Let’s recap where we left off in What to do when you’re offered a referral

Your friend, Janice Brown, introduced you to a colleague, Jack, whom she believed to have a legal issue you could help with. Beforehand, you discussed with Janice why she thought he would welcome the contact and how he might benefit from a meeting with you, let alone any ultimate legal advice — in this way identifying the problem Jack would acknowledge having and a foundation of your initial conversation with him. The introductory phone call to Jack went well, narrowing the focus on his current problem, and you agreed to meet to discuss it in depth.

Here’s what to do next.

It’s time for the sales investigation meeting

As an overview of some goals to achieve in your meeting with Jack, remember to reconfirm that the securities issue remains his priority — but be prepared to abandon it in favor of whatever is most pressing now. Whatever issue commands the agenda, learn the hard deadline for a solution and lead Jack through a dialog that results in him quantifying the economic importance of the problem. This not only reconfirms its priority, but also establishes a very high ROI for the cost:value relationship for your legal fees. 

By doing so, you’ll get Jack to do something really important for you: Position your solution as a return on investment rather than a cost.

What to Say?

Following brief pleasantries (Janice told you Jack was a “to-the-point guy”), the conversation during the investigation meeting might resemble this, and provide the following effects.


At this point, Jack has proved to both of you that he must do something. Therefore, this is a legitimate sales opportunity. You facilitated Jack recognizing and acknowledging an action imperative based on the actual or projected consequences of the problem. Clarity has real value, and the higher up the executive chain, the more value it has.

You accomplished your original purpose: You made Janice look good to Jack, and you have Jack thanking you for the meeting instead of the other way around.

You also enabled continuity — there is a basis for asking Jack, “What do you see as sensible next steps?” which usually leads to explicit buying behavior, and “When does it make sense for us to reconnect?” which solves your continuity problem.

Mike O’Horo

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