Where do initial consultation calls go wrong? Consultation calls are an important part of building your practice and firm, but are there crucial mistakes you should be aware of?
Liz Wendling joins me to talk about where most consultations go wrong, and how to fix it.
Liz is the rainmaking attorney coach and the author of The Rainmaking Mindset and Consultations That Convert. Attorneys nationwide seek Liz out when they want to discover how to maximize their business development skills and win more business.
Liz understands the challenges that attorneys are facing when selling their legal services in today’s competitive and post-Covid-19 environment. Using a straightforward and practical approach, Liz teaches attorneys the business development skills they don’t teach in law school.
Liz gives listeners actionable tips on:
- [2:10] How to know where consultation calls are going wrong
- [7:00] Tips for positioning yourself on consultation calls and navigating client questions
- [12:10] How long a consultation call should take
- [17:45] Why you need to be selling
- [20:20] Recommendations Liz makes when doing an audit
- [24:10] How to highlight your expertise in your bio without being wordy
- [33:50] Liz’s book recommendation
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Connect with Liz here:
Connect with me
[00:00:27] Liz: Hi, I’m Liz Wendling and I’m the rainmaking attorney, coach, and the author of the rainmaking mindset and consultations that convert. And my specialty is teaching attorneys, the sales and the community communication skills. They didn’t teach in law school and I show them how to convert more consultations into clients and do so in a way that is aligned with the.
[00:00:50] People buy legal services today. And when attorneys understand how people buy, how people make decisions, when buying legal services, their [00:01:00] conversion rates skyrocket, they learn how to work with human behavior. Not against it.
[00:01:09] Karin: Oh, this is going to be good. Liz, thank you so much for being here. Uh, the gift card thing. I say this in a lot of different, different episodes about things that you don’t learn in law school, but I think kind of this human interaction and communication is really. Uh, it’s, it’s taught in a different way to be a lawyer.
[00:01:32] Like you’re taught to try to convince a jury, or you’re taught to communicate with all this lingual legal language, but this part of being a lawyer, which is really critical, it’s like step one in your client’s journey is. Really discussed. And so many people either undervalue it or don’t even think about it.
[00:01:53] So this is going to be great. I love some of these stories that you have to talk about. [00:02:00] Um, so today our big question is where to most initial consultations go wrong. And I’m kind of bearing the lead a little bit, just because. You have some really cool ways of figuring this out and knowing this, you have this insider information.
[00:02:15] So let’s start first with how, first of all, how do you know, how do you know where these things are going wrong?
[00:02:22] Liz: Well, that comes from my. Unique insider information about what is actually happening inside a consultation room. I don’t bug put a little bug and a microphone in a consultation room. I know it because law firms hire me to secret shop.
[00:02:41] So I go undercover and I a managing me, well, a managing partner will hire me and say, I don’t know what’s happening inside our consultation room. We had these clients who call us. They need to hire an attorney and often it leads they leave with. Okay, well, I’ll think about it. That’s too expensive. [00:03:00] I’m not sure I’m ready to go make a move yet.
[00:03:02] And they are, they’re losing. Then they should. And they don’t know where to look, what to look at. What’s wrong, what is happening inside? So my part of my consulting practices, not only helping attorneys convert more clients into consultations, first, we need to know where they’ve gone wrong, where they’re off the rails, where they’re not making those connections where they’re the profit leaks are happening inside that consultation rooms.
[00:03:29] So they hired. To find the precise evidence of why they’re expensive marketing leads are not turning into clients. So I go in posing as a real person with a real legal problem, and I take on the persona, the mindset, the emotion of an ideal client who’s ready to receive. So on scrutinizing all of the human behavior, whether it’s on a phone call, a zoom call.
[00:03:53] And in some cases, when we were doing face-to-face face-to-face consultation and I’m [00:04:00] analyzing everything that’s happening in there in that call, whether they’re being updated or they’re outdated, or whether they’re sounding old school or modern. And right before I get on a, uh, con uh, a secret shop, I will also evaluate someone’s web.
[00:04:14] I want to see if they’re what their message on their website says, are you all about the client? Do you’d say everything is about the client and you’re a client-centered firm. Well, if you are, you better show me that in your consultation. And if you’re not. You’re in congruent right out of the gate. So I look at their social media.
[00:04:34] I look at what they’re putting out there, because if I’m not receiving that back and the way that you’re communicating with me in a consultation, if that is off, then I’m going to feel as a potential client that I’m not sure I want to hire you. I’m not sure you’re going to be the best person for me. And then a consultation ends with, okay.
[00:04:53] Thank you, um, meeting with other attorneys and I’ll get back to you, but then they never do. So long story [00:05:00] short, then I report back to the law firms and I said, here’s the goodies? Well, there’s the good, the bad. And the interesting I call it. And the very first one that I hear all the time is when I either get on a phone or it is face-to-face or we’re on a zoom call is instead of.
[00:05:19] Trying to be different sound different show up differently. An attorney will say to me, so, um, what can I help you with today? And I call that the home Depot question. When you, you don’t know why I’m sitting in your consultation room, you’re, you’re off track already. If you don’t have any paperwork on me, if you know, when I called the intake department and shared my entire.
[00:05:43] Story with them. How come you don’t know why I’m sitting in the room and talk about epic, fail out of the gate. And
[00:05:50] Karin: it’s not like anybody seeks out an attorney. It’s not like just going to the grocery store. Like I shouldn’t be here for bread or milk or, you know, like, and this is just a normal, every, you know, [00:06:00] I’m here every Tuesday, whatever.
[00:06:02] It’s not, you don’t sit down with an attorney. Uh, every Tuesday, there is something very specific and probably really critical happening in that person’s life that, um, you should definitely be aware of before you’re sitting in front of them for that, for that initial consultation.
[00:06:19] Liz: Okay. A hundred percent, because then it sends a message to the client that I’ve done a little research.
[00:06:25] I looked at what you’ve shared. With our intake team. I know why you’re here. You are conveying so much in a short amount of time versus conveying something the complete opposite, which is, I don’t really care about you. I talked to people just like you all day, every day. What are you here for? And let’s have a conversation.
[00:06:42] Yeah. So right out of the gate, right out of the gate, you are being checked off as I’m not sure about this person versus. I like the way this attorney is communicating with me. I like the way he or she is looking at me like a human being an that I’m here and I’m in pain. [00:07:00] I never have knowledge that I need support.
[00:07:02] Karin: Right. Yeah. And yeah. Instead of I’m just another number and they don’t really realize how big of a deal this is to me.
[00:07:11] Liz: Correct. Yeah. And then another one, which is huge is when it may be a client will say something such as well. Why are you different? Or is your firm any different or I am meeting with other attorneys.
[00:07:24] What’s your experience in, in cases like mine and instead of making it about the client. The attorney will go into a dialogue about, or a monologue I should say on, well, I’ve been doing this for 31 years. My track record speaks for itself, and I’m great at this. And I’ve done that. And they go into more of convincing mode versus putting it back on the client and, and helping the client understand that.
[00:07:51] I do this all day, every day, without having to say that, but to be able to turn it around and say, Mary, you know, you came in here this morning and you shared with me X, [00:08:00] Y, and Z. One of the things that I know when I’m dealing with cases like this is a, B and C, are you you related back to the client? You make it sound like your case is different.
[00:08:11] I don’t want to hear where you went to. School. And when you graduated, I don’t want to hear that because I already know you’re qualified. I get that. You’re all qualified and I don’t need to hear that. I want to hear why you’re different as it relates to my situation, my pain and my journey. And if you can’t do that, they check you off again.
[00:08:31] So what
[00:08:32] Karin: does that sound like? Because I feel, I honestly think that people feel. When they’re talking about their law school, um, expertise, they’re somehow conveying that feeling, but they’re getting it really wrong. What does it sound like for an attorney to say that to a client so that they’re really conveying that I understand your, your specific.
[00:08:55] Liz: Well, it’s it’s when you bring up, I like to teach you’re taking [00:09:00] notes. Mental notes could be written notes and someone shares with you that one of my greatest concerns is staying in my home or maybe in a personal injury accident. Maybe it’s I want all my medical bills paid and I want this. And, uh, I, I, uh, Uh, financial, not a financial plan, like a state planning and they’re sharing what their goals are, what they hope to, to achieve at the end of, at the end of the meeting or the end of the consultation.
[00:09:29] And an attorney says, well, you know, Sally, earlier, you said that one of your biggest concerns when you were. Getting divorced is that you have a beautiful home that you want your kids to stay in. Let’s talk through some of those things or let’s let me share with you how I work with my clients. And you, you pull something that was so critical to that person, so critical that they showed it with you.
[00:09:52] You now have to spit it back in a way that doesn’t say, well, I’ve been doing this for 31 years and I can help you stay in your house. I [00:10:00] know an attorney might not say that, but that’s how it might land on someone. And again, another area where they check you off the box and say, I’m going to someone who cares about me.
[00:10:12] Karin: Yeah, absolutely. I was talking to an attorney who does a lot of DUIs and he said that he recently had, had this client who, you know, I mean, he, and this is all he does DUIs all day long. So he, he, you know, of anyone has seen these kinds of cases in and out. He can probably. He could guess what someone’s concerns are just based on all these past experiences, but he had this one client who his concern was not that his record, it was not, um, the cost or any of these other things.
[00:10:44] His concern was that his. Was threatening that if this didn’t go away, she was going to leave him. So his concern was his marriage, even though this was a DUI case and whatever. So he wanted to hear that, [00:11:00] um, we are gonna take care of this. You’re going to be able to tell your wife, if this is okay, you are this, this is what you can show your wife.
[00:11:05] This is how you can, you know, all of those things. And if he had just gone through kind of this rote kind of. Template it experience that he does with other, every other clients he would have missed that completely. And I think that excellent example all the time. Cause it’s like all of those other things.
[00:11:21] Yes, they’re important, but they were very secondary for this.
[00:11:25] Liz: Right. And if, and if an attorney is listening deep enough for what’s under the surface of what someone is saying and ask those questions, what else are you concerned about? I sit and talk to people in your situation every day, Bob. And sometimes they share with me this, or they’re, they’re afraid to tell me that there’s something.
[00:11:46] Behind the behind the scenes that I need to know about what, what else do we have to get on the table and talk about? And when you ask a question in such a way, it says you’re safe with me. It’s okay. It’s all right. To tell me your [00:12:00] deepest, darkest fear, because it isn’t always what sits on the surface and many attorneys think it is and only address what’s on the surface.
[00:12:07] So I teach attorneys instead of doing a snort. Type D discovery. You want to scuba dive. You want to get under the surface and truly understand what is happening. You have to get below the surface. Otherwise you sound like every other attorney in your practice area. So no more snorkel.
[00:12:32] Karin: Yeah, exactly. Get down in there, go, go into the games, do all that. So numbers wise, like how long is a typical consultation? I know it varies depending on the type of case. And then how much of that time should the attorney be talking? Versus the client. Cause I think this is an area where a lot of people get that wrong.
[00:12:54] They once again, kind of come back to this idea that I should be selling, selling, selling, but in [00:13:00] my, even in my own experience, I find that when I have a more successful sales call, it’s when I I’m doing a lot less of the time.
[00:13:09] Liz: Uh, that’s, that’s a really good question in a different scenarios. I agree that sometimes when the other person is talking, however, sometimes that can go in the weeds when someone just shares and chairs and chairs and chairs, and then you eat up that time.
[00:13:26] Being able to establish credibility and value and to be able to have a much deeper under the surface conversation. So a typical consultation when I’m working with clients is anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes seems to be that sweet spot and they could be. All the way to, I have clients doing 30 minute consultations, sometimes 30 to 40 minutes, and they’re charging $250 for that consultation, which I’m a big fan of, of charging for consultations.
[00:13:54] And it really depends on where you are in the world when it comes to that. However, so somebody is [00:14:00] coming to you and they’re taking that 30, let’s call it 35 minutes. There’s a beginning, a middle, and an end to everything at the beginning of that consultation is setting it up. To help the potential client understand that I do this all day every day, again, without ever saying that, conveying that Mary here’s what I’d like to accomplish in our time together today.
[00:14:21] And you lay out a little bit of a roadmap, which starts signaling to the potential client. Okay, this, this he or she has my back. This person has my back understands right out of the gate that I’m nervous. I’m feeling stressed and they’re, it’s an, in an effort to relax. The potential client, because when someone’s relaxed, they listen, they listen differently.
[00:14:43] Yeah. When someone comes in and says, I got you, we’re going to take care of this today. They start to open up and listen to you differently. Then the next part of the consultation is, is to understand why are you here today? What’s going on? What are your deepest, darkest fears or worries or [00:15:00] concerns then the attorney has to shift into.
[00:15:02] Let’s now shift gears and talk about how our firm can help. What are some of the fees that are involved? And then at the very end, this is where so many consultations can fall apart is there’s an objection. There’s always going to be objections, right? And I teach attorneys how to handle them, not try to overcome them.
[00:15:22] So a lot of sales training out there, sales programs, you pick up a sales book or how to sell legal services. And it’s all about. Like overcoming that objection. And it’s not about that. I teach that an objection is another part of the conversation. That’s, it’s someone signaling to you that I have a few more concerns.
[00:15:42] I need to have a couple more hurdles you and I need to go over. Then I’ll feel confident to. Make a decision, but I need your help getting me over that,
[00:15:53] Karin: the psychology of a decision to where people have to go through all of these things that are popping up in the back of their [00:16:00] head so that, you know, you just, it’s just, that’s just how a human brain, the human brain
[00:16:04] Liz: works.
[00:16:05] That’s it. And that’s what I said earlier. It works with human, the human brain and the human behavior. Not against it. So it’s an attorney. If someone says, oh, it’s really expensive, or, oh my gosh, I don’t have that kind of money. Well, do you have a family member that can help you and boom, right away, you’ve tried to overcome that objection versus.
[00:16:24] Pumping the brakes, I call it like that buffer statement in between how you get to the, to the conversation. So call her. And if someone says, oh my gosh, $5,000 retainer, I don’t even know where I’m going to get that. I’m lucky if I have a few thousand dollars in my bank account. And instead of trying to push for the business, there has to be that conversation that says.
[00:16:45] You’re conveying that it’s safe. Let’s talk about money again, without ever having to say it. This is all conveyed in such a way where you lean into someone and say, you know what, Mary let’s let’s take a breath. Let’s talk through some options. Let’s see what, what may be [00:17:00] available to you during this pandemic.
[00:17:02] We’ve had a lot of people like you that are. Stuck in some weird situation. So let’s talk through some of the ways that we’ve helped some of our other clients get over this hurdle. And now all of a sudden, you’re saying I’m here to help you. I’m not here to try to sell you. And that’s where a lot of times your attorneys think I don’t want to sell that’s their mantra.
[00:17:22] I don’t say. I don’t sell. I’m not, I don’t, I’m not a sales person. And I always call BS on that. You are, you’re selling legal services. Now you can buy, you can buy programs that tell you you can sell without selling. But I always say that’s like saying, you can go swimming without getting wet. You are selling legal services and the sooner an attorney.
[00:17:43] Gets the fact that there is a sales conversation wrapped in that initial consultation. And I’m not talking about hard sell old school stuff. Not at all. I’m talking about that you went to human behavior that opens people up and makes that [00:18:00] potential client go. I like this person. I trust this person. This person is credible.
[00:18:05] So you are selling legal services and we have to stop lying. Stop lying to yourself and telling yourself you don’t sell because if you’re not selling. People can’t buy bottom line. You need to sell.
[00:18:18] Karin: Exactly. Exactly. I love that. Yeah, it’s so true. And I don’t know why it comes across as this sort of, um, what’s the word I’m looking for kind of this altruistic sort of almost like it should be seen as a non-profit.
[00:18:34] It’s a profitable business. And if you’re not making a profit and kind of going through the rest of the steps that a business needs to go through, you’re just not going to survive. And then you, you know, you won’t be able to serve those clients in any way, or you’re going to have to go back and do whatever you were doing before that clearly didn’t wasn’t, you know, what you wanted to do cause you’re starting this law firm.
[00:18:55] So yeah, absolutely. I feel like that’s kind of the place I start with a [00:19:00] lot of. Is, this is a business. Let’s just kind of get that out of the way and this idea that you don’t want to come across as marketing or advertising or doing any of those things, we need to set that, that aside because you do and, um, going into any kind of project without thinking in terms of.
[00:19:21] The marketing and the language and the psychology of that, that buyer’s decision and realizing that it is a buyer you’re really missing the entire boat. So that’s
[00:19:33] Liz: spot on. They are a buyer.
[00:19:39] Karin: Yes, they are. I mean, they’re going to pay you. They’re not going to just hand over a chicken or whatever. There’s no, this
[00:19:48] Liz: illusion that, oh, if I do good work, then all the clients will fall in my lap.
[00:19:53] That is so old school that is so outdated. Doing good work. Isn’t enough to bring in [00:20:00] all the clients you could ever want. The pandemic has loved. The playing field. And when someone is in search of legal services, they have more options than ever before they hop on someone’s website and the next person’s website and the next attorney’s website.
[00:20:18] And they’re saying to themselves, well, they’re all saying the same thing. They all sound the same. Oh my gosh. How do I make a decision? So, if they’re coming to you and they’re already clumping you in, you sound the same as everyone else, the only way to separate yourself, the absolute only way is to change the way you communicate with them and engage with them in your consultations.
[00:20:40] So that in their head, they go, oh, they all said the same thing, but this is the only one that did something different in my consultation. That’s the one that will you, people are leaning in versus backing away.
[00:20:56] Karin: That? Yes, absolutely. Okay. So let’s, that’s a great [00:21:00] transition. Let’s talk about, you said that you also take a look at their website before you do your secret shopper consultation. Right? What are some things that, that you are looking at there and where do you, um, what kind of recommendations do you make for change?
[00:21:14] Or what do you what’s tell me more.
[00:21:17] Liz: Yeah, well, many times the I’ll start with the attorney bios and they’re, they’re very sterile. Let’s put it that way. And I went to this school and there’s nothing human inside of those bios. And I was just helping a criminal. Uh, affirm with their bio’s, who they wanted to soften their criminal defense attorneys.
[00:21:41] Bio’s up a little bit. And, and I, and I made just a few tweaks, not to the point where we have to show them playing with puppy dogs on their website, nothing like that. But one of, one of the attorneys was a yoga instructor. He was this big burly. Yeah, probably a 6, 3, 220 pounds. But, [00:22:00] but he taught yoga. He was a criminal defense attorney.
[00:22:02] I mean, it’s so enjoyed yoga and teaching it. So we were able to weave that into his consultation and he said he has never had more people sit down and they bring that to the consultation. Oh, I read your bio. How long have you been doing yoga? He’s he says they’re doing my. Uh, credibility in the beginning, the client, the potential client is coming in already wanting to make a connection.
[00:22:30] And the attorney doesn’t have to do it. Most cases that person is coming in and saying, oh, you’re a divorced mom as well. I so appreciate that. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to meet with you. We added that into when I was working with a divorce from the, one of the women woman said. I have firsthand experience in divorced.
[00:22:49] I’m a divorced mom, myself with three. Now I am a single mom with three kids. So I understand the challenges that you’re going through and the complexities that are about to happen to you, [00:23:00] that warms people up. So that would be the first thing I would say is I read bios. I look at the website. Is it written client centered or from center?
[00:23:10] And oftentimes it’s all about how great they are, how many people they helped and, and they might not come out and say that directly. But as you’re reading it, you’re not getting a real flavor of the firm because it sounds like every other website or marketing material. So there’s a way to go in there and make it use centered client centered.
[00:23:29] So the person starts envisioning themselves working with your firm. They go, oh,
[00:23:35] Karin: wait. I feel like this is a place I get a lot of resistance. And I will say that I think because there is this standard template that a lot of buyers, especially, uh, kind of follow that when I push on that, I get a lot of resistance.
[00:23:52] And one of the examples I use all the time is two years ago, uh, or maybe it’s two and a half. Now at the last in-person Cleo [00:24:00] conference, they had this speaker and they were talking about bios and they did a Venn diagram. And then I said, what clients want to see on a bio, what attorneys put on a bio? And they had these giant lists of different things.
[00:24:12] And the only thing that overlapped was the phone number. And so, you know, there’s all these things that the attorney wants to put, like all of these kind of, you know, sub sections of the Greek organization that they were in. And. School and the client wants to know, do you care about me? You know, all the other things and the only place it was overlapping was the phone number.
[00:24:35] So, um, how do you express that I’ve done this kind of work I’ve had this experience without having those endless lists of cases that go back to like 1980.
[00:24:50] Liz: Excellent question. And there, there has to be woven in there in such a way that as the person’s reading it, it really, it feels like a bio, but a [00:25:00] personalized bio.
[00:25:01] So it could be something as simple as, as a prosecutor for 22 years or in my 22 years. Experiencing experience handling nothing but DUI cases. I understand what you’re going through, or I know when you come into my office. Exactly. Or let’s, um, and I’m just totally making stuff up now. I I’d have to see one to be able to tweak it, but it’s, it’s conveying that.
[00:25:28] I understand what you’re about to go through and I know it’s so well that you and I are going to have a high level conversation. About what’s at stake, what your options are and how I can help you. And no one cares that you handled 5,000 cases in the last 20 years. It re unless it matters, truly matters to me that you understand me and my pains and problems and challenges, dilemmas, and headaches, and heartaches.
[00:25:53] And. If you don’t convey that they will, they’ll read it and go, okay, that’s really nice, but I feel [00:26:00] no connection to you whatsoever. And I don’t even know that I’m excited to go even meet you. And so when an attorney can write a bio in such a way that allows the client to come with their little post-it note, that might say.
[00:26:13] He likes yoga and they go in and say, oh, I read your file. And it makes the attorney feel good. And it makes the client relaxed immediately. What a gift you give to a client who we know for a fact, current is coming in mad, sad, pissed, upset, worried, scared. And if you could immediately start to mitigate some of those negative feelings and start turning those into positive feelings, that’s where the consultation can skyrocket.
[00:26:44] They start seeing you as a real human being. And this criminal defense attorney said to me, he said, I’ve never had more people comment about how much I made them feel like a human being. These are people that have drug charges and maybe murdered someone and. [00:27:00] Thank you for treating me like a human being.
[00:27:02] And he’s like, no one has ever said that to me. And all we did was go in there and take his outdated model, his consultation model and make it more human make, make it more dynamic and heartfelt and human centered versus client centered or legal centered, still getting to the same conclusion of I’m going to hire you.
[00:27:26] Karin: Yes. The what really stood out. The one thing that you said that stood out to me is talking about what’s at stake. And I feel like this is the missing piece for a lot of the people I’ve worked with is they talk about their experience. They talk about how they’ve done this. Uh, work they’ve, you know, had these X, Y, and Z results.
[00:27:44] And a lot of times when, especially when you’re talking about personal injury, there’s the list of all the rewards and the results and the money and the dollar signs. But that’s not really, what’s at stake for a lot of people. I mean, they, you know, that’s, that’s a great outcome, but what they care about [00:28:00] is something different.
[00:28:01] And that’s that I feel like is really what you’re talking about. Even in the beginning, in terms of digging into those questions, to figure that. Because you don’t necessarily even know what they really care about and what’s at stake for them, unless you ask them.
[00:28:15] Liz: That’s right. You get them talking, but your line of questioning allows to it.
[00:28:20] It’s like, you’re, filleting them right before your eyes. They’re opening up to you. And they’re sharing things that they might not have shared with the other two attorneys or three attorneys or half a dozen that they’ve met with because your ability to open them up and allows them to say. You know, what’s really bothering me or one of the things I don’t know, if you can help me with is this.
[00:28:42] And then all of a sudden they share something that is so personal. And when that happens, you know, that there is a trust and a bond and a connection happening in that consultation room that makes you rise to the top. And you’re the first person they’re going to call. It doesn’t matter what you charge.
[00:28:59] [00:29:00] You could be $10,000 more. I’ve had attorneys say to me, oh my gosh. They told me they weren’t going to hire me because I was $5,000 more. But they came back the next day and said, because I like you, I felt so good. I left with a smile on my face. I’ve been in pain for so long and I was going to base it on money.
[00:29:17] But instead I based it on a connection. And I, so when people say I can’t afford it, I always say going back, sorry.
[00:29:29] Karin: Yeah, absolutely. You just need to make that connection. It seems like, especially I, you know, I keep imagining a criminal defense attorney, especially, um, where it’s really important to figure out the difference between talking about what’s at stake without, um, talking about it in a really negative way. So, you know, uh, I had clients who really wanted to.
[00:29:52] Feature images of like handcuffs and police tape and things like that on their website, but it was so off [00:30:00] pudding that it, you know, it just didn’t work out for that person. Um, so it seems like there, there has to be a way to talk about those things without talking. I guess basically what I’m saying is like talking about like a prison sentence or talking about, you know, kind of, how do you flip that in a way that that would be a more positive approach, like how we’re going to.
[00:30:22] You know, how would you do
[00:30:24] Liz: that? Well, I call it painting the ugly picture and the pretty picture. So you paint that you can paint that ugly picture by St. You know, Bob you’re right now, as the case stands, you’re looking at maybe seven to 10 years in jail, or you’re looking at losing your license for X amount of time.
[00:30:42] And the way we’re going to be able to get past that or through that is this. And then you might paint a pretty picture that as we’re working together, here’s some of the things that we’re going to, to accomplish. I’m going to start doing X, as soon as we start working together. As soon as you hire me or retain me as your attorney, one of the [00:31:00] first things I’m going to do is I’m going to get that dash cam footage or I’m going to.
[00:31:05] XYZ and, and you’re, so you paint that ugly picture because that yes, that person is sitting in an ugly space, but if you don’t take them over to the bridge of how I’m going to help you and how my expertise can help you start helping them see a better tomorrow. And you do that in the way you convey that.
[00:31:24] There’s a very specific way. I teach that way harder to teach on a, on a podcast like this, but you’ve got to take them over that bridge and you have to do it in such a way that that person feels as though you grabbed their hand and said, let’s walk over to the other side where, where the results and the success.
[00:31:41] But you’re going to have to hire me to do that and not saying it that way, but that’s what you’re conveying your problem. You’re sitting down talking to me about my solution. I have the solution. What does it look like now? Let’s talk about what it would look like for you and I to move from. Start this process sooner than [00:32:00] later.
[00:32:00] And what w what the fees involved would look like and, and showing this person with that conviction and confidence that you’re the right person, not trying to resist selling or not being a sales person. This isn’t where you step on the gas and start selling. Yes, this is the part where you start to show your expertise and you do that through that body language and the bright communication by saying you are, this is how we’re going to solve the problem.
[00:32:27] You came in to talk to me about, you’re going to have the problem either way, whether you hire me or not, you’re going to have to hire someone, but let’s talk about how I will fix your issue or can help you with your issue.
[00:32:39] Karin: Oh, that is so great. I feel like that is a sticky point where a lot of people are really getting that wrong and they’re kind of leading with fear and, you know, kind of staying in that ugly spot like you were describing and just trying to push through with fear, which nobody likes that that’s really unpleasant experience.[00:33:00]
[00:33:00] Liz: it’s so uncomfortable. It makes everyone uncomfortable and people don’t buy when they’re not comfortable. They don’t say yes, when they’re uncomfortable, the uncomfortable mind does not lean in and say, you’re the right person for me. If you don’t leave them feeling different, this is big. And I write this in my book.
[00:33:19] If you don’t change their emotions from worried, scared, upset, pissed off, whatever those negative emotions are to relieve. Wow, this feels good. I feel confident now. I feel self-assured this. I feel relieved. You don’t do that. They’re going to an attorney who, who makes them feel all of those good feelings and it’s up to you to take them over to the over that bridge.
[00:33:46] Karin: Yeah. Oh, I love that. Oh my gosh. That is so valuable. Just to kind of imagine that emotional journey and that it’s your job to kind of pull them through that. Um, and, and on a positive [00:34:00] note so that, you know, so that they’re walking away feeling great about this, you know, the next steps. It’s
[00:34:06] Liz: about advising and guiding people to make good decisions in their best interest.
[00:34:12] It’s about understanding what the brain needs in order to make a buying decision. So that’s the journey that I take attorneys on. How are you providing this potential client? What they need to hear? See, feel neat in that consultation for them to say, oh my gosh. This feels right? Yeah. That’s how we all make decisions.
[00:34:35] So it’s not, it’s this isn’t unique to buying legal services. We all need to know that the person who’s going to rip apart my kitchen in three weeks and give me a brand new one is competent, who knows what they’re doing, and I could let that happen and feel so good about writing that big first check.
[00:34:54] Karin: Okay. All right. So Liz, I don’t have a smooth transition to this, to the book. So I’m just going to jump right [00:35:00] to it. Tell us what a book you have to recommend for our audience
[00:35:06] Liz: today. Okay. I have two books. One of them is consultations that convert, and that is a book for attorneys who sit down and have to speak to human beings and who are asking them to make a decision to have.
[00:35:19] So that’s my first book. And then the second one is the rainmaking mindset for attorneys. And that’s more shifting your mindset to I’m an attorney and I don’t sell all the way to, you know, what? I spend a lot on marketing. I met might as well make the best of my marketing dollars by understanding my mindset as well as the client’s mindset and both of those together.
[00:35:42] It’s magical because people have to buy you first as a person before they’ll buy, you’ll lose your legal services. Next. They want to know that you’re a human being on the other side first. And you can only do that by the way that you’re conveying [00:36:00] and communicating and treating them in you. A 30 to 35 minute consultation so much has to happen in 35 minutes for someone to whip out their checkbook and.
[00:36:11] Who do I write the checkout to they’re ready to retain, but they’re not going to retain if you don’t give them what they need to help, help facilitate that conversation.
[00:36:23] Karin: Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, this conversation is, you know, going on about the same amount of time as that consultation. So I feel like we’re just giving people that, just sort of introductory idea to these topics. And so they really need to dig in and read some of the details in these books so that they can really nail.
[00:36:44] What’s going to happen in those 35 minutes, because it really is a chess game of being strategic in terms of your approach and connecting and doing all of those things within, you know, 30, 40 minutes. So, [00:37:00] you know, I don’t have all day
[00:37:01] Liz: that’s right. And most times they don’t people don’t come back and say, I think I want to meet with you a second time.
[00:37:08] You’re leaving your office or home. The phone or zoom call and in their mind, they’re thinking maybe I might not let me go meet with other people. I want the attorneys I work with to when someone is ready to make a decision, I want that potential client to you to be the only person on their mind when they’re ready to make a decision.
[00:37:31] I want you to be number one, not I liked her. She was okay. Yeah, I bet he could do the job. No, that’s who I’m going to hire. Yeah.
[00:37:41] Karin: Maybe is really almost a no, unless they have no other better option. Unless every other consultation they have goes as bad or worse. So that’s, that’s not a very good bar to try to set for yourself.
[00:37:57] You have to kind of do a little bit better than [00:38:00] like the worst possible option.
[00:38:01] Liz: That’s right. And you don’t want people hiring an attorney. Because they’re cheaper. If all three attorneys sound the same, look the same game, the same consultation, but one has a retainer that’s $2,000 less. Guess what? You’re losing to someone who may not be as qualified because you did not give an impactful, powerful, amazing human centered.
[00:38:25] Initial consultation. So that’s the difference of someone saying, oh, I went with someone else. They were a little cheaper. Yeah. People don’t understand that cheap doesn’t always mean better, but also just because it’s $3,000 versus $5,000, it doesn’t matter to the person who’s making a decision. They’re basing.
[00:38:44] Your expertise on a dollar amount that you’ll lose every time to that versus, Ooh, that person may be $2,000 more, but they’re worth it. I know that to be able to help me, that’s what we want people to be saying in their [00:39:00] head, but they won’t get there themselves. You have to help them get to that point.
[00:39:04] It’s, it’s working together with that potential client. So.
[00:39:10] Karin: Yeah, and I feel like you may have just answered this next question, but what is the one thing you’d want people to take away from this episode? Is, is it that they kind of need to lead them through that? Or what else would you want? Uh, the listeners to take away from this.
[00:39:26] Liz: I would say that think of selling legal services, as you’re selling a solution, your problem solving you are stepping in and taking away. Someone’s the biggest headache they’re having in their, in the moment. And the only reason people hire attorneys is because they have a problem. To be solved. So the only way that you can help them is if they hire you is if they write a check to you, which means you have officially sold them on your solution.
[00:39:56] And once you wrap your brain around the fact that [00:40:00] they are buying, so you need to be. There’s no, this there’s so many programs out there that try to teach attorneys how to sell without selling. Like I said earlier, or they tell them you don’t have to sell, just serve or just educate people. Well, it’s not 1980s anymore.
[00:40:17] You can’t educate people. They are so educated coming to your consultation. They have, they’ve read your reviews. They’ve talked to people, the internet is there, all the information is there. So to think that they’re not educated and that you’re going to do them a favor and educate them. You are stuck in the eighties and the nineties.
[00:40:36] We’ve got to meet people where they are not where they used to be. And the attorneys who meet people, where they are, are the ones who get hired.
[00:40:47] Karin: Yes, absolutely. Oh, that was so great. And I feel like there’s so many little gems of value that people are going to get out of this, this episode. It, and we’ll definitely link to the books [00:41:00] as well. Cause I feel like that’s kind of the next step for people to kind of follow up on. You know, not do the, like you said, not do the snorkel of this topic, but get our way in there and get the finer details.
[00:41:13] So Liz Wendling is a rainmaking attorney, coach, and follow up with the books and the links and everything is else that we’ll link to in this episode, Liz, thank you so much for being here. That was such a good,
[00:41:25] Liz: I had a blast. Thank you.