The selling of legal services is often painful for lawyers. The two main reasons for the pain are a lack of sales training and a misunderstanding of business development. Obviously, business development is not taught in law school. Lawyers must learn on the job. Hopefully, they are smart enough or fortunate enough to seek help or have a firm that trains them. The misunderstanding of business development is a different issue.
Selling is a Dirty Word
When lawyers think of business development, they think it means the selling of legal services. Selling is only part of the equation. This is where lawyers get hung up. Because they equate selling with business development, attorneys attach a negative stigma to it. The negatives of selling include aggressiveness, working the room, rudeness, pushiness, and having to be an extrovert. Truth be told, you don’t have to be a used car salesman or an extrovert to land business. In fact, some of our most successful clients are introverts because they don’t need to be the most popular person in the room.
As mentioned, selling is only a part of business development. We define business development in much broader terms. Basically, business development is the ability to build meaningful relationships with people based upon several factors (covered in our blog post Selling & Sales Basics for Lawyers). Introverts are well-suited to build deep meaningful one-on-one relationships.
Please Listen Carefully
Introverts excel in business development. The number one reason is that they listen more than they talk. The most important tool for business development is free and we all have them – ears. Ask clients, prospects and referral sources open-ended questions and they will tell you their needs. If you spend too much time talking, you will not be able to hear what is being said. It does not matter how you sell, what matters is how they buy.
So, if you are a shy introvert, do not worry. You have the inherent tools to be successful at business development. Play to your strengths. We help create custom plans that will lead to success. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.