What Lawyers Really Want From Consultants

salmon sandwichAt our recent sales meeting in Orlando, a panel of four attorneys described the various reasons why they chose us over other vendors. Although they all had answers specific to their unique situation, common themes surfaced. Most mentioned listening skills, such as “the consultant really listened to me.” Several acknowledged their consultant as offering custom solutions to specific business objectives. And all suggested that if we acted more like a real person, instead of a sales person, it’s a guaranteed way to build trust. It’s hard to explain what this really means, but if you sound like you’re selling discount used cars, instead of helping solve problems and achieve goals, you’re not acting like a real person.

Keys to Success
Good consultants solve problems. But great consultants understand their clients. They help them think things through vs. diving into their pitch bag and layering the attorney’s desk with brochures. They’re in it for the long haul, and don’t get discouraged or disappointed when clients don’t buy (translation: you just haven’t shown enough value yet!).

Each attorney said the key to breaking through their busy schedule is persistence. If you have a solution or idea they need to hear, schedule a 10 or 15 minute appointment. And be prepared to wait. Just don’t wait too long — this could be perceived as a hard sales pitch. Instead, reschedule. Lastly, don’t just drop off free gifts. If you have something important, which will help their business, they’ll want to hear about it, so make the appointment.

One lawyer on the panel made it very clear what he wanted from his consultant — lunch. Since we all eat lunch, at least a few times per week, who’d say no? Especially if you have something of value to bring to the table, besides picking up the check!

Photo credit by somnyus.

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Brian Farrell is a sales leader, author and social seller.

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3 comments on “What Lawyers Really Want From Consultants
  1. You’re right, understanding the true needs of our clients is critical to both their success and ours. Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Avatar John Shinkle says:

    Attorneys are busy and don’t have time to educate a sales rep on all aspects of their business. Reps should do their homework and understand the firm. Let them know the practical application of their offering. I agree great consultants offer the right solution because they listen, they understand, and show how the solution can be applied.

  3. Avatar Dave Kim says:

    Another lawyer made her needs very clear….Starbucks card! Thanks for post Brian.