Forbes magazine regularly runs an article on billionaires. Maybe, like me today, many of you have no desire to be a billionaire. But that shouldn’t stop us from learning what made them financially successful.
Learning From Billionaires
As we glean at the record of thousands of billionaires, we get some interesting observations. Some of the most recognizable names from these lists are internet sensations: Zuckerberg from Facebook, Bezos from Amazon, Ellison from Oracle, Blechardzyk, Chesky and Gebbia from Airbnb, Spiegel and Murphy from Snapchat. Articles about these people are worth reading. What I personally find interesting is how majority of these people are considered self-made.
I too am self-made, forged from hours of walking on the hot coals of entrepreneurship, the tight rope of managing troublesome staff, and the Herculean-like stress caused by watching the bank account wane with every payroll. What I can tell you unequivocally, was that the one skill that has saved my butt more times than I can count is my ability to sell. I’d venture to bet most anything besides my faith or my family that the vast majority of successful self-made billionaires consider themselves excellent at selling. And with that said, I remember two excellent sales scenarios that played out in front of me.
Lessons To Learn And The Importance Of Selling
The first was in Nashville at the Cool Springs Marriott. Jon and I were walking back to our room when I was passed in the hall by Bubba. Bubba asked me if I wanted my shoes shined, I politely declined stating I just had them shined at the airport, as I always do. With that Bubba said (paraphrased): “Yeah, I can tell, that’s why I asked you if you wanted them shined…” That takes confidence in your ability and the commitment to always be selling. As I later found out, while Bubba shined my shoes (better than they’ve ever been shined before) is that Bubba never stops selling. When I was at Dave’s house later that night, when I told him where I got my shoes shined, Dave didn’t hesitate, he said: “Let me guess, Bubba? That guy never stops selling.”
The second was while taking a quick break down in Rocky Point, Mexico. I’d never visited before and friends of ours convinced us to try it. So we went. The hotel was gorgeous, the water was warm, the beach was clean, and the food was actually really good. But what was ever-present, every minute of the day from 7:00 am till dark (around 7:30) there were beach vendors selling everything from Sombreros to Burritos and literally anything you can imagine in between.
Here’s what was interesting to me, these vendors heard NO, or No, Gracias (as we all tried to fit in) every 5 feet. You had to think, how they could do it, over and over again, each and every day, carry the big bag-o-stuff, and walk the sandy beach and pitch, pitch, pitch. Some were better than others, giving away goods to take advantage of the law of reciprocity as outlined in the book Influence by Cialdini, while others were not as good, but they kept at it. But why?
Well, the obvious answer may be because they had to, either out of need to provide or fear from oppression, we’ll never know, but they had to do it. But the other more subtle reason that you wouldn’t catch unless you were paying attention.
Persistence, Sales, And Being Successful At What You Do
At the end of the day, my ECIB bought a hat, after saying no to every other hat vendor that walked by. Was it because she had the hat Maria wanted? No. Other vendors had that hat too. Then why? Because people buy when they are ready to buy. Not before. It doesn’t mean when they say NO to you that they won’t be buying. It just means “Not right now”. And so many attorneys miss this point.
If you believe you are the very best solution for a consumer who is in need of your legal advice, then you owe it to yourself to be the best marketer and salesman you can be and NEVER stop selling, NEVER stop marketing. Always be promoting what you do. Wake up each and every day and say, “What can I do today to ensure someone new hears about the services we offer?” Never take “No” as NO, take it as “Not right now” and insist that your office has a dedicated system to follow up using as many of the five senses as possible:
- Direct Mail
- Text Messaging
- Automated Voice Blasting
What Experienced Lawyers Overlook
Being a lawyer or a practitioner of other legal professions is not easy. There are different types of lawyers involved in different types of cases. The range is broad. Under criminal law prosecution, potential clients could be looking for lawyers for legal representation and criminal defense. They could be in need of legal services for disputes on land use that led to real estate law litigation, or for legal matters between a creditor and a debtor in a restructuring bankruptcy. In all of these, business consultancy plays a major role.
Many lawyers representing clients in different areas of law are not aware of the role of sales and US law firm management in their legal practice. Other attorneys and lawyers haven’t even heard the term before. In order to thrive in the legal profession, you need a legal systems expert who can take care of the business aspect of things. And this is applicable for family law, business law, commercial law, corporate law, environmental law, family law, or any other law practice. After all, everyone needs to sell.
Attract More Clients Through Effective Reliable US Law Firm Management
People with legal problems rarely have specific law firms in mind. It is unlike other products or services where they have preferred law offices. New clients are, instead, simply looking for a qualified attorney that can provide their specific legal needs. Let’s say that you are a personal injury law firm. Victims of medical negligence or wrongful death would be looking for an expert on health law and medical malpractice law who can provide legal advice. If you are a labor and employment law firm, clients having problems with workers compensation and employee benefits would want an expert on labor law who can work on their legal documents.
Prior to going to court, they will likely not know what the terms arbitrations, jurisdictions, insolvency, mediation, negotiations, or settlements mean. They would not be familiar with the terms used in the courtroom, such as plaintiffs, defendants, prosecutors, or verdict. They are just looking for what fits their definition of the best lawyers in America. Show them that you are one through effective US law firm management. And an experienced business consultant like Richard James can help you with this.
Freedom And Not Stopping When Things Are Good
I ask you the question: “Why is it those vendors wake up each day to walk the sandy beach?” And now I’m forced to ask the question, “Why is it that some attorneys simply won’t take the steps outlined above?” I think in many cases the answers are the antithesis of each other.
The vendors, either from hunger or oppression, feel they must keep selling while many attorneys (because there is so much margin in their business) determine they don’t need a sales system while things are good. I get it, I do, why push if you don’t need to? The reason: because the time to push is when things are going well.
Around here, we preach freedom! And to achieve that freedom we require marketing, sales, financial, and management systems that perform during good times and bad. In order to build those systems, we must first start from the mindset position that we believe are necessary. They are, they always have been, but in the end, it’s up to you decide.
I hope you are having a most wonderful summer, finding it to be more prosperous than the last as well as finding time to rest, and finding yourself ready to sharpen the saw and ready yourself for the race to the close of the year!
If you want to have your best month ever, become a professional salesperson. The rewards are ongoing. If you want to know how to become good in sales, contact our legal management consultant Richard James or schedule a 1-on-1 consulting to get your customized practice growth plan.
Building a better business, one action at a time.