Lawyers can’t sell

The telephone is still the best, least expensive marketing and communication tool available to us.

This week, in consecutive phone calls, I was hired for two separate, large engagements. I’m excited about both of them. And in the process, the teachings of my father many years ago came to mind. Stay by the phone. When the phone rings, and you respond, you will be hired. But, if you don’t respond, you won’t be hired. This is similar to the adage that if you don’t swing the bat, you can’t hit the ball. Marketing efforts are designed to make people aware of us and to encourage them to call.

A corollary for me was that I can’t “sell” anything to anyone. I can only hope to make people aware of my skills and availability. If they have a need, and they know who I am, they will contact me to discuss whether my skills match their needs. It is always the buyer who makes the decision, not the seller. With this mind set, then, the “seller’s” obligation is to educate the buyer about the value of the services provided and the benefits to be received … not the “features” being offered by the seller.

These are lessons learned early in my career that I believe still resonate today.


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