I sat in on a lunch many years ago with a litigator from my firm and a businessman we both knew and liked. I began by asking what was going on with his company. He replied: “We just got sued.” Before he could explain further the litigator asked: “Has the company hired counsel yet?”

That experience reminded me of that great marketing technique of scanning the new court filings and letting the defendant’s in-house lawyer know his or her company has been sued. I am confident that somewhere out there a litigator got hired by being being a court filings scanner, but it just never seemed like a good strategy to me.

I have shared with you that a few years ago I read Todd Duncan’s book: High Trust Selling. I found several helpful ideas in the book. Duncan describes an exercise he does during his seminars. He pairs members of the audience and then gives one person 30 seconds to sell his or her pen to the other person. As you might imagine, each seller is talking and trying to “close” the sale. After 30 seconds the sellers are still trying to make the sale. After he says stop, Todd Duncan asks:

“Before you started telling the prospect everything your pen could do for him or her, how many of you asked. “What’s important about owning a pen to you?”

If this theme sounds familiar to you, it is likely because you remember I posted: Lawyer Client Development Lesson: Selling Trees making essentially the same point.

Just wondering: Do you have a list of questions you ask potential clients when you are meeting with them?

If you want to learn a little bit more on this, read this story on how two entrepreneurs selected their lawyer: Win More Service Customers: Engage People, Not Prospects.