Why does an attorney pick you to work with? How can you be effective in closing the sale with the attorney?
You may get a phone call from an attorney about a case or meet an attorney at an attorney conference. Or you may get an email asking if you can assist with a case. In some situations, the case may “walk in your door” with no forewarning.
But typically it starts with a conversation. At the end of that interaction, you wonder, “Is this attorney going to hire me?”
Factors that Affect Closing the Sale
Although it may feel to us like the attorney is representing a big law firm we’re still dealing with an individual who may be experiencing emotion surrounding the case. Emotion sells and specifically the attorney’s pain point. Why do they need you? Do you listen for the attorney’s pain point?
I find the majority of LNCs attempt to sell their services rather than the benefits of working with them. The attorney wants to know that you are going to take care of the case and is not always interested in hearing how you will do that. A lot of times we explain how we’re going to provide our services. But in the initial sales conversation, it’s extremely important that we stay in an emotional conversation around the fact that they need this case handled.
Remember if attorneys are part of a firm there are still human beings making that decision. They may be spending the firm’s money, but there’s still a human being making the decision. They have to feel that connection with you. The other side of that is if you get an attorney who is a solo practitioner you really need to have an emotional conversation because he’s spending what feels like his own money.
Structure of the Sales Conversation
You’re listening to the attorney talk about the case. You are wondering what you can say to secure the sale – get the case.
Listen for the transition. Here’s what I mean. The transition is we’ve been talking about the case and now it is time for me to tell you what it’s going to cost for me to do it for you. That transition spot can be difficult for people sometimes, so during a sales conversation we are looking to discover what is it about that case that’s the pain point.
“Why do they need you?”
“What is it that’s missing?”
“What’s going to cost them the case?”
That’s why they are coming to you. Here is an example.
Fill in the blanks: “What we’ve discovered is that you could______” or whatever that blank might be.
- What we’ve discovered is you could use my help in locating an operating room nurse.
- What we’ve discovered is you have voluminous records and need a chronology to pinpoint the plaintiff’s injuries and complications.
- What we’ve discovered is you could use a literature search to determine if this complication is likely due to exposure to this chemical.
“What is it that the attorney needs?”
“Why is he calling a legal nurse consultant?
“What’s his pain?”
Often the attorney is facing a court imposed deadline, which has been established by a judge who says, for example, “An expert witness has until September 30th to produce an expert report.” The attorney is busy and other things have grabbed his attention. All of a sudden it’s September 2nd and he says, “I don’t have an expert on that case.” There can be a very high level of pain and emotion associated with that phone call when the attorney is calling the legal nurse consultant and almost begging. “Can you please get me somebody? I have this deadline and I don’t have any ability to postpone that deadline.” There’s an urgency the attorney is experiencing.
By listening for the attorney’s pain, you increase your opportunities for closing the sale, get more business, and have attorneys relying on you for help. Everyone wins.
Michele Scism, a business coach and entrepreneur reveals more tips for sales conversations in our podcast, Successful Sales and Marketing for LNCs. Listen to it here.