In this week’s edition of Things I Wish I Knew, New York divorce attorney Joleena Louis shares her 3 step process to overcome objections and close the deal.
In my mastermind group last week the issue of getting over bottlenecks in the sales process was discussed. This was a topic that I have given a lot of thought, especially since I believe as lawyers a large part of our job is sales. We are literally selling our services to our clients, selling our brand and value to potential clients and selling our arguments to the court.
To be a better lawyer, and to get more cases, you have to learn how to close the deal.
The biggest bottleneck in my practice is price. Though my clients may need a divorce lawyer, there are plenty to choose from so it’s easy to price shop. My goal is to show them why they should hire me even though I may charge more than the guy next door.
Over time I have developed a three-step process to do this, which has worked very well for me.
Before I start on the steps, there is one pre-step that I take to weed out those who absolutely cannot afford my services no matter how much they love me.
I have a baseline fee that I charge for each service. It’s the absolute minimum I will accept for a certain type of case. And I (or my receptionist) will share this minimum with any potential clients who ask. For example “Ms. Louis’ fees for a child support action starts depends on the complexity of the case but starts at $X. Once she learns more about your case at the consultation, she can give you an exact figure.”
I find that price shoppers or those on a tight budget will always ask and if there is no way they could come up with my minimum fee, neither of us wastes our time with a consult. This vetting system ensures that all of the people I meet with, whether they end up hiring me or not, can all at least afford me. Once they are at the consult, I apply this 3 step process:
Step 1: Educate Them on The Process
I find one of the main reasons clients don’t value the services of a lawyer is that they don’t understand what they do.
If a client doesn’t understand the complexities of the divorce process, they can’t understand what they are paying me for or why they are paying so much. I find that by breaking down the process, the hours that have to be put in, what happens both in and outside of court, I can give them a better understanding of why divorce is not cheap.
Step 2: Educate Them On The Value Of Having A Lawyer
The next thing I do is emphasize what is at stake and the importance of having the right lawyer represent them.
Figure out what is most important to them and help them weigh if the fee of paying a lawyer is worth getting the outcome they want.
For example, if I have a parent that is being prevented from seeing their child I ask if they want a cheap lawyer or a good lawyer. By pointing out the risks of hiring someone cheaper, they are able to see the value in paying a little more quality.
Step 3: Why They Should Hire Me
Even though I am trying to get potential clients to see why they should hire me, I make the conversation about them. What I can do for them, the experience they will have with me as their attorney, and the value they will get from hiring me.
Again, you have to find out what’s most important to them. What is the most important quality they are looking for in an attorney? In most cases, they want someone who will be responsive and keep them updated on the case. I emphasized how I do this and the can see value in hiring an attorney who can meet their specific needs.
Just like anything else we do as lawyers, having a system in place for closing the sale at a consultation makes the process easier. Take a look at your prospective client’s biggest objections to closing and work out a system of your own for overcoming those roadblocks.
Sage advice from a lawyer with a 85% closing rate that lawyers would be advised to follow. Research is the key to this method. Take a moment to survey past clients about why they hired you and what was the key deciding factor for them. Then, you can use that data to inform both your marketing and your sales conversations.
You shouldn’t do this research yourself because your billable time is valuable. Reach out to a virtual assistant who can implement your client survey. Want help with creating your survey and hiring a VA? See out resources like OutsourceEasier.com