How to Get Clients To Hire You As Their Lawyer

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Clients Need to Know WhyIf you have ever welcomed a client into your office, had a good discussion with him and then were shocked when he did not retain you, this is the one article you cannot afford to miss.

As I’ve said before, a client must be welcomed into your office with a healthy dose of empathy and understanding before he hears about you and what you can do for him. But when the time comes to present yourself (and your firm) instead of framing the discussion around your skills, knowledge and experience, you should frame the discussion around the client and his needs.

Each client walks into your law office needing the answers to three questions before he hires you:

  1. Why should I listen to you?
  2. Why do I need what you are offering?
  3. Why must I make a decision on this (hiring you) now?

Now before you go off the deep end and start babbling about all the other questions clients ask you, please realize these questions are placeholders for psychological needs the client must have filled before he engages a lawyer.

Why Should I Listen to You?

This is a surrogate for trust.  The client wants to know why he should invest his trust in you. In order to get past this hurdle, and earn enough trust to get through the meeting, you must 1). capture the client’s attention and 2). establish credibility.

You’ve got less than five minutes to capture the client’s attention and establish your credibility.  And you cannot do it by reciting your resume.

Side note:  This is the reason referrals are so valuable.  When someone (a previous client or another lawyer) refers you a case, he has already helped establish your credibility.  You only need to capture and maintain your client’s attention.

Why Do I Need What You Are Offering?

You offer your client the best chance for a positive outcome. You offer him a chance to improve his current situation.  You offer him relief from pain, or reduction of risk.  Working with you offers many advantages to the client (compared to doing nothing or working with someone else).

But the client needs to hear about all the advantages to working with you AS THEY RELATE TO HIM.  Too often, lawyers describe the advantages from their own perspective. This is a huge mistake which leads to a communication disconnect.

You’ve got to discuss the client’s situation based upon his view of the world, in his language, and focused on the pain he feels.

Why Must I Make a Decision Now?

Most clients’ situations do not get better with the passing of time.  Yet scaring the crap out of a client will often force him to hire someone else.  You must create urgency without being a fear monger.  This is a delicate balance.

The way I’ve laid these questions out for you may, at a glance, be frustrating.  After all, you sign up many clients simply by giving them the song and dance about your background, skills, knowledge and experience.

I’m betting you have at least one client, in the past six months, you knew you should have signed up but didn’t.

That one that got away bothers you enough to get you to push yourself to answer these questions the right way.

That’s why I recorded a podcast specifically on this topic, especially for you.  Listen to it now on the enclosed player or click the link to download it.

Why, Why, Why? Answer These Three Questions and Get Anyone To Do Anything

It’s time to go back to school and discover how to do things the right way.

Listen to this podcast and practice with your staff before you meet with your next client. You’ll be amazed at the difference in your results.