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"You have to fall in love with the process of becoming great."

If you claim to want to become a rainmaker and escape the professional and financial vulnerability associated with depending on others for clients and work, what are you willing to do to get it? Do you even know what it takes to get what you say you want?  The amount of time and effort required will vary depending on the amount and type of business you're trying to generate, your market position now, and a few other factors.

What are the most common sales objections?

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.

58% of sales meetings are not valuable to buyers

In a recent post, I shared research showing that 82% of B2B decision-makers consider commercial salespersons to be unprepared. I speculated (with confidence based on almost 30 years coaching lawyers) that lawyers might not fare even that well on the “prepared” scale. Yes, it’s that bad.

Nail that meeting with your prospective client

A prospective client has identified three lawyers whom she believes possess the expertise and standing to solve her problem. The good news is that you’re one of them, and 10 minutes from now she’ll be sitting in your office to interview you.

The less-good news? You don’t know much about her beyond whatever dry information a Google search and her LinkedIn profile revealed. Here’s how to raise the odds in your favor.

The future of law firm business development belongs to the bold

Ultimately, the meek may inherit the earth. But history suggests that, in the meantime, meek salespeople will waste time, money and energy and miss out on the opportunities awaiting those with the vision and courage to take bold action. Legal service selling isn’t changing; it’s being born. Any similarities between what was and what will be is coincidental. Get ready for the future.

Amateurs v. Professionals

When you market and sell, are you an amateur or a professional? Here are four key differences between the amateur salesperson and the professional.

How big is your sales force?

If you’re the only one doing the selling for your practice, and only for three hours per week, it will take a while for you as a solo salesperson to produce what you want. You need a larger (virtual) sales force. Let me explain.

It's not about making a deal

Do you think (and fear) that you need a whole new set of skills for business development? Relax. You already have all the skills you need: your "lawyering" skills. You just need to apply them to marketing and selling.

The "Earn the Right to Advance" Sequence

How fast should you try to move the sale along? How aggressive should you be? How long should you wait before recontacting the prospect you met with? These are the questions that comprised a high percentage of the coaching calls I fielded from lawyers over the past 20-odd years. Here's how to answer them.

Beware of sales shortcuts

Just because you come "pre-screened" by a referral, don't assume that you can take a shortcut and coast into the engagement. Stick with a disciplined investigation and help your prospect make a good decision. If nothing else, it will reflect well on your referral source.

Focus on the right sales data

Discuss the prospect's problem in great depth; prematurely moving to a solution discussion creates barriers to buyers’ engagement.

Ready, needful and willing

Identifying business need is the anchor of traditional sales strategy. Now, "readiness" and "willingness" are more important.

A primer on questioning

In business development, artful questioning means not only well-crafted questions, but a conversational flow that keeps the prospect focused.

Selling with integrity

Integrity in selling means subordinating your interests to the client's by helping them make a sound, self-interested decision.

Sales Killers, part 2

Achieving better sales results requires that you avoid these "sales killers."

Sales Killers, part 1

What keeps good salespeople from achieving better results has little to do with technique or what you sell. Learn to spot these "sales killers."