We should all be well way beyond any objections, offense, or ego over whether lawyers are salespeople or not. As I have said before each of us has been a salesperson since birth – when we all started with our pitch to get our mother’s attention. And, of course, we were still in training through our teenage years when we almost put our parents over the edge with the wrong pitches.
Chuck Newton at Rides The Third Wave talks about both — the fact that lawyers sell all the time (to judges, juries, partners, clients, and through ads, brochures, emails, etc.); and often times make the wrong pitch as well.
He is referring to lawyers selling their practice or process, when they should be selling the result. I don’t mean the "result" in terms of guaranteeing the outcome in violation of the ethics code. Rather, Chuck is referring to selling the benefits of your service.
- Not selling bankruptcy, but financial freedom
- Not a divorce, but peace in life or personal freedom
- Not litigation, but to write a wrong or defend a false claim
I enjoyed his non-legal examples as well, which makes his post worth the read.
Since all lawyers are selling in some form or another, it is best to focus your selling on the goal or benefit that clients are looking for; rather than the process or procedures learned in law school.