, which is getting a group of people to make a decision.
  • Ask for sensible next steps and timing. 

Earn the engagement. No shortcuts. 

Mike O'Horo

The links above connect you to just a few of the RainmakerVT online training courses that will help you market and sell in a way that buyers prefer, and that will make the business-generation portion of your professional life easier.

There are two ways to get access to RainmakerVT courses:

  • Through your firm. Contact your Marketing- or Business Development department and ask for this training. (If they're not yet making the most innovative training in the law business available to you, ask them to contact us at 702-942-7367 to learn how to get RainmakerVT's interactive online training for your colleagues and you.) 
  • Immediate unlimited 10-day access via credit card. On each course description page, you'll see a Buy Course button.