How to get more clients to hire you

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Lawyers often tell me they have trouble "closing the sale". What they’re really saying is they don’t know how to handle objections. I addressed this in an article, "What to say when the client says, "I want to think about it". But the best way to handle objections is to eliminate them before they ever come up.

In your marketing materials, your live presentations, your comments after a free consultation, make sure you answer these four "unspoken questions" that reside in every prospects mind:

1. What can you do for me?
2. Why should I believe you?
3. How long will it take?
4. Can I afford it?

Let’s look at these a little closer.

1. What can you do for me?

The number one reason why clients don’t authorize the work to be done is that they don’t see the need. Your job is to show them why they need what you are offering, and make the case so compellingly that when you are done, they not only see that need, they truly WANT what you offer.

Here, you must distinguish between FEATURES and BENEFITS. Features are what you do. Benefits are what the client gets as a result.

For example, preparing a Living Trust is a feature; it’s WHAT you do. But what’s important to the client is what happens when you do that. Tell them about the peace of mind, protection, savings, and control they will have as a result of your preparing that trust. That’s what people REALLY want.

In addition to telling them the benefits they gain when they hire you, tell them the potential consequences they face if they do not. What might they lose? What detriment might they suffer? Fear of loss is almost always a more powerful motivation than the desire for gain.

2. Why should I believe you?

Prove what you say by providing evidence of the following:

  • Your background, education
  • Awards and distinctions
  • Articles, seminars, speeches
  • Testimonials from satisfied clients
  • Endorsements from other professionals
  • Number of clients, cases, trials, verdicts, etc.
  • Success stories; results you have obtained for other clients in a similar situation

You can also "prove" your expertise via the advice you offer during the initial consultation. If you sound knowledgeable, most people will tend to believe you know what you are doing.

Most of all, clients want to hear that you have done for others what you propose to do for them. Therefore, weave into your consultation, writing or presentation, examples taken from other clients or cases.

3. How long will it take?

Tell them WHEN they can have the benefits you promise. Everyone is in a hurry today; nobody wants to wait.

Clients also fear open ended time lines, especially when your meter is running. Be up front with them. Tell them how long it will take, and what factors might contribute to delay. If possible, guarantee a delivery date. Make sure you under-promise so you can come in early and over-deliver. When you can’t control the time factor, limit their risk by offering flat fees.

4. Can I afford it?

Once a client is convinced they need what you offer, they want it, and they believe you can deliver it, the only thing left is whether they can afford it. Here are some ways to convincing them that they can:

  • Distinguish cost vs. value. Focus their attention on what they get, not what they pay
  • Enhance the value of what they get by providing bonuses, free updates, and other incentives
  • Limit their risk with flat fees and guarantees
  • Show them that what they pay is only "X per day"
  • Make it easy with payment plans and accepting credit cards
  • Give them options and let them choose which "works best" for them. You want them deciding between option A and option B, instead of "yes" (hiring you) and "no" (not hiring you)

Answer these questions before they ask them, and you’ll have more clients writing you a check. And if they still say, "I want to think about it," here’s what to do.

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