My co-founder described himself as a terrible golfer, because he’s not very good at two of the three main aspects of the game. “Hitting the ball from the fairway (the area between the tee and the putting green) confounds me, and my putting game is abysmal.”
Still, he gets invited to play during one specific type of tournament, called the “scramble.” This tournament allows a team of four to select the best shot in each individual series of hits. Then the entire foursome will take their next shot from this location.
He’s in demand when such tournaments roll around, because…
We’ve all seen it: After a lengthy sales process or competition, the client selects your firm; you win. However, weeks turn into months and the work never materializes, or does so at a trickle relative to what was discussed. What gutted your apparent sale?
This usually occurs when the purchase is driven by “druthers” rather than imperatives. The client intends to take the action discussed, perhaps even should do so. However, if it’s not something they must do, i.e., …
Loyalty cuts both ways. You want your clients to be loyal and remain with you. Yet you also want other lawyers’ clients to be less loyal to them, i.e., more open-minded about the advantages of working with you.
Whether you’re at a big firm, frustrated by prospective clients clinging to small firms or solo lawyers who’ve been with them from the beginning, or you’re that small firm/solo trying to protect your relationship with a client that has grown beyond your capability, the same principles apply to dealing with loyalty.
A frequent example from my coaching sessions: A now-large company still…
How many of your clients think of you as being essential to their growth and profits? How many of them see you as a cost to be carefully managed? The difference is huge.
A trusted advisor is an irreplaceable resource. An expert-for-hire is a tradable commodity. Which are you?
Probably since the beginning of the legal profession, lawyers have prided themselves…
Talking about your product or solution creates obstacles to getting business. Talking about your prospect’s business problem creates a path to a hiring decision.
Unless you’re completely in the wrong market, enough of those hiring decisions will go your way.
A consultant friend recently bemoaned
I suspect that there are a number of lawyers reading this…
Not long ago, I was speaking with a client who has built a wonderful book of business. She was very proud of her progress, and rightfully so. Another partner in her firm later remarked, “She’s just been flat-out lucky.”
I was astounded.
Inheriting a sizable book of business due to retirement, death or departure of the previous relationship partner or Finder is “lucky.” Even if the inheritor never did much to help his predecessor grow that business, he was likely a key figure in keeping it, i.e., he served as the Minder.
Any apparent free ride is immediately ended as…
The difference between legal work-product writing and letters, memos, articles, blog posts, and other communications is that legal writing is crafted to withstand the scrutiny of other lawyers trying to exploit any weakness.
Virtually all other writing is meant to create a specific effect in the mind of one voluntary reader, and support an explicit or implicit “call to action,” e.g.,
The important part here…
There are no natural marketers or salespeople, only disciplined, committed people who acquire the necessary skills, then put forth concentrated effort — and sustain it.
You may be thinking, “Sure, I can see how that’s true of medicine or law or rocket science…but selling? Please!” This attitude seems rooted in the 20-year legal service boom that The American Lawyer called “the law firm Golden Era.”
Under those conditions, selling was a pretty simple matter requiring pretty simple skills, as is the case in any industry when demand is high and there’s plenty of business for everyone.
However, as your selling…
Despite some lawyers’ insistence to the contrary, few of the challenges that lawyers encounter are unique to the law business.
Revett Eldred spent his career in the software business, managing large development projects. He’s retired now, but posted the following advice in response to a question on Quora: “Why are software development task estimations regularly off by a factor of 2–3?”
Lawyers’ clients ask the same question about litigation and transaction estimates. Project estimates, whether for software development, or litigation or transactions, are subject to certain rules.
This wisdom is equally applicable to sales, i.e., spending more time defining the…
“There is no market for pitches.”
This wisdom appeared in “The Cluetrain Manifesto,” one of the first e-books, published during the late 1990s dot-com era. Its truth has remained constant to the present.
Legal service buyers find lawyer pitches tedious and a waste of time. At about the 2:15 mark of this video you’ll read and hear verbatim comments from buyers, whose loathing is unambiguous.
In his SalesLinks Bulletin, Jack Carroll described three stages in the evolution of a sales career, which I paraphrase here:
I’ve trained 5000 lawyers in firms of all sizes. They attribute $1 billion in additional business to our collaboration.