You may have the best clinical background for a case, the greatest desire to grow your legal nurse consulting business, and the best preparation for running your LNC business. If you aren’t effective selling to attorneys, if you can’t close a sale and get the case when an attorney speaks to you, you’ll have to fold your business. Or it will never launch. These are your responsibilities.
1. Be friendly. Smile when you pick up the phone. Share your delight that you have an opportunity to speak to a potential client or a previous client about a new case.
2. Be genuinely concerned about the attorney. Recognize that any businessperson has limited resources; your goal is to help the attorney make the best use of his or her resources. I can’t tell you how much good will and additional work I have generated by listening to a plaintiff attorney give me a scenario about a potential medical malpractice claim. When I heard facts that make winning the case extremely difficult, I told the attorney that, rather than taking in the case in order to get billable hours. Here’s a magic phrase: “I am sure there are other cases in your practice that have a higher chance of winning.”
3. Think in terms of service. What can you do to help the attorney (rather than what she can do to help you)? Your focus should be on the client’s needs. If you are not the right person for the assignment, help the attorney by finding someone who is. I did not dream of doing life care plans, for example. I was not qualified and numbers are not my friend. But I quickly learned that I could refer life care planners to clients and still make money.
4. You must believe in yourself. Before you can convince an attorney that you are the right LNC for him, you must believe it yourself. You must be convinced that your medical knowledge, your skills, and your analytical ability are of value to attorneys. This is essential when selling to attorneys.
5. You must believe that you will get the case. Your negative self talk, hesitancy, or inexperience will come through the phone to the attorney. You won’t close every sale. Even up until the moment I sold Med League after 26 years in business, I did not close every sale. But you must project an air of confidence (not arrogance) and use terms that will reassure the attorney. For example, you can stress that the expert witness you are referring to the attorney is well qualified and he is going to be happy with her. (Your words assume you will get the case.)
6. Recognize that attorneys have to take a leap of faith when they hire you, particularly if they don’t know you. If someone recommended you to the attorney, you have less of a hurdle. But the attorney is still entrusting you with something precious to him – his client. The attorney will hire you based on what you say and do to show that you can produce results for him.
7. You can’t help the attorney unless she hires you. I have talked to several LNCs who were so eager to help a client that they did work for free. When you do that, you are sending the attorney a message that you don’t value your own expertise. There is a difference between answering a question about a potential case over the phone versus doing a literature search to provide an answer for the attorney – without getting a retainer. Good will goes only so far towards paying your bills. Close the sale by restating what you can do to help and asking for the records and money.
Keep these 7 tips in mind when you speak to a prospect about a case. They’ll help you get the next case.
Thanks for Michele Scism, my coach, for sharing the framework of these tips, which I modified for you.
Are you having trouble closing sales or selling to attorneys? Let Pat Iyer coach you. Let’s have a 30 minute talk. Select your spot at this link.