The Seven Reasons Prospective Clients Don’t Hire an Attorney


why clients don't hire attorneys lawyersIf prospective clients don’t hire you, there are only seven reasons:

  1. No need: They don’t need (or see the need for) what you offer.
  2. No want: They know they need it but they don’t want it.
  3. No trust: They don’t believe you can and will deliver (at all, when promised, or sufficient quality).
  4. No like: They just don’t like you: your attitude, how you answered their questions, “bad chemistry”.
  5. No urgency: They need and want it but “not now”. It’s not yet painful enough.
  6. No authority: They want to hire you but they need someone else’s permission (and can’t get it).
  7. No money: They want to hire you but they can’t afford it.

Any one of these reasons can knock you out of contention. But one of these reasons presents a bigger challenge for many attorneys than the other reasons, not because it is insurmountable (it isn’t) but because it creates so much frustration and wasted time.

Can you guess which one? Go ahead and read the list again. Give it some thought. I’ll be here when you get back. . .

Okay, what do you think?

It’s number two, “no want”.

If they don’t want it, they don’t want it. Fighting this will only frustrate you and alienate the client. He may have wanted it next year but because you pushed him, he will probably hire someone else.

This issue has confounded more sales people than any other issue in the history of sales. A customer doesn’t want the product but the salesman has been taught that it’s not a “no” until he’s heard it seven times and he should use the 37 scripted techniques he’s been taught for overcoming objections to convince the prospect to say yes.


Oh they may get the sale. But the time and energy they spend in doing so is usually better spent finding someone else, someone who may have some questions or issues to resolve but otherwise WANTS what is being offered.

It’s no different with legal services.

Notwithstanding studies that prove that most sales take place after the fifth or seventh or twenty-seventh “no,” smart sales people and attorneys believe the prospect when he says he doesn’t want it.

You can overcome the objection. You can convince someone who doesn’t want what you offer to hire you anyway. It happens every day. Crafty sales techniques, fear and intimidation, and outright lies are used to get prospects to sign. The sales person or attorney rationalizes this by saying to themselves, “the prospect didn’t want the service, but they really did need it; all I did was help him to do what is in their best interests.”

But you don’t want these kinds of clients. You want clients who are thrilled they found you, relieved that you can help them achieve something they desperately desire.

You want the low hanging fruit.

I’m not saying you roll over and play dead. When a prospect hesitates, you must make sure he understands enough about his situation, the risks he faces, and the benefits he can get by hiring you. You must inform him. But if it’s a no, it’s a no. Move on.

What if nobody wants what you’re offering? What if you’re offering your services the right way, to the right people, and nobody’s buying? If the demand isn’t there for your services, you must also move on.

Just because you’re really good at (put your skill here) doesn’t mean the market wants it. If the demand isn’t there, you need to find out what the market does want and offer that.

Times change, people change, wants change. Yesterday, people wanted to protect what they owned. Today, they’re trying to replace what they owned and lost. Tomorrow, they may be looking for a place to live.

If business has been off for you, it might be because you haven’t been listening to your prospects and to the market. It’s time to do that.

Think of it this way, you can either create demand or you can satisfy demand that already exist. Guess which one is easier and more profitable?