Do you see things from the client perspective or your own? I recently worked with a successful, senior partner at a large law firm. He sought my advice on how to properly follow-up with a prospective client. The prospect was General Counsel at a major company. Apparently, they had a meeting that “went very well.” The prospect asked that my client send some follow-up materials regarding the issues that they discussed. My task was to review and comment on a proposed cover letter and related materials. The related materials were fine – concise, detailed and relevant to the prospect’s needs.
So, what’s the problem?
The cover letter was the problem. The client’s draft was four pages long. The client discussed his long history as a lawyer. He discussed his many successes and wins in court. He even discussed a landmark case that was decided by the judge that he clerked for almost 40 years ago. I counted and found out that the letter had a combined 28 “I’s” and “Me’s.” The only golden nugget in the letter was the closing where he wrote that he can provide exceptional service, at an excellent value and would work tirelessly on behalf of the prospective client. Nowhere else in the letter did he discuss how his experience would benefit the actual needs of the client. Nor did his letter discuss any of the issues that were discussed in the meeting with the prospective client.
I understand what my client was trying to do. He wanted to paint a picture that he has a career-long passion for this area of law. I appreciate the effort, but he was not able to think from the prospect’s perspective.
So, what was the fix?
I helped him rewrite the letter, of course. We were able to articulate his passion while tying it to the actual needs of the prospect. Many of the I’s and Me’s were eliminated and many more You’s were inserted. We moved the closing paragraph to the beginning to really grab the prospect’s attention. The letter went from 4 page to 1 ½ pages. We tied in the supporting materials to show tangible results that mattered to the prospect. We totally flipped the perspective from my client’s to the prospect’s. Guess what happened? My client got a new client. That is sweet music to our ears at ESQuisite Marketing.
The lesson here is that far too many lawyers cannot see things from the client perspective. They can only see things from their own. I challenge all of our clients to change this mindset. This is the mindset of a successful rainmaker.