Do you want to know how to increase your opportunities for closing a sale? You may not think of a conversation with an attorney about a new case as being a sales transaction, yet it is. You have something the attorney needs (your expertise and assistance). The attorney has something you need: the ability to pay you for help.
Closing the loop for closing a sale
Let’s say this happens. An attorney calls you about a case. You suspect the attorney may call several legal nurse consultants in an effort to do some comparison shopping.
The attorney says to you, “This is what the case is about. What would you charge?” You answer the question and then the case doesn’t come in. Now you are trying to determine what happened and begin playing telephone tag with the attorney.
What can you do to stop that rather futile process?
Why were you not able to close a sale?
- The attorney hired someone else.
- The attorney forgot about the case because something else became more pressing.
- The attorney did not get the message you called.
Stopping the telephone tag game
You can spend a lot of energy chasing a case. Here’s how to use that energy for other pursuits.
1. Preempt the chase. Before you end the conversation, talk about next steps. Ask a couple of questions like,
“Should you feel that everything I say and that working together is going to be beneficial to you, what are the next steps that you see and the timing so I know how to follow-up with you?”
Now you have some information. Does the attorney need your help now? Is this a less urgent need?
2. Ask for a date and time for the next conversation. Set a date and time for the follow-up conversation even if it’s just a 10 minute check in call. If a call is not acceptable, it could be an email or you could ask if you could text the attorney.
“May I text you to find out where you are in your thinking on this?”
If you can get somebody to commit to that, most people if they commit to it will honor it. They see it on their calendars and they know that they need an answer for you when you contact them.
3. At the conclusion of the call, reiterate the information you provided and offer a way to connect. “Okay great, here’s all the information. If you have any other questions, let me know. Let’s connect with each other on email.”
Don’t forget that part because you want more than one way of being able to communicate with your prospect. If that person called you, you’re already connected by phone. Make sure you have the email address, repeat it back for accuracy and send that person an email thank you note so you make sure that you’re connected by email.
You can even ask for a cellphone number. Sometimes that is an easier way to communicate with someone than even email. Do you ever ignore an email? In contrast, do you ever not see a text message?
Suppose you do all of this and the attorney is not available on the date and time of your appointment. Contact the assistant and ask to reschedule the call. Communicate by phone, email or text. Because the attorney knows you are going to get back in touch and that you’re expecting an answer, ask him or her to share with you:
- “Where are you in your thinking?”
- “Is the case not ready yet?”
- “Have you selected someone else? If so, if you could share with me why it would greatly help me or is there another reason why you’re not getting back to me?”
When you follow these techniques for closing a sale, you stop the endless game of telephone tag and will have greater opportunities for getting work.
Interested in more tips about sales? Listen to Caryn Kopp speak about sales in our podcast.