The rainmakers I know all share two qualities when meeting with current and prospective clients.
They are relatable.
They act and speak like regular human beings, not like lawyers. They are naturals at putting themselves in their clients’ shoes, which allows them to understand what the clients are thinking and how they are feeling.
They give their clients and perspective clients the freedom to tell their stories and share their concerns in their own words. This approach is effective in drawing clients out and getting them to talk. The tonality of their conversations projects a demeanor that is pleasant, confident, and curious.
Their questions and comments focus on the client’s concerns.
They use their legal skill, coupled with knowledge and a bit of creativity, to adapt their questions, comments, and advice to the client’s unique circumstances—business realities, personal preferences, desired outcomes, etc.
They demonstrate value by constantly connecting their questions, recommendations, and ultimately their strategies, to items the client cares about. This approach helps clients feel acknowledged and makes them receptive to hearing and considering advice.
Here are examples of focused and thought-provoking questions rainmakers ask to focus on the client…and improve their “relatability” rating:
Identifying the Client’s Goals
What specifically do you want to accomplish? By when?
What would be the most beneficial outcome? What would be the next most beneficial outcome?
From your perspective, what are the two or three biggest obstacles to getting the result you’re after?
What would be your preferred course of action? Is there an acceptable alternative?
Before this conversation, how were you planning to proceed?
Obtaining the Client’s Perspective
How specifically has this issue affected you personally?
In what ways has it impacted your business?
What are two or three of your biggest concerns about this situation?
What aspect of the situation do you find most challenging? Why is that?
What else should I have asked you?
What else do I need to know?
What are the top two or three things I can do for you to help?
What is the number one thing I can do for you right now to help you/your business?
How can I help you expand or accelerate your success?
What, in your mind, is the number one problem to tackle?
What opportunities can I help you capitalize on right now?
What is the most important thing to achieve in the next 30 days? Would you like my help?
Asking focused, thought-provoking questions makes it easy for clients/prospective clients to open up and fully participate in the conversation. And that, in turn, enables you to better understand their situations, expectations, and desired outcomes as you analyze the opportunities.
Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net/Sira Aeamwong.