Study after study reinforces that one of the main causes of client dissatisfaction--and departure--is not knowing their business, which can mean being perceived as not having sufficient context for your legal advice to maximize its value. It also means that you won’t be able to proactively approach them with fresh thinking that will differentiate you from all the other lawyers whose expertise and experience equals yours.
If your conversations are largely limited to discussions about legal work in progress, or trying to get them to reallocate their current legal spend in your favor, you’re part of the problem. Here’s how to reposition yourself.
Unless you’re helping a prospect inform and make a specific decision about a specific offer, you’re not selling, you’re still marketing. It’s only when you progress to the point where the entire focus is on deciding whether or not to buy that you’re selling. Everything else is marketing. If it’s about your products or services, it’s marketing. You may have some overlap, i.e., where you have to do some ongoing solution discussion during the sale, but the important point is recognizing that if you’re not talking about a decision, you’re not selling yet, which means you’re not getting closer to getting business.
Sales trainers have long taught us that “price” actually is code for “value.” Discount requests have always been a signal that your value is perceived as out of line with what you charge. However, when discount requests become the norm, that’s a larger, more ominous signal.
Summer is over. It's time to get back in Prime Time business mode. Ten weeks from today, Wednesday, November 23, the end-of-year clock starts ticking as people traverse the US to be with family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday. That means that you have less than three months to take meaningful steps to reach your annual revenue goal.
Many lawyers have told me that the biggest barrier to getting started with serious business development is feeling overwhelmed, not knowing what to do, or how to begin. One significant cause is complexity. Here's how to simplify everything.
If no one within the prospect organization actively wants you to win, you won't. It's that simple.
"Win" does not mean "compete." Many buyers are willing to let you compete. They call it due diligence, with you spending your time and money filling out a field of putative competitors. Here's how to deal with that.
The biggest marketing and sales obstacle lawyers face is unconscious incompetence. It means you don't know what you don't know. That's one of the four stages of competence. This matters because one characteristic of that stage is overconfidence about your innate ability to generate business, based on ignorance of what it actually takes to generate business. If you want to learn a new skill, get some professional help.
How many times have you called someone at the appointed time, only to learn that they were out of the office, or in a meeting, or otherwise unavailable? It's tempting to chalk it up to the person being rude or inconsiderate, and there are doubtless times when that's true, but many of these experiences can be avoided by embracing some simple disciplines.
One of the biggest sales challenges facing lawyers is their lack of sales urgency. That means that when a prospect appears, they're in no hurry to pursue it. They delay, the opportunity atrophies and is lost.
When you market and sell, are you an amateur or a professional? Here are four key differences between the amateur salesperson and the professional.