Four keys to selling more legal services


Yep, I used the “S” word–selling. Because lawyers sell legal services and if you want to sell more of yours, the first thing you need to do is get comfortable with the idea that you are in sales.

Because you are.

You find or attract prospective clients. You qualify them as to interest and ability to pay. You show them what you can do for them and why they should choose you. You handle their questions and objections. And you close them. And if you didn’t do these things, you wouldn’t have any clients.

So, once you catch your breath about this whole sales thing, do yourself a favor and learn to get good at it. You can start with these four keys to selling more of your services.

(1) Sell yourself before you sell your services

Since you sell professional services, you are your product. Clients buy “you” before they buy your services. That means getting good at building rapport with prospective clients and helping them get to “know, like, and trust you”.

One way to do that is to listen more than you talk. Ask questions to get them talking about themselves and their problems and desires. That information not only helps you to diagnose their problems and prescribe solutions, it helps the client see that you understand them and care about helping them.

(2) Sell solutions

Once you have diagnosed the client’s situation, show them a positive outcome or result. Don’t focus on your technical skills and resources, focus on showing them the “better future” they will have when you use those skills and resources.

In other words, sell the benefits they get when they hire you.

(3) Appeal to emotions

Sometimes, prospective clients are on the fence about taking care of their problem. They don’t realize how bad things are or how bad they can get. You’ll sign up more clients who are emotionally involved in their problem and your solution.

If they are angry or fearful about their problem, if they are hopeful and excited about eliminating the problem or achieving their objective, they will be one step closer to hiring you.

Make sure your marketing materials speak to their fears and desires. In consultation, ask how their issue is affecting their business or their personal life, or how it might do that if the problem continues.

(4) Prove it

Don’t just tell them what you can do for them, prove it. Share success stories of other clients you have helped. Use testimonials from satisfied clients and endorsements from lawyers and other prominent people that speak to your abilities, your accomplishments, and your character.

Prove your bona fides by highlighting your awards, speaking engagements, books you have written, classes you have taught, and other third-party indicia of a lawyer who is good at what they do.

Don’t just show prospective clients why they need a lawyer, show them why that lawyer should be you.

Selling legal services is easier when you know the formula


If you sell legal services does that make you a sales person?


Yesterday I spoke with a trial lawyer about a business idea he was contemplating. He wanted to know my thoughts about it. During our conversation, I had to chuckle when he said he didn’t know if he would be good at it because he wasn’t a sales person.

“After 20 years of trial work,” I said, “I’m pretty sure there are a few judges and jurors who disagree with that assessment.”

Let’s face it, lawyers sell. We sell our clients’ claims to judges and juries, and to opposing counsel and insurance adjusters. When we negotiate a contract, we’re selling. When we do a presentation, we’re selling the audience on booking an appointment. When we meet with prospective clients, we’re selling them on hiring us.

Lawyers sell. Every day, and twice on Wednesdays. But that doesn’t mean we’re sales people.

We don’t cold call, we don’t go door to door, and we don’t make appointments and sit at someone’s kitchen table (usually). But we do qualify prospective clients, show them how we can help them, overcome their objections, and close. We may not be good at it but we do it.

We sell. Get over it. Make a full confession. Once you do, you can learn how to get better at it.

You do want to get better, don’t you? If you currently close 7 out of 10 prospective clients, wouldn’t you want to close 8?

The mechanics of selling aren’t difficult to learn. And with practice, you can get better. What’s difficult is overcoming your fear, but you can learn how to do that, too.

It starts by admitting to yourself that you sell legal services. Even if you’re not a sales person.

Let your website do most of the (pre-)selling for you. Here’s how


Selling legal services without breaking a sweat


I once had a secretary who asked me for a raise. I thought I paid her well but I told her that I would consider paying her more if she would first show me that she was worth more. I knew she capable of a lot more and was only doing enough to keep her job.

She countered. She said that if I wanted her to do more, I had to pay her more. First.

She used to work for the government, so I know why she didn’t get it. In the real world, if you want to earn more, show your employer that you are worth more. If you do, you may not even have to ask for a raise.

The same goes for lawyers in private practice. Show your clients and target market that you are worth more to them, and then you can easily raise your rates.

I talked about this yesterday. I said that the foundation of marketing and building a successful law practice is delivering value to your clients and target market. The more value you give, the more clients, repeat business, referrals, and other benefits you get, and that includes being able to charge higher fees.

Give more value, FIRST.

One of the benefits of doing this is that it practically eliminates the need to do any selling. The value you deliver does the selling for you.

Something as simple as posting high quality information on your website tells your market what they need to know about you and how you can help them. Through this information, and the client stories you tell to illustrate your points, people can see that you have knowledge, experience, and a work ethic that they want in an attorney.

Prospects get to know and trust you through your content. They sell themselves on hiring you. Referral sources see how much you know and how much you do for your clients and they know that their referrals will be in good hands.

How else can you deliver value to your market?

By providing referrals, making introductions, and promoting their business or practice.

By sharing their content with your lists and contacts.

By helping their causes through donations and volunteering your time.

When you deliver enough value to your market, you don’t need to sell your services. You need do little more than mention them.

They already know and trust you. They already know you’re good at what you do. If they need your help, or know someone who does, they’re not going to go anywhere else.

Selling legal services is easier when you know the formula