Dear Attorney: Would You Hire You?


I’ve been conducting free consultations with attorneys who want to earn more and/or work less. I’m pretty quick at getting to the heart of the matter, but since we have just a few minutes together, I’ve asked each attorney to answer a few questions before we speak. One of those questions is, “What are your strengths?”

Most of the attorneys say pretty much the same thing. They’re good at what they do, they provide good service, and their clients seem to like them.

Good stuff. But is it true?

How do you know you provide good service? How do you know your clients like you? This is your perception, after all, and let’s face it, you are just a little biased.

Do you ever ask your clients for feedback, through surveys, questionnaires, or interviews?

Do you ever have a “mystery shopper” sit in your waiting room and watch the way clients are greeted? Does your staff greet them with a smile and make them feel welcome? Are they offered something to drink? How long do they have to wait?

Have you ever listened in on phone conversations between your staff and your clients? Have you ever recorded yourself speaking with clients and listened to the conversation?

No matter how well you’re doing you can always do better. But you have to put some energy into it. Start by looking at what your firm does through the eyes of your clients. Take inventory of what you do and how well you do it.

Your clients like you but that’s not enough. You want them to love you, to be so enamored with the way you treat them that they are not only willing to refer clients to you, they go out of their way to look for people they can refer.

Commit to making superlative service a fundamental part of your firm’s culture. Conduct meetings, trainings and weekend retreats with your staff, focused on improving client relations. Recognize and reward your employees who treat clients right.

If you regularly receive referrals, testimonial letters and thank you notes from your clients, that’s good. But don’t settle for good when you can be great.


Dear Attorney: Why should I hire you?


why should i choose you instead of any other attorneyAs you think about the end of this year and the start of a new one, there’s something you should spend some time contemplating: Why should a prospective client choose you instead of any other attorney?

After all, they could choose from a long list of other attorneys. In some cases, if their needs are simple enough (or they think they are) they can also choose a paralegal or other non-attorney. In any case, not you.

So why choose you?

It’s an important question, don’t you think? Spend some time thinking about this and crafting your answer so that if someone asks, you can confidently answer in a way that inspires them to take the next step in your direction.

A good place to start is by using your imagination. Pretend a prospect is sitting in your office, across the desk from you, pen and paper in hand. You’ve discussed their issue with them, answered their questions, and shown them their options. Then, they pop the question: Why should I hire you instead of any other lawyer?

What would you say?

Write down everything you can think of. No doubt you’ll mention your track record, results you’ve obtained for other clients, and your accolades and awards. You’ll talk about your firm’s resources and capabilities. You’ll say things like “dedication” and “hard word” and “caring”. And all of this is good. But it’s not enough.

For one thing, nobody really cares that you are the biggest, oldest, or most successful. It’s not meaningless, but it’s not that important because it’s all about you. Your prospects want to know what’s in it for them.

In addition, those other lawyers are saying something very similar.

So dig deeper. What makes you different? Why are you the better choice? What co your clients get they don’t get from any other lawyer?

These aren’t easy questions to answer. You may not have a good answer, or any answer, and that’s okay right now. At least you’re thinking about this and if you continue to think about it, eventually you will start doing things that will provide you with a great answer.

Your prospects may never ask you this question. They may never even think it. And, in truth, most will make their decision based on how you make them feel when they speak to you, not on any quantifiable measure of your superiority. But don’t get complacent.

In the end, the attorney who delivers the highest standards of service and benefits to his or her clients is the attorney who will attract more of them. Even if nobody asks.