Closing The Sale for Attorneys: Three Common Objections You Need to Address
The following is an excerpt from the FindLaw playbook, Always Be Closing: Sales Concepts for Small Law Firms.
As we’ve stated before, legal consumers are generally sold by the time they’ve contacted your firm. Assuming they’re the right fit for you, the objections you’ll face as an attorney aren’t as strong as those many other salespeople encounter. In fact, many law firms have to overcome these common objections online, long before any prospect walks through their doors.
OBJECTION 1: YOUR COMPETITION
When a prospect visits your website, it’s not unreasonable to assume he or she has multiple browser tabs open and could be comparing you with “the firm down the street.” Winning out against the competition online isn’t all that different from doing so in person. Highlight your abilities, present your audience with a choice, then show them your advantage.
If you don’t know your advantage, create one. Draw attention to your unique experience, for example. Case in point, most major metro areas have a family law attorney who promotes himself as the “fathers’ rights” lawyer for a reason. These firms have discovered their niche and promote it heavily. They explicitly state the advantages their expertise offers while also tapping into the emotional concerns of fathers, who are left to choose between one firm that regularly proves that they understand their clients, and a sea of generic competitors who have not made their case.
OBJECTION 2: DIY LEGAL FORMS
Going up against the do-it-yourself revolution can be humbling. Not only are you forced to compete on price but you have to refute the idea that your particular expertise isn’t actually all that necessary. Our proposal? Stop seeing it as competition and start seeing opportunity.
Some attorneys may find new business channels by offering lower-cost services that add value to DIY forms. This strategy allows consumers to pursue their issue to a certain degree, then bring in the experts once they’ve reached the limits of their abilities. Any response to DIY solutions requires attorneys to clearly articulate the value they bring that a consumer cannot expect from an online form provider. The idea is not to attack online forms as invalid, but to reveal where they may fall short of their intended purpose. Consider the following example:
Two siblings decide to start a business together. They’re able to find and complete the necessary forms online, but your unique experience representing businesses in the past provides you with insight a form doesn’t have. Emphasize that insight through in-person discussions or blog posts that challenge entrepreneurs to consider the realistic risks of their actions.
“What are your individual risks if a patron slips, falls and sues your company?”
“Do you and your sister have a clear notion of what each of you has at stake?”
“Have you discussed and defined the process for what to do when the business needs more capital or when one of you wants to sell?”
Asking (and helping answer) questions like these reveals the expertise you have built over the years and helps consumers see beyond your price tag. Speaking of which …
OBJECTION 3: YOUR COST
Siblings starting a new business are likely very cost-conscious. Closing a sale with them could come down to whether or not you’re truly affordable right now. In contrast, a young man facing a felony DUI charge is probably quite willing to stretch his pocketbook given the stakes. His job, his freedom, even something as specific as his active military status may all be on the table.
Both of these examples come down to understanding your customer. Knowing how price-sensitive they are, and what motivators might dull that sensitivity, is the key to having a conversation that wins the sale.
Every good salesperson knows the most common objections he or she may face and develops a plan to handle them. If you regularly encounter pushback from potential clients that wasn’t covered here, set aside time to consider which of your past responses have been most effective and practice your rebuttal.