THIS IS YOUR TARGET MARKET! WHAT NOW!
Look, everyone in your target market is smiling. That should make you happy. Now what do you say to them?
FIRST OF ALL THE DON’TS:
- Tell them how wonderful you are
- Tell them how much you have accomplished
- Tell them how much experience you have had
- Tell them specifics about other clients
- Tell them how much money you can make for them
- Tell them that you can solve all their problems
WHAT TO DO:
- Acknowledge their problem in specific terms
- Outline the gap between where they are now and where you hear they want to be
- Ask questions to get as much understanding of their needs as possible
- Listen, listen and listen some more
- Tell them you understand their problem and this is how you might be able to help
- Tell them the ways that you have solved this problem for other clients in general terms
- Ask them if they would feel comfortable in talking about how you would go about solving their problem
- Ask them if they would feel comfortable talking about what you would need from them
- Ask them if they would feel comfortable discussing the cost of the retaining you
IT’S A GOOD SIGN AT THIS POINT IF THEY ARE STILL SMILING
IF THEY ARE NOT SMILING:
- Ask them what would make them feel better right now
- Ask them if they have heard anything that bothers them
- Ask what obstacles are standing in the way of working with you to solve this problem
IF THEY ARE STILL NOT SMILING:
- Tell them it has been a pleasure talking with them
- Tell them you hope that they find a solution to their problem
- Tell them that if you can ever be of help in the future, to call you
- Tell them that you hope they find a solution even if it with another attorney because you do see they need legal help
- Wish them well
NOW LOOK BACK ON THE WHOLE CONVERSATION AND SEE WHAT YOU COULD HAVE DONE BETTER.
HOWEVER, IF THEY ARE STILL SMILING AS THEY SIGN THE RETAINER, TELL THEM HOW MUCH YOU APPRECIATION THEIR CONFIDENCE IN YOU AND THAT YOU WILL STRIVE TO GET THEM THE BEST POSITIVE OUTCOME TO THEIR PROBLEM.
HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO TELL A CLIENT THAT YOU WOULD BE PERFECT FOR THEM BUT WAS AFRAID YOU’D BE SEEN AS OBNOXIOUS?
Well, let me show you how to do that and not only be sincere, but be seen as sincere.
- Be certain to pinpoint what it is that you are perfect at…..and that’s not everything.
- Narrow down anything you might be perfect at to an understandable concept.
- Be very specific.
- Have solid backup information if the person wants to know more.That might be representative cases you have handled or writings you have done on the subject or anything else that shows you are competent.
- Don’t begin the conversation with how perfect you are. Find out about the needs of the person you are talking to and sculpt your skills to match (if appropriate).
- Remember, CONFIDENCE is a magic quality which makes you persuasive.
- If you know you can help the potential client, then let him/her know that by telling him/her you can not only be of service but your attributes and skills fit “perfectly” with his/her needs.
Let’s look at some examples and see how this works:
I’m the perfect lawyer for prosperous business clients with either significant problems or who want expert help in forming and growing their businesses while avoiding the legal pitfalls facing all entrepreneurs.
(This is following an attorney’s mission statement because he/she is looking for high end business clients who are starting or growing their business)
I’m the perfect lawyer for clients who want expert help in establishing a long term estate plan to insure that their assets continue to grow and are divided at their death according to their wishes.
(Obviously a wealthy management/probate/wills attorney who if offering services to high end clients)
I’m the perfect lawyer for clients who are facing a downturn in their resources and need to re establish their financial future.
(A consumer/bankruptcy attorney and business attorney wanting to help clients who are facing financial challenges)
I’m the perfect lawyer for clients who want advice and support when applying for Social Security benefits and want to avoid the legal pitfalls facing all applicants.
(This attorney does not only want to help the client through the Social Security systems but wants to give advice that will keep them out of danger)
NOW COMPLETE THIS:
I’m the perfect lawyer for: _____________________________________.
END NOTE: This not only works when you are talking to an actual potential client but also when you are giving information to possible referral sources. In this way the referral source can see the kind of client you are looking for as well as exactly what service you can provide…..perfectly.
DID YOU COME OUT OF LAW SCHOOL DETERMINED TO GET RESULTS AND TO WIN AT ALL COSTS?
WERE YOU WILLING TO GET THOSE RESULTS EVEN IF IT REQUIRED INTIMIDATION, BULLYING AND THREATS?
DID YOU THINK THIS WAS THE WAY LAWYERS WERE SUPPOSED TO ACT?
AT SOME POINT DID YOU JUST GET DISGUSTED WITH YOURSELF?
This is where I find many lawyers ending up today in my coaching office. As attorneys we had to fight to get into law school, compete with others to get good grades and on law review, and finally fight to pass the Bar.
Then we end up fighting to get a job and pay our ridiculous student loans back. We finally end up at our desk one day fighting to find an error that our “adversary” overlooked and that we can ram down his/her throat. This is not a nice way to live and grow in our quest to help people in the legal system.
Many lawyers are actually afraid to learn and use negotiation techniques. They are afraid they will look:
- not effective
- willing to settle for a small amount
- lose their perceived superior position
- not aggressive
- not being a good adversary
These fears are causing attorneys to turn to alcohol, drugs, and all sorts of other techniques to self medicate themselves out of their awareness of what they are doing to themselves. Also they need to convince themselves they are not lonely and isolated in being angry, aggressive and pig-headed.
BUT THERE IS A SOLUTION!
If lawyers begin to perceive adversaries differently, a paradox shift can happen. Lawyer can:
- begin to see the other side as partners in solutions.
- to acknowledge that the adversary is a human being with all the complexity that humans have to deal with.
- that a win-win result may be the best solution for your client.
- that employing negotiations skills when appropriate is stress reducing.
- that a skilled negotiator is made and not born.
- that learning negotiation techniques broader an attorneys ability to serve each situation uniquely.
NOW THAT I’VE CONVINCED YOU TO LEARN A FEW NEW NEGOTIATION TECHNIQUES, STAY TUNED FOR NEXT WEEK’S BLOG!