A lawyer I coached, who is now in-house, sent an internal company blog titled: Selling Trees. I found it very valuable. The writer makes a point to the company’s sales force by telling a story of his buying trees for his house. Here is a short portion of what he said:Tree Larger.jpg

If the salesperson gives me the equivalent of “trees are down aisle 22”, or says, “what kind do you want?”  I’m sure they’d make a sale of some trees. But if he says “Can I ask you some questions?  Are you using the trees for screening?  For shade? You said you were lining the driveway with trees.  Have you thought about spacing?  Do you want to hide the house or gradually reveal it as you approach the property?  Can you tell me about the rest of your property?  What’s the style of house anyway?”

I hope you see the point. When you meet with a potential client are you selling trees (what you do), or do you ask good questions to understand how what you do fits into what the client really wants? Resist the temptation to jump immediately into what you do and how well you do it.

If you want to learn the same principle applied to a lawyer client situation read: Win More Service Customers: Engage People, Not Prospects. If you have an example of when you engaged a client in this same way, I would love to hear from you.