This article was written by David M. Ward
Prospective clients want to know what you can do to solve their problem or achieve their goal. What they don’t want is for you to make the conversation all about yourself.
Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective client. You’re talking to an attorney about your legal matter. Would you want to hear how successful the attorney is, or would you be more interested in hearing what they can do for you?
Many attorneys rely on telling prospective clients about their experience and capabilities and try to impress them with what they’ve done for others. Experience and capabilities are important, but when you make that the focus of your conversation, prospects eventually tune out.
They want to talk about themselves, so let them. Encourage them to do that. Ask questions and let them do most of the talking.
Even when you understand their situation and are ready to present a solution, let them continue to vent and share their pain and frustrations.
And then, ask more questions.
Look for secondary problems caused by their legal situation–a loss of revenue or sleepless nights, for example, that may have caused their business or family to suffer.
Get them to tell you all about it, and listen to every word.
You listen to learn the facts, of course, but listening also shows the prospect that you care about them and truly want to help.
Show them you are listening by making eye contact, asking follow-up questions, repeating back to them what you heard and understand, and letting them see you take lots of notes.
Then, give them their options and tell them what you recommend. Follow that by describing the specific steps you will take to solve their problem and alleviate their pain.
When you let them do most of the talking, they’ll tell you what you need to say and do to get them to choose you as their attorney.
If you do it right, you may not need to talk about your experience and capabilities.