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Tom's Talent Blog

Sell Like a Lawyer

Posted by Tom Erb on Jan 5, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Sell_Like_LawyerEver get a cold call from an attorney? Probably not, because their code of ethics has strict rules against solicitation. And if you did, what would you think? Your initial response would be they probably aren’t a very good attorney, or they wouldn’t need to cold call.

So how do lawyers sell? Well, since cold calling is off the table, they have to be creative. They network like crazy and advertise on TV, radio, and in publications. They sponsor associations, host educational events, ask for referrals, and a variety of other ways to get in front of their prospects. They can’t rely on just picking up the phone and making call after call after call, so they find other ways to build name recognition and credibility. And it works!

So what would you do if all of a sudden you weren’t allowed to cold call? Well I suspect most of you would jump for joy and high five all your fellow salespeople, until reality sets in that you still have to figure out how to make sales. Then you would sit down and create a sales strategy that doesn’t depend on calling strangers all day. You would be forced to approach sales as an attorney does – by building credibility, your network, and your brand.

Doing all those other things I listed above is hard work - until its not. The difference between the types of activities listed above and cold calling is that cold calling never gets easier. Sure you might get more comfortable at it, and your pitch will become more polished over time, but making one cold call doesn’t directly make the next cold call any easier.

By contrast, performing sales and marketing activities that build credibility and brand recognition have a snowball effect. The network you build up now will pay off for years to come. The credibility you establish through hosting educational events, sponsoring key events, writing whitepapers and other activities will ultimately attract customers to you (imagine that!). So while its hard work and takes a commitment, the payoff over time can be exponentially greater than the traditional cold call approach.

 

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Topics: Sales, Networking