Any sale is driven by the buyer’s sense of the relative imperative to solve (vs. merely discuss) the problem that motivates the buyer to seek a solution. It underlies and shapes the search for a legal service provider. For inexperienced sellers, it's easy to focus on and talk about the wrong data or information (e.g., their solution or experience) and unwittingly create barriers to buyers’ willingness to engage with them.
The power resides in the problem
Sellers have lots of solution-oriented information, and are most comfortable talking about that. But, remember how you opened the door to this sales conversation: by discussing your Door-Opener, i.e., the underlying business problem that drives demand for your solutions and services.
How can a buyer see your solution as relevant if you don’t demonstrate that you thoroughly understand the problem, and the business context within which they must solve it?
Buyers own the problem-defining data, e.g., its nature, scale, and impact on strategy, operations, economics and individual buyers' careers. If you’re well informed about the buyer's industry, you may at the outset understand how the problem affects a typical company in this industry, and you grasp its impact in categorical terms.
However, you don’t yet understand the specific flavor of it that this company and this buyer are experiencing and willing to acknowledge. Until you do, your solution information remains categorical and only of threshold relevance. (BTW, if they're not willing to acknowledge having the problem, walk away; there is no chance of selling anything.)
Use the investigative skill that has made you successful as a lawyer. Learn as much as possible about the problem’s scale, scope and impact. This is what your prospect wants to talk about, because it's what she's already talking about with others who have a stake in the problem. Discussions of business problems are infinitely more sustainable than are discussions about your experience and ability.
Learn how to engage various stakeholders to learn the company-specific version of the industry problem under discussion.
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