« "Tip of the Week" - Update Your Contact List With One Click | Main | Another Harvard Law Grad Says, "Why Didn't Law School Teach Me How to Hang A Shingle?" »

October 15, 2007

How to Close a Client - Getting Them to 'Yes"

So often we forget the initial consultation with a client is in essence your one-on-one opportunity to 'close the sale.'  So, let's step out of our legal shoes for a moment and walk through a successful salesperson's sales call.  There are three key points:

  • Is the prospect pre-qualified
  • What is their motivation to buy your product?
  • Always conclude with a 'call to action'

You're saying now, "my clients aren't buying cars."  No, they are buying your services.  The operative word is 'buy.'  (Yes.  It sounds like we've just commoditized the law...but, don't we need to start thinking this way?) And when you are selling a product or service to someone else there are three key points in every transaction you must not only be aware of, but master.

Let's translate this into the initial consult.

  • Is the prospect pre-qualifed.  In lawyer-speak that's 'is this my ideal client.'  Hopefully you or your secretary/paralegal have asked pre-qualifying questions on the phone to determine if the client meets your criteria.
  • What is their motivation to buy your product? Why are they consulting with you specifically?  You need to determine their needs up front.  Listen to the first thing they say, or emphasize or speak passionately about and tailor your conversation to address all these points thoroughly.   And make sure you actually ask the question, "Have I answered all your questions to your satisfaction?"
  • Always conclude with a call to action  After your presentation in the initial consultation, let the potential client know what action to take to retain your services.  You might specifically ask about drawing up the retainer right then and there to be signed.  (This is a personal choice...some lawyers do, some don't for varied reasons.) If the potential client is not ready to take action immediately, then get their permission to follow up within a few days.  And language is key.  Always give specific dates and times for them to choose from so they are in fact committing to receiving your follow up contact for completing the transaction.   This type of client doesn't want to feel rushed into this important decision but will certainly appreciate and respect your commitment to their interests and wanting to represent them in their legal matter.

Once these three key elements become natural to your consultation process, you will see your rate of closing clients climb.  More importantly, for new solos, you will greatly increase your odds of survival in a very competitive professional climate.  There is more to the process...but these are the fundamentals.

Links of interest:

Be a Brilliant Salesperson to Be a Successful Lawyer


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How to Close a Client - Getting Them to 'Yes":


The comments to this entry are closed.