You have to stop over-explaining. Some of you in the Six-Figure Solo program and the Ally Lozano Sales Academy have heard me say this before. You have to stop over-explaining.
This is a basic part of the sales process. You have to stop explaining everything.
As lawyers, we love to talk about our area of the law. We naturally “geek out” over it. Talking about it is effortless, and we might not even realize how much we’re saying, or if all the information we’re dumping on our client or prospect is really necessary.
It’s understandable. You don’t get through law school or become a lawyer if you’re not a little bit of a nerd in the first place. We like to read, we like to figure things out. I love to study. I love to try new things.
So when I have a client in front of me and I figure things out about their case, I get excited! “Oh my God, you have a really complex issue but here’s what I’ll do.” I end up telling them all the steps including all the technical legal arguments.
That’s our lawyer brain at work. And we need to change it a bit to successfully run our business, to turn prospects into clients.
You can still be excited about helping your clients and dealing with complicated cases. Of course, you can. But you don’t need to explain to your clients every single step of how exactly you’ll handle their cases.
That’s what it means to over-explain. You go through the possible mistakes, the legal theories, you explain the law using “legalese” that the client doesn’t really need to know nor will they often understand.
We all do that a tiny bit. I did, too.
Over-explaining doesn’t mean your client gets the information they need
My husband and I work together. He’s my business manager. He observed my consultations, coming e in to check on what I could possibly improve. After the consultation, he said, “I have no idea what you were talking about in there. It was very confusing.”
I took that personally. I said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about. I had to inform them about this.”
And my husband came back with this: “But they left uninformed. They’re confused now.”
And, as lawyers, that’s the last thing we want for our clients.
This happened between me and my Certified Public Accountant (CPA), who asked me, “What do you think?”
And I was like, “I don’t know. I don’t even know what you were talking to me about. I didn’t understand what you were saying.”
We speak with our clients like they have our excitement and enthusiasm for the details of the case. We think they want to know all these things.
But they don’t.
They only need and want to know four things:
- Can you help me?
- How long will it take?
- How much will it cost?
- What do you need from me now?
That’s ALL they need and want to know. Everything else is just overwhelming detail.
Other lawyers say I just don’t have educated clients, claiming that educated clients like to know everything. They want all the details.
Here’s the thing: What you hear them say is different from what they really feel. So they might say, “Walk me through this, tell me about the process.”
But what they’re really asking is this: “Can you solve my problem?”
If you keep going down the rabbit hole of details, they are not understanding your answer to that important question. Instead, they feel like you’re evading their questions and that there might be issues because you just keep prattling on about these legal details.
Here’s an example of a rabbit hole speech vs. a helpful response.
The topic: A professional visa
The helpful response: “Yes, I can help you with that. I have strategies I can use to help you that will allow you to meet the requirements without putting up that much money.”
Now that’s a really sales-centric way to go about informing your prospective client. You’ve given assurance that you can help them and that you can get started.
On the other hand, here’s the rabbit hole most lawyers end up falling into, which just pushes the sale away: “Oh yeah, don’t worry. You know what? So what we could do is we could go get the lease and it can be in your name. And then we can have this clause. And then we could do this thing and then we can get you this car. And then we can make sure in the contract, it says…”
See how confusing and complicated that becomes? That’s over-explaining.
Treat your consultations like a sales meeting
Your entire intended plan once they become your client doesn’t have to be on the table during the consultation. Lawyer plans are usually confusing to non-lawyers.
You don’t need to explain your plan at all. Instead, treat your consultations like a sales meeting.
We’re not there to solve all of their legal problems on the spot. If they want their problems solved, then they’re going to have to hire you.
If they haven’t hired you, you don’t need to solve their problems. Not yet. You don’t need to sit there and present your entire strategy explaining every single thing you can do for them.
All you need to say is this: “Hey, you know what? I can help you with that. For sure.
I have strategies. I’ve dealt with that before. Don’t worry about it. All we need to do is get started and I’ll make sure that I take care of everything.”
When the client asks you about something specific, they’re not asking for details. They want to know if you have a solution.
We never have to drag them down a rabbit hole of details and potential pain points.
You don’t have to over-explain. You don’t have to over-explain the laws. You don’t have to over-explain legal strategies.
Your clients just want reassurance that you can help them and you can do this.
Say THIS: “Yes, I can help you. Yes, I can do this. It’s going to take six months. Yes, here’s the list of documents that you need to give me. I’m going to guide you through. It’s $10,000. Let’s get started now.”
That’s all you need to say.
Client-centric, not lawyer-centric
When you over-explain, the focus is on you.
When you don’t over-explain, the consultation is client-centric. That means speaking to the client in the way they want to be spoken to. Not the way we think they want to be spoken to.
Not the way that we think we would want to know if we were them.
We want to talk to them about how they want to be talked to. And let me tell you, they don’t want the nuances of the law. They don’t want “legalese.” They want reassurance. All they want to know is if you can help them.
Stay in control of the sale
When you consult, focus on assuring the client– and that naturally leads to making the sale.
When you go down the rabbit hole of over-explaining, you lose control of the conversation and you lose the sale.
If they ask you about anything else, just say, “Why don’t you tell him to give me a call and we can schedule a consultation? I would love to talk about that in more detail.”
You can acknowledge the client without going down an irrelevant path. You’ve given good customer service, and you’re not trapped in a loop of over-explaining or over-strategizing.
Remember that your clients need reassurance. Listen to their heart and no matter what they say, no matter how many details they ask about or how they try to change the subject, they have genuine fear.
So focus on assurance. Say, “Don’t worry about that. I’ll take care of everything. I’ll be able to help find a solution. Let’s get started.”
If you can believe it, I have even more knowledge to share on this topic! If you’d like to learn more about sales, sign up for my Six Figure Solo program! Six Figure Solo now comes in three tiers – Executive, Solopreneur, and CEO. Sign up here!