Sunday, April 5, 2009

Are you telling the right story?

What do you say to potential clients? Do you tell them what you do? The type of law you practice, the clients you've represented, the deals you've done or the cases you've won? Or do you tell them what you can do for them? 

It's easy, after all, to focus on what you've done. You know it well, it's impressive information, it summarizes your strengths and experience in a concise package. But is it valuable? Does it communicate your ability to help them manage the situation, make their decision, comply with the regulation, to respond to that which brought them to you? Isn't that what they're going to buy? 

Of course they want someone who knows their industry. Of course they need an expert who has solved problems just like theirs. Of course they're going to hire the lawyer whose background and skills correspond exactly to the demands of the matter at hand. That's why they're talking to you in the first place: if they were not already confident that your practice was credible and your record impressive, that you could help them, you wouldn't be sitting at the table. So don't use the precious little one-on-one time you've got to tell them what they already know. Tell them what you can do in their unique situation. How you can help them save their company, sell their ideas, license their product, buy their competitor. Because that's what they need, and it's precisely what you're good at doing. 

Don't tell your potential clients what you do. Tell them what you can do for them.

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