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Lawyer Tips: 5 Ways to Stop Sucking at Sales

stop sucking at salesWant to hear something funny?

When you think about it, the oldest profession in the world is actually… sales.

(Think about that for a minute if you don’t get the joke.)

It never ceases to amaze me when professionals look down at selling as though it’s some kind of social disease.

Let me set a few things straight about sales.

The Truth About Sales

1.) Nothing happens in our economy until somebody sells something.

That turns the whole thing on its head, doesn’t it? We NEED sales people in society like we need bees in our orchards and crops.

2.) Most of the richest people in the world are, in the final analysis, salespeople.

Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Sam Walton… think about these people. What did they do to get rich? They sold stuff. A LOT of stuff.

3.) The highest paid professionals in every industry have a background in nose-to-nose, toes-to-toes selling.

Doctors, lawyers and even professional sales people who really make it in the world all have a background in selling something like cars, knives, vacuum cleaners, encyclopedias… the HARD stuff. The stuff nobody else wants to sell. The stuff that gives salespeople a bad reputation when they come knocking on your door.

Combine all the lawyer jokes in the world with all the derogatory thoughts about sales people and you’ve got a recipe for… IMMENSE SUCCESS!!!

Because, here’s the truth: most lawyers suck at selling!

When you learn how to sell (and it can be done elegantly) in a way that really works for you and your clients, then you will become one of the most successful lawyers you know.

The sea will part and you’ll be on one side with all the clients, and the other lawyers with the bad attitudes will be on the other side with their fear and their frustration.

The trick is learning how to sell in a way that FEELS really good to both you and your prospects. And then back up your promises with exceptional service.


I’d be lying to you if I told you that engaging clients was much harder than:

  • sitting down with one hot prospect after another
  • simply telling them a story that deeply moved their hearts
  • showing them a fee schedule for them to select from
  • processing their credit card

Like a moth to a flame…

Wouldn’t it be great if that’s how your clients engaged?

So, why are you struggling and frustrated?

Reality is, unless you have a proven system for selling, you’re at the mercy of your prospects’ system for NOT buying.

So, let’s get you a system for selling in a way that feels great on both sides.

5 Ways to Stop Sucking at Sales

win at sales1. Develop a clearly defined offer, proven to get the RIGHT prospects calling your office, eager to sit down with you and learn from you in an educational process, ready to give you their credit card at the end because they feel really understood and excited about how you can help them.

This becomes the heart of all your marketing and community education. Without this offer, you’re simply wasting money on advertising, or worse… sitting dead in the water, waiting for someone to walk through your door.

2. Craft a script for pre-qualifying prospects before even setting the appointment to meet with you. If they aren’t a great fit for what you do, or meet your criteria for the type of client you want to work with — wish them well, or refer them to the right lawyer, but DO NOT invite them in to meet with you. This is a waste of your time, and will only kill your morale.

When you pre-qualify your prospects, your engagement rate goes WAY up.

3. Prepare a well-rehearsed, educational presentation that effectively moves your prospects’ emotions and builds a trusted advisor relationship that leads them to see you very differently than the other lawyers who just want to crank out the billable hours (but aren’t even happy about it).

Done right, this will help them see the epic mistake they’d be making by choosing to walk out of your office without writing you a check… not by creating fear, but by helping them understand their issue in a way they feel you are uniquely qualified to solve.

4. Then, at the end of your educational presentation, you simply empower your clients with a fee schedule that lets them choose the level of service they want from you, and take their credit card.

This will feel SO good, neither you nor your clients will hardly know it was a sale that just happened. But it was!

NOTE: If you are still working for the hourly billable it’s time to stop. You lose 10-20% of your billable time documenting every little thing you do, and perhaps another 10-30% of your billable time because you can’t remember all the little things you did for each case by the time you sit down to document it. It breaks your flow and it makes your clients resistant to reaching out to you — the antithesis of a trusted advisor relationship.

5. Stop. Hourly billing that is. Instead, you want to package your services in 3 levels (think small, medium & large at McDonald’s— and then think of how much money McDonald’s makes because of how easy it is to order there). You’re happy because you get to spend more time doing what you love — practicing law — and less time nickel and diming your clients out of the relationship they really desire to have with you. Your clients are happy because they can relax knowing you’ll get them the outcome they came to you for, without worrying about every call and email resulting in a horrendous bill at the end. And you both get the joy of working together as allies rather than adversaries.

It really is that easy. And it really does feel that good.

Want to learn more?

About the Contributor
Alexis Neely is a bestselling author and has been a frequent guest on numerous network talk shows and news broadcasts. After graduating first in her law school class from Georgetown Law, Alexis clerked for Senior Judge Peter T. Fay on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and then began her career at the #1 AmLaw rated firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson. She went on to build her own law practice into a million dollar a year revenue generator within just three years by creating a revolutionary New Law Business Model you’ll hear about on the call. She is a leading expert on teaching lawyers how to attract more clients, engage those clients at higher fees,* and to serve those clients using this completely different law business model. Lawyers using Alexis’ systems report far more happiness, bigger bank accounts, and that they love being lawyers again.

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