As a legal nurse consultant, you will be effective in establishing rapport so you can sell to senior attorneys. It is essential you understand how they think. In Part 1, I covered strategic thinking, value of time, professionalism, and trust. Here’s more to consider.
Sell to Senior Attorneys by Being Confident
Senior attorneys carry themselves with confidence. They understand the nuances of law, and how to work the system and to get along to resolve their cases. They know they will not win every case; they have insight into their strengths and weaknesses. When you enter their offices, they recognize your confidence.
Sales tip: Show your confidence in your own abilities to assist the senior attorney and others in the firm. Stress the benefits of working with you. Don’t let hesitation creep into your demeanor. Failure to display confidence will quickly alienate the attorney.
Senior Attorneys Recognize Knowledge
The first time I met with a specific senior attorney, he asked me to look at some records of an infant who received a potassium chloride overdose. I immediately noted the drug was given IV push, and I was sure there was a hospital policy that prohibited that route of administration. When I explained this to the attorney, he said, “You saw something in this case that all 4 physician expert witnesses missed.” After a struggle, the defense attorney turned over a policy that confirmed my suspicion; nurses were not allowed to give potassium chloride IV push. The attorney respected my knowledge. My knowledge of that point enabled me to sell to this senior attorney.
You have to have a strong base of knowledge to be able to help attorneys with their cases. When you are a new legal nurse consultant, there is a bewildering amount to learn, but by researching and asking questions, you build layers of knowledge.
Sales tip: Demonstrate your knowledge of health care when you talk with attorneys to sell your services. But don’t pretend to have knowledge you don’t possess. Attorneys are good at identifying bluffing.
Senior Attorneys Rely on Your Integrity
Ethical behavior and integrity are big issues in the legal world. It is no secret attorneys get in trouble for not behaving with integrity. Senior attorneys are particularly sensitive to issues related to integrity. I recall one attorney who questioned my invoice by referring to his phone bill of a call with me. He thought I charged him for too much time. It was very important to me and my relationship with him to justify the number of minutes I billed him by explaining the discrepancy he perceived. (I spent time before the call looking for specific information in the medical record.) I had to assure him our bills reflected our integrity. He remained a good client after this discussion.
How do you display your integrity? For example, a senior plaintiff attorney runs a case by you. After hearing the facts, you know it is unlikely the plaintiff can win that case. Do you agree to review the case (and take the attorney’s money) anyway? Or are you clear about your concerns and give the attorney the option of sending the case, even with a risk of a negative review?
Sales tip: It takes time to develop integrity and seconds to destroy it. Recognize that your business practices have to be built on a bedrock of integrity.
Display Your Respect for Senior Attorneys
Since senior attorneys are used to being respected, they expect you will give them respect. You display respect by listening to their concerns, their complaints and their objectives. You reflect back what they have said to you so you are sure you understood.
Sales tip: Show your respect by not interrupting them when they speak. (This is also a pet peeve of mine.)
Combine confidence, knowledge, integrity and respect to create winning interactions with senior attorneys. Your business will soar as you successfully sell to senior attorneys.
Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC has worked with large numbers of senior attorneys.
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