Lawyers I coach, and lawyers I know, share with me that some of the major challenges they face are potential clients who call to “pick the lawyer’s brain” and then never become clients and clients who want substantial discounts. These two issues made me think of buying running shoes.

In the Dallas area we are very fortunate to have a Run On Store in Richardson. Each member of the staff is a runner and knows every detail about each shoe the store carries. Several years ago, Nancy and I went there to “pick their brains” about the right running shoes for us. After taking detailed measurements and watching me walk and jog, the professional staff member us told me there were only three brands of running shoes that would work for me. He also told me the specific shoes that were best for each of the three brands. He told Nancy the same information for her shoes.

We each bought a pair of shoes that day and were very happy with them. Armed with the expertise and detailed information from an expert, for the next five years we decided to buy shoes on the internet to “save” money.

A week before Christmas we were out looking for some sports equipment and Nancy asked a clerk in the sports store about a specific running shoe she had tried on at DSW Shoes. It was immediately clear the clerk had no clue about the specific shoe or any other running shoe the store carried.

Two days later, Nancy and I went back to Run On. Jimmy helped us. He worked first with Nancy, taking her measurements and watching her walk. He brought out two different pairs of Asics running shoes and one pair of New Balance running shoes. Nancy liked the looks of one of the Asics shoes, but the other pair just felt better. She decided to buy that pair of shoes.

Then Jimmy began helping me. I won’t bore you with the things that make it difficult for me to find the right running shoes, but after measuring my foot in several ways, watching me walk and jog, and even consulting with another store employee, Jimmy brought out a pair of Saucony running shoes and a pair of Brooks running shoes. He asked which shoes felt better. They both felt great and it was very hard to choose. Jimmy then suggested that I decide based on which shoe felt like I did not have shoes on. I ultimately decided on the pair of Brooks shoes.

In the future, we will be able to buy the same shoes on the internet and I am sure they will be cheaper. But, I don’t think we will make that mistake again. We like how the professionals at Run On work to understand our unique situation.

What are the points of this story for you?

  • Clients are willing to pay more for experts: I was willing to pay more for shoes at Run On
  • Clients will frequently take the information learned from those experts and try to get a better deal: I tried to get the better deal buying the same shoes on the internet.
  • After being disappointed by the less expensive lawyer, clients will typically go back to the experts: I went back to the professionals after being disappointed
  • You can be more valuable to your clients and potential clients if you not only have the legal expertise, but you also understand what makes each client unique and different: The professionals at Run On not only know every shoe in their inventory, they take time with the customers to understand which shoe is best for their unique situation.
  • Find ways to add value. That might include doing in-house workshops for your clients: The professionals at Run On offer classes, tips and other valuable information.