“I”, “”You” and “We” have a role in establishing rapport with attorney prospects and clients. How you use them can make the difference between getting a case from an attorney or losing the opportunity.
Probably the biggest mistake LNCs make in conversations is to overuse “I.” In ordinary conversations, this pronoun often sets off the “egocentric” alarm. The attorney may decide that the LNC is thinking only of himself.
This is never a good result. In sales conversations it can be fatal.
The attorney prospect is listening to you to discover how a business relationship with you can benefit her. Too many “I’s” can lead the other person to believe that you’re only thinking about how the relationship can benefit you.
The Positive Use of “I”
When you’re establishing rapport and highlighting your credentials, naturally you will inevitably say “I.” However, make a conscious effort to keep this part of the conversation brief. Use it to point out how your knowledge and experience can benefit the prospect.
“This is how I believe my experience can help you.”
Hopefully, you’ve already learned what the prospect needs from you, but it’s always a good idea to ask again. This shows that you’re interested in the attorney’s goals.
“I’d like to know more about your needs so I know how I can best help you.”
After you listen, paraphrase the attorney’s comments. A series of statements leading with “You” underscore this point.
- “You want to find out critical information about the plaintiff before you’re adversary surprises you in the courtroom.”
- “You need to know if potential medical malpractice cases have merit before you invest thousands of dollars.”
- “You realize it takes hours to locate an expert and you’d like me to handle that responsibility for you.”
This choice of pronoun shows that you care. Your attorney prospect realizes you are saying is, “I’m not only trying to sell my services. I believe that my services will solve your problem and answer your needs.”
Don’t stop there. In the course of getting to know the client, ask him about himself, his family, and his hobbies. This will show that you care about him not only as a future source of income but as an individual.
The Importance of “We” in Establishing Rapport
You can use this pronoun in several ways.
“We” can often replace “I” when you’re talking about your company and its services. This both diminishes your use of “I” and suggests that the prospect will have the benefit of an organization to serve him.
Using “we” as you move closer to asking for the prospect’s business serves an even stronger purpose. You are now projecting a future relationship or partnership. You can say, “I think we could work very well together” or “I envision our having a prosperous relationship.”
Practice Using Pronouns
Pay attention to how you use “I,” “You,” and “We” in day-to-day conversations. Do you say “I” too much? Do you make a point of showing interest in the other person? Do you create camaraderie with the use of “We”?
As you tune into your conversational patterns, you can learn to shift them. You’ll naturally establish rapport and improve your chances to close the deal and establish a strong—and friendly—business relationship.