Lawyers and the art of selling

Lawyers and the art of selling, it’s an oxymoron. Lawyers tend to like being lawyers, not salespeople. After all, if you wanted to be a salesperson, you probably could have been one instead of a lawyer. But, like any professional, lawyers still need to sell their services. And too often lawyers just don’t seem to get the art of selling. So here’s what every lawyer needs to know.

Who is selling your services?

If you’re not actively selling your services, chances are nobody is. Selling your legal services means more than taking out an advertisement or launching a website and waiting for the work to roll in. It means actively engaging with potential clients and referrers in a way that generates both work and revenue. What does that look like? A lawyer who listens to a potential client’s needs, and then offers a thoughtful solution. This can happen whilst a client is meeting with you discussing their legal issues or it might be with an email after thinking about a particular clients matter or circumstances.

You and your firm need to be actively selling your services if you want your business to grow and flourish. Don’t let the idea of active selling conjure up a vision of pushy salespeople or someone offering anything to seal the deal. Selling your legal services is not about doing whatever a client wants. Rather, every lawyer needs to be able to think their way to “yes”. Actually listen to what potential clients are looking for. Consider their problems or concerns, then show you’ve listened by offering a valuable solution that responds to their needs. That’s what successfully selling your legal services looks like.

Isn’t advertising enough?

As much as lawyers might want this to be true, advertising alone won’t convert leads into clients. At the end of the day, clients won’t choose your firm because they like your ad, or because your website says that you can help them. This is particularly true with today’s more questioning clients. Instead, they need to know that you are the lawyer for them, and that your firm can solve their legal problems. One of the best ways to do that is to demonstrate it.

To achieve marketing success, your firm needs to actively support the firm’s advertising and marketing strategy. That might involve demonstrating expertise and engaging with current and potential clients through seminars and presentations on a particular area of law. It might also mean writing regular content for your website or e-newsletter on current topics relevant to your clients. Show them the value you and your firm can add for them. The beauty of making ongoing contact with your clients is that you can identify and anticipate likely issues they will confront. Show them that you can listen to their concerns and provide valuable solutions in response.

Lawyers and the art of selling

For some lawyers the idea of selling their legal services may feel foreign or uncomfortable. For some firms it will require a cultural change. Ultimately, this is an area that all partners need to demonstrate leadership in and take responsibility for. Younger lawyers should be coached so that it is done professionally and in keeping with the firm’s values. Conversion rates should be measured across the firm. Who is selling well and why? Where are the firm’s strengths and weaknesses? What is working for you? What else do you need to achieve your conversion targets? Who needs to improve?

If you need to brush up on your selling skills, or perhaps learn some new ones, it’s easier to do than you might think. There are numerous online courses available that can help you and your staff to develop business and selling skills. You might also consider attending professional development seminars or short courses. Depending on your firm, you could even have a tailored training session for the whole firm. If you need more ideas, or just want to discuss how to better sell your legal services, feel free to contact us at Lift Legal – we’d love to help you grow your business.

About the author
Peter Heazlewood

Peter Heazlewood

Peter Heazlewood is a management and marketing consultant, he specialises in helping law firms develop their practices using business planning marketing and performance reporting techniques refined in his own successful law firm. Peter lives in Sydney with his wife and is the father of five adult children.

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