On a recent visit with a prospective client who had asked us to compete on a project, a lawyer colleague of mine conducted a thorough investigation into the facts and circumstances of the case, and the prospective client’s perceived needs. 

The lawyer colleague was thoroughly prepared for the meeting. She talked about herself and the firm only as much as was necessary.  During the visit, she asked excellent questions and ascertained all the information needed to craft a solid proposal.  And then, after defining the deliverable and deadline, she elevated the sales visit from good to outstanding by asking the greatest sales question of all:  “What does the successful outcome of the case mean to you personally?”

Many lawyers can competently cover the legal issues during sales calls; great lawyers ascertain and address the stakes.  To me, the best sales question ever is the one that lets the buyer know that, in addition to being good technical lawyers, we want to understand and address the personal impact of the buying decision.