The Anatomy of Closing a Sale

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The-Anatomy-of-Closing-a-SaleRunning a law firm isn’t just about winning cases, it’s also about keeping a steady flow of clients coming through the door. But to do that you must know how to close a sale. Let’s take a look at the anatomy of closing a sale.

Understand Your Client

It’s important that you understand your client’s legal needs and their position in their industry.  How will you legal services help them reach both their short- and long-term business goals? If you want to have any chance of closing a sale with a potential client, you must clearly articulate how your legal services will help them. You should also take the time to really listen to the client during your call or meeting.  Ask the right questions so that you can gain deeper insight into their issues.  Don’t become so eager to bring them on as a client that you fail to take note of issues that may make successfully working with them too difficult or impossible.

Know the Market

A big part of sales is understanding the market in which you and your client are operating. If your practice area has high demand with few providers, it may be easier to close a sale. But if your practice area is flooded with too many lawyers and not enough clients who need legal services, you may find yourself dealing with people who are very demanding or who want more than what you can deliver for the price they can pay.  If you want to close a sale with terms that benefit you and your client, you must understand these dynamics and prepare in advance how you will address them.

Always Add Value

Getting the best clients and closing the sale more often isn’t about offering the cheapest fees.  You must deliver value that is important to the client.  Ask yourself, “What can my law firm offer that others cannot?”  Once you determine what added value you can deliver, make it a point to articulate what that value is when selling your services to a client.  You want to emphasize how you can deliver value that is hard to find elsewhere.

Plan for Objections

One of the biggest parts of understanding your clients is understanding potential objections. What are some of the most common reasons someone may decide to forgo legal help? How can you address those objections during your sales call or face-to-face meeting?  How can you address them before the sales call or meeting? Consider creating an easy to read list of objections that some people have to working with an attorney, and then create rebuttals to those objections.  You should try to memorize your rebuttals and keep that list handy when trying to close a sale.

Stay Persistent

Don’t let the first ‘no’ scare you off. If you’re trying to close a sale with a client and they object, don’t let the first ‘no’ stop you from trying again. Gently redirect to a softer sale such as “Can I send you some information about our services?” or “When is a better time to discuss this issue?”  That way you can always come back at a later date to sell your legal services.  You can also gently suggest a face-to-face meeting or consultation depending on how ‘warm’ the potential client is. If they seem like they can be convinced to do business with you, pushing a little harder may be a good way to go.

Honing your sales skills will give you the power to keep your law firm in the black financially.

By |June 16th, 2017|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.