Running 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.
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.