On this week’s episode of the Wealthy Woman Lawyer® Podcast, we speak with Shawn Karol Sandy, Founder and CRO of The Selling Agency. The Selling Agency helps businesses build sales skills, training entire teams, from receptionists to CEOs, on how to create a sales organization. The goal is to ensure that everyone in the organization has the sales skills they need to support the company’s growth.
Shawn says, “I built The Selling Agency to help companies build smarter go-to-market strategies. Then, we teach the business owner or the sales team how to execute that strategy, and we build skills around that.”
We chat about how lawyers can improve their sales skills and create a selling organization, as well as:
- The power of shifting your mindset to “service” to increase your conversion rate
- How to leverage your team’s individual skills to create great customer experiences
- Best practices when conducting legal consultations
- How asking the right pre-qualification questions can maximize your time and revenue
- And more…
Mentioned in this episode:
- Shawn Karol Sandy on Youtube
- Fascinating with Sally Hogshead
- The Profit with Marcus Lemonis
Davina Frederick: Hello, and welcome to the Wealthy Woman Lawyer podcast. We believe all women lawyers deserve to be wealthy women lawyers. Our mission is to provide thought provoking powerful and practical information to help you in creating your own sustainable wealth generating law firm without overwork or overwhelmed so you can live your best life. I’m your host Davina Frederick, and I’m so excited for you to meet our guest today. So let’s get started. Hi, and welcome to Wealthy Woman Lawyer. I’m here today with a really good friend of mine, Shawn Karol Sandy. Shawn and I met a number of years ago, and she is the Founder of The Selling Agency. And she helps businesses really, with skills building, and to train their team, everybody from the receptionist to the CEO, and how to create a sales organization. So I’m really happy to average you’re here today. Shawn, I remember I’m gonna jump in and ask you to tell us something about yourself. But I just want everybody know, like how we’ve known each other. A few years ago, we had a mutual friend and the three of us got together for a our own versary. in Memphis, we just decided we’re just going to have an utter retreat. between the three of us we’re all kind of in marketing and sales and business and growing business.
And our friend was in to corporate training. And of course, Shawn does the selling it has the selling agency. And I was just starting out in this coaching practice and shifting from being a full time attorney to getting into the coaching world. And so we just had the most fun and amazing retreat. The three of us got together in Memphis where Shawn lives and we got an Airbnb. And I just remember it was like really cold and rainy that weekend. But it was great because we had the most awesome Airbnb and we just like snuggled up. And the three of us helped each other, come up with plans, growth plans for our business. So we’ve been doing this a long time, this growth plan for business thing, you know, and what was so awesome about that is we all came from three very different approaches to what we were doing and marketing and sales. You remember that and how often that was?
Shawn Karol Sandy: I do. It was so much fun. I think we called it an advance not a retreat.
Davina: Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.
Shawn: Yeah, the Airbnb was so cute. And it was just you know, it, it was awesome to get out of your own way, right to move yourself to a different location. I live here y’all gonna come to my house. I mean, like you were there for a night or whatever. And it was, it’s just so good to get out of your own. four walls, your box, right and get fresh perspective. Physically, you get a fresh perspective, when you move to a different location. And then to, you know, to kick the can down the road with other people that are fun, but have different backgrounds and trying to achieve different things. That was so much fun. I’d love to do that again.
Davina: Yeah, I know. Me too. Well, we should do that.
Shawn: Yeah, we should build a retreat for you know.
Davina: Yeah, that’s what we need. That’d be awesome. And we have the most amazing food too, because that’s one thing you know, if you get girls together for a weekend like that, there’s going to be good food and good beverages to go with the food. So it was really awesome. Yeah. So I invited you here today because I really uh, you’re just amazing in sales. You This is your this is her wheelhouse people. And so I really wanted you to share with us some how we can become better at sales in our businesses. And I know with attorneys, attorneys, a lot of attorneys think sales sale is a four letter word belly. Yeah. And, and they have a lot of negative associations with that. But I wanted to bring you in for your expertise, because you have a lot of experience in sales and not only sales, but teaching business owners of, you know, million dollar multi million dollar billion dollar businesses How to Train Your organization. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself first and your background, so we can get an idea about that.
Shawn: I would love to, thank you. I think I’m gonna start with my methodology is sort of the ethos behind that. The reason I built the selling agency was after having, you know, career in sales and many different facets and capacities from retail business to General Manager and real estate and advertising, all sorts of stuff. You know, I was looking for what I want to do next and realize that one of the things that made me so successful as an individual contributor and sales leader was the way I went to market so to speak and and In every endeavor of selling to my customers, the end result was to help them sell to their customers, like help your customers get more customers. So, you know, I didn’t, I have a lot of my tendencies with messaging and creativity, lean towards marketing. And but I didn’t want to create a marketing agency, like I’ll build a selling agency. It was really a tie in a name for the company was born. And it was Yes, yes. And it was born from the idea that I’ve taken a lot of sales training.
And I’m, you know, and many companies have been through a lot of their sales training, here’s what this looks like, Oh, you know, we’re gonna, we’re gonna have this guest trainer, and he just wrote a book. And here’s his methodology. And if everyone does it, it’ll everyone be successful. And it’s a bunch of crap, what a lot of bullshit. It wasn’t novel, The only thing they sold in 15 years was their own frickin book. And the idea that everyone goes to market in the same way, from an individual point of view, and from a business point of view, is just really dangerous. And I’ve made a whole living on going, Oh, this is what everyone’s doing, I’m going to go over their fish in a different pond, use different baits, use different, you know, whatever. Because we get really, you know, we get really lumped in the same categories, what, like zebra zebras have stripes, because for they’re in a herd for safety. And if you put the same stripes on as your competitor, how does anyone know how you’re different or why they should choose you. So that’s why I built the selling agency, it was to help companies build smarter go to market strategies. And then with that we teach whether it’s the business owner, or the sales team, how to execute that strategy. And we build skills around that.
So my goal is yes, we might deliver training, that talks about how to the skills of messaging and communication, but everyone’s at a different skill level, everyone needs to bring their own personal genius to this. So our goal is not that everyone does the same thing. It’s that everyone advances their skill level incrementally incremental advances in where you get growth. And then on the back end of that we do skills gap coaching for individual sales team members. So that’s what we do. And why we do it, how we do it comes from a, you know, an ethos that selling is the first opportunity you have to help someone selling as a service, I think of that your sales process. If you are not helping someone in your sales process, then you know, then that’s that it’s going to feel unauthentic on the buyers end.
So if we can help people make decisions, if we can help enlighten them, inform them, if we can, you know, let them understand why we’re different than our competitors. That’s value and your job as a seller. Everyone’s in sales, yes, is to help people. And that’s way different than saying you’re going to push your product or service down someone’s throat. It is our sales process builds steps where you bring value, and you help people at every turn. So for people that you know, when you say, you know, when everyone says everyone’s in sales, we’re like, we’re bringing our own baggage to the party of being sold to shittily. And we coach humans how to sell to other humans, because selling a zombie sucks.
No one wants to be hit with the same messages and being pushed or manipulated by closing techniques, all that garbage was old 20 years ago. And so a fresh approach is to consider a mindset shift in that selling as a service in your sales process and how you position yourself how you offer, it needs to be valuable and helpful to help people make decisions. And the decision of course we want is that they choose you that the people that are good match for you that you’ve pre qualified and that are good fit for your service in your price range, etc. that that’s the funnel you help them down, you help them realize they’re a great match for you so that you’re not hard closing anyone. It’s just a matter of an organic conclusion.
Davina: Right. Right. Um, I know that our audience is made up of women law firm owners, and I know you have had a tremendous amount of experience with a lot of different businesses. I watched you ever watch the Prophet with Marcus lemonis the profit there, okay. I love Marcus lemonis, founder of camping world rv sales, you know, and he has a show when he goes around and he helps struggling businesses all over one of the thing I noticed about Marcus lemonis. His show is the businesses he helps have a product, they are retailers of some kind and so he you know, in watching that as a service based professional, my whole career has been in service. It’s been marketing selling services. So I work with engineering companies and law firms and everything. And there is a distinct difference into because when you’re selling a product, you could point to the thing you can go, you know, here’s my glasses cleaner.
And this is awesome, because it has all these benefits. You know, if I do that, then they’ll you know, it’s very easy, it’s very quick, and my glasses will never be much, right. So you have your thing. But when you’re in the service based business, one of the things that I think a lot of law firm owners struggle with, is that it feels so personal, it feels like it’s me, like I’m sitting here trying to convince you to hire me. And I know that part of that one of the things I share with clients is that first of all, you’re completing it, you have a firm, and then you have you even if it’s even if you’re a solo, you still have a firm and you have you there are two different things. They’re not the same. But what do you say to people in service businesses that struggle with this idea of, you know, it’s so hard to sell, because I feel like I’m trying to talk them into liking me, you know, whatever.
Shawn: Yeah, I think it’s you got, let’s flip it, and think that I am not trying to sell me. And the reason I’m having this conversation with someone is because they have a problem, they cannot solve themselves. And I have something that they need similar to a product, and that’s my expertise, my experience, my insight. Now, the way you sell it, and people might buy from you, because of the way you are the package of what they need. But, you know, the big, the big mindset shift might be that they have a problem that they cannot solve themselves. And you have the solutions to that problem. And you have gone to law school and you’ve built your business, and you’ve been down in the trenches, you know, you have your expertise, you have a team behind you. And if they could solve it themselves, they wouldn’t need you. And a lot of people try to solve it themselves. And where does they really need you? Right, that’s a really good you. So, you know, I kind of boil down on selling, selling services, or even products really services, whether it’s on a, like a skill trade, like accounting, or legal services, or consulting or technology, software platform, that kind of stuff.
But people need you to either diagnose the problem, and then provide the solution or people need to need you to provide the solution, or people need you to provide the solution better than their current solution. So there’s really three reasons people show up to buy something from you. And if you know, work to understand what that reason is, maybe they don’t know exactly what their problem is, you become the consultant. If people need a solution, and they’re evaluating different solutions, then you need to understand that we show up and really dial down into the differences in our solution. If people have a solution, but they’re not happy with it. That’s why they’re seeking you, then like the last one, we need to understand what they don’t like, and then how to position ourselves is different to that. So if you kind of make it really simple, and think about that, versus people buying, you know, just you I think that could maybe makes it easier.
Davina: Right, right. And so a couple things come to mind it one is that I’m from a standpoint, well, I interviewed someone for podcasted, who was a shopper, shopper of law firms, and she was a marketing advisor. And what she would do is she would go into the different all the different law firms up and down the street, and she would hear their pitches. So she would like poses a client had a problem. And then she would go back to her client. And you know, ask them, well, how are you different? What are your differentiators? And they would be like, you know, everybody down the street was saying the same thing. And as an attorney, you don’t realize that because you think you’ve come up with something really clever within a day, you know, compassionate in the boardroom aggressive in the courtroom, or, or something like that. And and she, you know, named off some phrases and everyone’s we still zealously represent our clients. Right. And, and I do you find with clients that part of their sales struggle is sometimes if they don’t even know, they don’t know their why they don’t know their differentiators. They don’t know how to articulate what it is that they’re selling. in a way that’s different.
Shawn: Right. And and I think that um, so here’s, I’m going to do two things right here. The second one was a very forgot the first thing.
Davina: I tried to remember my second question that I’ve forgot already.
Shawn: So the first thing is It’s important to know that yes, everyone says the same thing be and thinks that they have something really great because everyone is going way too broad, and who they think that they’re trying to speak to. Most everything is way too broad. And you know, you and I were talking about Sally hogshead before and you know how to fascinate. And one of the things that I just that landed with me so strongly, seven, eight years ago, whenever I first read her book was that if you are not polarizing anyone, you are not fascinating, anyone? If you are, if you are positioning yourself, as you know, I we do everything or we can service everyone, you know, and everyone else does that, then that no one can define anything special about you. One of the things that’s funny is when I talk to businesses, I say, I’m gonna slap this phrase out of your hand, if I sit anywhere on your website or any of your sales and marketing materials, you are not a one stop shop for shifts.
Davina: You didn’t build this from the ground up out of your garage?
Shawn: Right, right. Yeah, yeah. One Stop Shop. Let me just put this into perspective. You know, you can buy lipstick, motor oil, and abroad at Walmart. What are they really good lipstick, motor oil, or Roz? No, we have specialty stores for those because when you want something really quality, good fit, you go to the specialty. That’s convenience, right? You’re not a convenience store. You can buy shampoo in a convenience store. But I know you would, you know. So one of the problems with not necessarily knowing how to differentiate yourself is going way too broad, it’s going too broad, you really want to paint, people are afraid that they’re going to miss potential clients, they’re going to miss some of that market, if I don’t open my arms up and show people that I will take anyone and everyone.
But if you if you go too broad and who you service and what you do, you don’t have a discernible POV point of view or stance or aesthetic, then no one finds you fascinating. And this was the second point, because how we make decisions, okay, I’ve got two red pens, right? If I need a red pen, that’s great. I’ve got a red pen. But how we make decisions isn’t, you know, Greg’s gonna line up all the red pens, and they’re all like that helps make a decision. We make decisions by the differences. We make decisions by narrowing things down by differences. This is a fine point, this is a sharpie, okay, I don’t need to find point, I need a sharpie. So we look for the differences. If you cannot show people through stories and marketing your personality, if you cannot show people how you’re different, then you’re not going to attract people that would mesh really, really well with you because they’re attracted to your differences.
Davina: Right. Right. That is great advice. That is great advice. And I think that a lot of attorneys struggle with differences, because they think, Well, you know, it’s, we help people get divorced. And there’s a million attorneys out there who help people get divorced, how are we different, right, and, and they’re say, you know, we’re not that different. But, but your difference when you’re, when you’re small is the difference is you right, and then as you grow your firm, it may be your team, or your processes, or your procedures, or your use of technology, or all kinds of things, it doesn’t mean that there are no other attorneys in the world, right? use technology to be more, you know, efficient, and get your work done faster, or, you know, whatever. But that could be a differentiator on your street, in your geographic in your market. You know?
Shawn: You know. I think one one area that might be helpful to think about when you’re looking at differences in building your building your marketing story and your brand around differences, not necessarily what makes you different. But how, how do you make people feel differently than other attorneys, right? So focus on your, your customer, your client, it’s, you know, what are they feeling during this experience, and then reflecting on how you empathetically understand that and work to navigate or, you know, negotiate some of those feelings on their whatever it is, but, you know, I would think outside of corporate and stuff, even for small businesses needing corporate counsel or whatever, everything you guys are dealing with is really going to be personal estates, wills, you know, divorce, prenuptial, whatever it is, those are all really personal things. You don’t have to market yourself necessarily personally there, but how do you show that you understand what that person is going through in a way that’s empathetic and reflective of how they’ll feel and that could be your difference,
Davina: Right. And a key thing that you teach in from when the selling agency is you really teach your clients how it’s not just the company owner, or not just the sales team, if you’re working with, you know, organization sales team, but it is really that culture and that experience that you want to create, from the very first interaction with your business all the way through to conclusion and continuing relationship. Right. So yeah, you’re talking about creating a sales organization? Can a law firm create a sales organization?
Shawn: Absolutely anyone and we call it a selling organization? Because I really get specific about this to the reason I’m not the sales agency, I’m the selling agency, because sales is the name of the department and sales is the end result. Selling is what you do to get there. Yeah. Okay. So building a selling.
Davina: So wanting everybody on any organization, ABC, ABS always be selling instead of always, always be selling.
Shawn: Yeah, yeah. And so I call this building a selling organization in that, when you build a selling organization, you equip everyone in your organization, to to have the tools, the to empower them to be able to recognize opportunities, advance opportunities, prevent disasters, when they’re part of that end result, right, and selling clients, closing clients, keeping happy clients getting clients to refer you, everyone has an opportunity. And so I think I gave you this visual, I, you know, you if you employ four people, or 40 people, and your organization, you’re a boat, right? Think of yourself as a boat, you’re trying to roll your boat across the water to get to that revenue stuff. And why would you, you know, have other people in your boat that you’ll give them life jackets, like giving someone a job is giving them a life jacket, if they have a salary, and they have a benefits and vacation 401k a safe place to work every day air conditioning grid, you’re giving them a life jacket?
If you give them a life jacket, you better give them an or why would you not equip them to be able to help grow your boat? Because so many people don’t you know, whether an organization like I’ve been in many sales organizations, or where you have your sales department, and we were responsible for bringing in new business and revenue. And then we had a production department where they did the thing, they built the thing, they ran the thing that we brought in the business we brought in, and then they just invented new ways to screw it up. Well, it didn’t come out of their paycheck. But they weren’t on board with rowing. They were putting holes in my books.
Davina: Yeah, yeah, I understand exactly what you mean. And I and there is nothing I have hired, it’s suddenly getting very dark in here where I am. So my face is glowing now. I have hired way more attorneys than I ever thought I would hire in my adult life for all kinds of different legal matters. And there has been nothing more frustrating. Whatever organization but for for law firms. I see this all the time when the lawyers great, but everybody around them is like, you know, yeah, we can’t be bothered with you. Right? They have no idea. They’re very protective of the lawyer. But they treat clients like crap, because the client that and that’s a lot of culture that comes from the owner of the firm, who say, I want you to protect me, because I’m so you know, I don’t, I’m so busy and up to here. And so I want to be protected. And so you create this culture of protection around you. And you have just trained all of your people to repel. Yeah, to repel your clients, and go and refer somebody else. And that’s where your one star reviews gonna come from. You won’t ever you won’t know it, you won’t know it. No, because, of course, your staff not going to tell you.
Shawn: Oh, no. Well, I mean, you know, people won’t always tell your staff, they suck, but they’ll tell everyone else. So they’ll get on, you know, all the different. we outsource other people’s experiences now. Right? That’s what Yelp and TripAdvisor Angie’s List, Amazon, all the reviews. When we go check those reviews, we are outsourcing other people’s experiences before we make decisions. So that’s a natural segue to building a selling organization is purposely designing the client or customer experience. So it’s that actually could be your differentiating factor and in so many instances is why is chick fil a so damn great. Because you always have a great experience. The food’s good. The service is great. And you expect that and so but they very purposely design that experience is so few businesses do I tell you right now if you design your customer experience, or your client experience, which we loved, personally loved doing this. Yeah.
Every touchpoint every touchpoint, and everyone in your organization is on board with delivering that experience and advancing that customer or client relationship that will send you head over head over tails above your competition head competition. And I’ll tell you that too, that the way I sort of started putting this together many, many years ago was, I was in my husband’s office, he’s optometrist, and you know, your eyeglass doctor. So I was sitting there waiting to go to lunch with him. And, you know, chit chatting with the receptionist, and a woman came in and his receptionist Oh, hey, cuz that’s, that’s just, oh, hey, girl. And ferramentas? Exactly, yes. a wreck. She recognized someone as she had worked for they both work for a dermatologist many years ago. And his receptionist moved on to his office, this receptionist Natasha, is where are you right now? So, so and so clinic? And she asked tip an ass? I don’t do that do do apply to. And she responded with, you know, I don’t know, I just do the billing. So if you have employees in your boat, that don’t recognize those questions is opportunities to participate in the health of the financial, you know, institution that gives them a paycheck. That is so sad. It was so sad that she didn’t jump in and say, yeah, you know, blah, blah, blah, and Susan does it fast or whatever, you should go see her.
Davina: Ya, I need her card.
Shawn: You know, and it happens all day, every day. But you know, for law firms, the people that answer your phone that take inbound inquiries to the people who scheduled things, every touchpoint can be a memorable, positive experience. And then on the backside, equipping people to handle you know, the negative experiences and and know that they have the power to turn something around or advanced or whatever, that’s building a selling organization in it is a shift in culture. And it is so important. And I firmly believe, especially post COVID businesses to understand how to deliver an experience to make people feel special or feel wanted and loved will be the ones that rise to the top and you’re going to see more businesses that can’t cover recover from the pandemic loss of business, because they were never really special to begin with. Pay like.
Davina: Wow, wow. Yeah, definitely, definitely. And I think with technology being way too silly law firms now are really leveraging technology, because we’re working remotely, and we’re working with a distributed team that we’re doing, because of COVID. And a lot, and I don’t think there’s a lot of going back from that I think people are gonna really start to see how awesome that is not everybody, but some and we don’t know how long it’s going to be where I mean, literally, court hearings are happening. Yeah. And one of the challenges of that is how to still create that warm hug, you know, that we can’t physically get it and how we need to, to, you know, teach our everyone on our team to be able to deliver that feeling of we care about you, and we care about your problem we’re taking this problem on? And so what kinds of what kinds of ways are you seeing are you seeing with technology, that sort of shift happening, where people are trying to figure out how to sell through a zoom call, or, you know, have consults and, and get people converted?
Shawn: Yeah, I think that if, if the, if the core tenant of helping people remains the same, the technologies are just enablers, right? And how you do that. If your goal, if that’s not been your core tenant, then technology is not necessarily going to add anything to the conversation. It could be something as simple as, like I wrote about this. A couple of weeks ago, I received a notification from a company that was that my product that order was going to ship and it came from customer love at so and so they cared enough to you know, name this customer love. And we all like to see things that you know, are about ready to be shipped. But that was just a really teeny tiny touch point that shows that they love their customers. And you can do it in many different ways. companies that were not very good at service and showing people you’re giving people positive experience in person probably aren’t going to be that great with technology.
Yeah, and yeah. And so, and I want to say this to technology, and before you invest in something, think through at what touch point does this provide positive experience to my clients or customers? At what point? Is this beneficial to them? Does that make things harder for the customer? Or client? Or does it make things easier? Because who loves calling someplace and you get a phone tree? great piece of technology for the business? I want to murder the phones. You know, are you putting barriers in the way? Or are you making it easier? Like might be like the chat bots? Right? Yeah. Are you putting a chatbot there to risk an interaction or enhance an interaction? So thinking about, you know, we’ve always, you know, gravitating to new technology to, you know, scale business and scale or practice and improve things. But what I, what I think is really important is does it add to the experience? And also am I using this in the new paradigm of customer experience? I’ll give you an example.
Talk about video. I just did this with my mastermind today, talking about using video in our sales process and how I train sellers to leverage video in their sales process. Well, I have a lot of colleagues that are new, they sold through their 80s through the 1980s and 90s. And you know, they’re they’re, they’re, they’ve been doing this for a really long time. They’re like, Yes, I’ll embrace video in the sales process. But I need a script and I need editing and I needed it. I like the way people consume video now is different than the what you’re talking about producing. You know, you’re talking about using a new technology within an old paradigm. You know, yeah, for scripted, controlled reading, you know, perfect like, go read a blog, right? using video in the new paradigm how people consume video is they want to feel like it’s a one on one experience. They want that can spontaneously. Yeah, right? They want that stream of conscious thinking those insights and stuff like that. That’s the way people want to consume it. And that’s the way you need to use your sales process. So it’s just, you know, you can, technology can add a lot of things, but is it enhancing the experience? Is it making people easier to choose us? Are we leveraging technology in a new business paradigm to meet our customers or clients where they are?
Davina: Yeah, I guess, part of what sparked that question, what I was thinking about is, you know, a shortcut, you may think you have a good sales organization, because your receptionist always greets people, and puts them in the conference room and offers them something to drink. And he got snacks on the coffee table. And I know many law firms who are like that, you know, and it feels, you know, all warm and fuzzy, of course, now, we can’t, we can’t do that. So that can’t be you know, that’s one thing that sort of taken away from us. So I’ve just started looking at and started thinking about how we can keep the artistic culture when we have so many of the, the ability to have the niceties, you know, taken away from us, it’s, it’s really, it’s a cheat, you know, it’s a little cheat thing you do get like, here, I’m going to go through them and give them a snack, because everybody loves food. We can’t do that. Now we get dropped off doughnuts or whatever. So that would make that’s what made me sparked that question. But, uh, go ahead.
Shawn: What do you say, you know, what, what was special about the interaction isn’t necessarily the snacks, you may have really good snacks, but it’s that, um, that you were thinking about them that they might be hungry, or that they might appreciate this artist and basket of muffins from whatever, right? Yeah. So how if you’re missing those experiences, think about how you could translate those. So in that instance, I’m just going to give an example it could be that the receptionist because that’s the person who would greet them What if for every, you know, new appointment. Now this is going to take a lot for you know, reader receptionist, but this is the difference maker, right? What if Rita receptionist recorded a quick video that says, hey, Davina, you know, reminder your appointment at so and so whenever and here’s what you do whenever you either get here, or here’s how you log in, let me know if any questions. So that accomplishes a couple different things. they’ve met another face. Right? You have another thread through which they’re tied to your organization. They feel special because it’s a customized thing from them. And it tells them what to do. So you know, you can automate that appointment reminders are great. What if it was an appointment reminder, and you don’t have to make it custom? What if she, it’s just your receptionist, reminding people their appointment? You know, that’s awesome.
Davina: You know what I love about that suggestion? That is very doable. What I love about that suggestion is that it’s not you’re not saying that the attorney has to do it, because that’s one of the things when you own the law firm. And people start saying you know, you do this, you do that, you that, you know if you haven’t made that mindset shift yet, which a lot of a lot of women law firm owners habit because they’re in that growing process, they immediately think I have to do it. Right, I have to send out the I have to create this one more thing I have to do, and I’m not doing it right. But it’s not, you can use other people on your team on one of the missed opportunities I see a lot is a paralegals attorneys, instead of assigning right from the get go, this is the paralegal that’s assigned. And she’s your customer care, you know, especially you know, she’s the one who’s gonna take care of you. If I’m not available, she’s your first go to.
And then if she needs to talk to me, and that’s going to save you money, it’s going to get answers to you more quickly. And so there’s all sorts of ways that we can leverage our team to help us and but it’s very important, the two things that are important one, is the mindset of everybody on your team. And the other is the skills, training that Yeah, like what you talk about, right? Because it’s not, it’s not so easy to just people we are, we don’t come out of the womb, knowing how to, you know, have some people are more have more social skills than others, you know, just depending on how you’re brought up and who you’re around and stuff like that. So how do you take people because I know you’ve dealt with this in all kinds of organizations? How do you take people who are, you know, they’re just doers, they got their job? And this is the box their job? And their, this is what they do? How do you take a person like that? Who’s very myopic, and help them to become a salesperson for your organization?
Shawn: Right? So I think that there’s a couple different things, you, you there is no, I’m, like I said, with the fascination advantage stuff, there is no one way. And, you know, appreciating that everyone’s going to have a different zone of genius that they can work in is good. And, you know, understanding where somebody shines, and what, you know, maybe having that conversation around the a culture shift that we’re going to be 100% client focused on building an experience that they that they they think about they recall, they tell their people about how can we do that, let’s let’s do it sort of an inventory. And think about what everyone can contribute to the process. So it’s not this is where people think, Oh, my God, I have to sell.
It’s not necessarily making everyone into little mini sales people. It’s about leveraging, you know, people the different touch points and the positions in a way that can advance opportunities, or help create the experience. So if you’ve got someone who isn’t necessarily gregarious or outgoing, or social, whatever, have a conversation with them about what it is, they feel like they could contribute to the process, or at what touch point, would they feel comfortable, you know, bringing people into the process is huge, you know, people fear that they’re going to be made into little sales, you know, sales, sales soldiers, and that’s not even the point, right? It’s about building an experience, to recognize opportunities, problems, situations, to where you can deliver experience or advance opportunities or keep disaster from happening.
Davina: So about clients, it’s all about your clients, feeling like everybody out there cares about them knows who they are, knows, their, you know, their basic problem they have, and they’re trying to, you know, help them solve it. I and that, that I can see, you know, I think that’s a wonderful idea about bringing people into the process and asking them to contribute, what do you think? So if you had somebody like that, something as simple as you’re in charge of, you know, sending out this email at this juncture, or something, it doesn’t even have to be and it could be a pre prepared email. So they’re, if they’re, if they don’t have regular client interaction, something I want to this is my, I had this question in my mind, like, you know, 20 minutes ago, so I’m going to bring it now, when we, when an attorney, one of the things that you mentioned is the importance of serving, and how how we come from, if we come from a place of I’m going to help this person solve their problem. That is a whole different mindset than saying, I’m going to sell them my legal services. And by the end of the day, they’re signing up before they leave here to, you know, for me to be their personal injury lawyer, you know, right, as opposed to saying, you know, what is the problem and helping to the problem.
I want to address this though, because attorneys are. There’s different types of attorneys, but a lot of attorneys are very caring people, and they come they’re very mission driven. They’re like, you know, nurses, they really care about people and they’re drawn to it, maybe because of something that’s happened in their own life or something and it’s and I’ve seen, people get taken advantage of in the legal system, and they want to be that Support for people. So I want us to be very clear about that. Because I think in initial conversations, one of the issues that attorneys have, and I’m always trying to get them to stop doing is being the adviser in the meeting and be and jumping right into giving legal advice to people who have not yet hired you. And I’m sure you’ve seen this in many different organizations. Yeah, are trying to, they’re immediately trying to solve a problem for somebody that hasn’t even hired them yet. consultants, I mean, we face that and coaches face that. What kinds of things do you recommend we talk about?
In consultations, sales meetings, sales conversations, what I always tell attorneys that you there are two different agendas for the sales conversation there’s a client’s agenda is I want to get as much free legal information as I can get out of this person. And I want to make sure that I’ve got enough information, I can decide whether or not to hire them. And the attorneys job is to assess whether or not this is a client a case that you want to take, and there’s a lot of different factors in that, right. But if you go into it, and you think your agenda, and the client’s agenda is the same, that’s really gonna be a stumbling block. So how do you tell people to kind of structure these types of conversations? Yeah, you know, the, what the why, but not the how, you know, the house hire me. Right.
Shawn: Well, so I think that, um, I want to, I want to back up to the serving part is because I think this will answer the question. So in serving our clients, and, and your, your sales process, and in the way you meet, pitch, propose, etc, our goal in serving isn’t necessarily to prove that we can help them, I want to serve them in a way that I help them make decisions about whether I am the right fit to help them. So it’s, it’s not quite that I want to show them right, or it’s my serving them through my sales process is helping them make decisions about whether we’re a good fit or not necessarily that I need to sell myself and show and provide free value. Nope. Yeah. So. So, you know, I completely understand that, because and, you know, when I’ve made with clients about what, what’s not working with my sales team, you know, I could tell them what, I could look out here and know exactly what the problem is. But I’m not going to how do I do that without telling them that the problem, I know what the problem is, versus having them identify that I know what the problem is? And I have the solution? Variable, right? Right,
Davina: That is so huge.
Shawn: So in that service, and like I said, it might be that they don’t know they have a problem, they haven’t identified the problem, or they need to identify the solution, or they need a solution that’s different, what they already have. My way of figuring that out is by asking lots of questions. I’m not going to tell them anything, but I’m going to ask them questions and position my questions in a way that leverages me as the answer. And so I’ll give you an example. Like, uh, you know, asking someone about so you tell me why you think you’re not hitting your sales goals? Or tell me, you know, tell me where you think the problem lies. So they can tell me and then that that drives me to the next question. Next question. I think people mistake selling as talking. Selling is really about listening. And you got your attorney should be reading this, especially if you’re litigators.
Davina: You should be asking this leading questions. Yeah. Right. You should be able to ask a leading question people. Yeah. We have to be we have to ask those leading questions without, you know, going jacuz.
Shawn: Yes, yes. Yeah. So it’s, you know, it’s asking the questions about the problem, and why they have the problem. And you know, how the problem maybe came about and what they’re thinking about doing about the problem that knows. And you need to be pre qualifying them, right? It’s not, you don’t want to sell to everybody, like almost making yourself the service here is understand whether you’re a good fit for them, whether you want to take them on as a client, instead of how you solve that problem. So ask more questions about how did you come to this problem and what makes you think that might be a good fit? And where do you think the solution lies so that you can cue yourself up as having the answers without giving away the answers value?
Davina: And so interesting, you said that one of the I was listening to somebody that I older gentleman who was teaching up an attorney practicing for years, and he was really wonderful at teaching the consultation skills and he was talking about his process leads into, you know, a point where he says, Okay, well, I’m willing to take your case. Right? So he’s positioned himself as the diamond. You know, here’s the thing you want to have, right. And I was reflecting on that I was thinking about women and girls and how we grow up, I had this conversation with one of my best friends about how when we’re young, we’re hitting that, you know, 12-13 year old age, we girls are just you see it in when we have movie theaters. people lined up at the movie theaters, and or we go with kids and their theaters, and the girls would be just moving, cuts in with their hair and giggling, making lots of noise making like motion.
And you see the guys as soon as their hands in their pockets. And girls always want to be picked. We want to be picked we want everybody ought to pick us what everybody like, it’s my all boys to think we’re awesome. It doesn’t mean we like all the boys. But if somebody picks us, you know, we made wind up going out and somebody just because they picked us right? And we never stopped ask ourselves, well, do I even pick them? What I use? Do I really even like them? Or is it just that they’re the cool guy in school, and they picked me and so therefore it makes me feel special. And I think we know this is a generalization. I always get trouble when we talk about generalizations. But it’s a broad generalization. But it’s been a shared experience with so many women that I’ve spoken with. And we don’t really stop and think and that’s really kind of the way it is with clients. When we start out in business and we start growing our business, we get so caught up in we want everyone to pick us. Pick me Pick me Pick me like we just even even if we think we’re getting you know, I figured out who my ideal client isn’t done enough. But still, when somebody walks in the door, and they they’re less than ideal. We’re still going Pick me Pick me Pick me.
And we don’t ever stop to think do I want them and a sales conversation trick that I learned from a trick but technique that I learned from a somebody who’s a coaching person, she says when people start getting into court, like you go through the whole thing, and then they make it about they raised an objection they make money, because they can’t make a decision today, and they don’t want to make a decision today. So then they start turning on you with the laser focus. And they’re like, well, how how experienced? Are you really? What do you really know, really? And she says, I always turn that around, and I start making them prove why I should take them on?
Davina: I start asking those questions that turn and say, Well, why should I have used the client? Why? My Why would you be a good fit to work with me? I mean, what it you know, it’s a she starts asking questions. And I find it very fascinating because I think that’s where somebody was getting into trouble with a whole bunch of clients that then later, were complaining about as soon as we take the money, we’re happy to get the money. And then next week, we’re on a Social Forum in a group chat group complaining to other attorneys about some awful client. Yeah, that we couldn’t we were like killing ourselves to get them to sign up. And that’s the worst thing ever. Right?
Shawn: Yeah, I think you know, so much of what you described is, is being conditioned, programmed, I think it’s both biological as well as supply and nurture. Coming from a place of scarcity. Yeah. If you think about you know, men, this is really crazy. This is the biological men can have as many children as they want, right? Women, we we don’t we have a window, we have a runway, so that biological Pick me Pick me, I think some of it comes from there. But also, I think that you know, for many, many years and sort of patriarchal societies, we’re conditioned to think that and to fight over this, you know, a slice of frickin pie. Instead of thinking I’m gonna go make a bigger badass pie. We’re gonna fight.
Davina: We’re gonna make lots more pie.
Shawn: Yeah. So it’s really easy to see even if you’re, you know, like a badass man, a JAMA, when you look around and everyone else has a scarcity mindset of competing for what we think or little clients or what the few clients out there or whatever. That’s where a lot of that stuff comes from is taking clients that are not great fits. I will tell you every darn time I have taken on work or a client work that wasn’t necessarily a great fit. I didn’t I knew my gut. I didn’t want to do it. Or a client. That was a pain in my ass. I’ve regretted it. Hands down hands. Everytime.
Davina: Yes, yes, no matter what they tell you. I will tell you every time I allow someone’s money story to become my money story and I reduce my fee because I buy so one I so see what the problem is, and what to help him. Every time I make that exception, I pay the price for it missed payments, I pay the price for it and lack of commitment to the program, I pay the price because, you know, they they aren’t ready, they aren’t ready, they aren’t a good fit for me, they aren’t where I am. And I so I see that. And I think, you know, with attorneys, certainly I did that when I had my law practice when I first opened my practice, and we just feel like, you know, we’re there to serve everybody. First of all, we got to help everybody. That’s the nurturing sort of thing. And as and then the other thing is, and then there’s a bit of an ego, I tell my clients, I said it’s our statistic to think you’re the only solution.
And I’ve been I’m like not pointing fingers, anybody I’m pointing fingers at me like, it’s a bit narcissistic to say, I am the best the only solution for this person or, you know, they’ve got to, and that’s not the case for every person out there. It’s not the case for every client out there potential client. There are some clients that are much better suited to go down the street to somebody even if they have a lot of money. Because when you let them go energetically you create space for your ideal client and that my business has become so much happier and joyful. When I learned that lesson, it took me forever. But learning that lesson, I’m like, Wow, this is so much I don’t feel drained. After I talk to my clients, I feel energized. And it’s the same thing. If you’re dealing with, I’m helping clients solve problems, you’re helping sipes client solve problems. And when you’re a lawyer, you’re helping clients solve problems. But what you have to do is get in that space where I’m being paid to help them solve a problem. It’s not my problem, you know, like, I’m paid to help them solve their legal problem, but not their problems that require therapy.
Shawn: Not their money problems and their personal problems.
Davina: Oh, exactly. I’m not their bank. I don’t have to be their bank, or their banker, you know, those kinds of things. Right. So I want to talk a little bit before we wrap up if you have a little bit of training here on if you have to go. I want to talk about objections that come up for because everybody, you know, we all hear these kinds of objections, no matter what kind of business you have. You’ll hear money, objections, time objections, and I have to talk to someone, my spouse, ex whoever objections, we know, psychologically, we’ve been doing this for a long time that those are all stalling tactics, most of the time. Now, it’s not to say every now and then you won’t have somebody that’s, you know, has to go talk to their husband, because he’s the one who’s got the money and they didn’t bring him to training or whatever. But how do you help help your clients? overcome objections? What kind of, you know, mindset and teach them to get into and what kind of tips do you have for us on that?
Shawn: I get giddy. This is one of my favorite things.
Davina: Yay. Good. It’s one of my favorite things.
Shawn: I love this and I’ve done a ton of work and testing and real life experience on the stuff. And so there’s a, I’m gonna take you through a couple key points of what I call pushback and objection, training perspective, Objection, negotiation training. And the first thing is to understand whether something is pushback, or an objection, and then negotiations will be different. But so pushback is, it’s a knee jerk reaction, when you ask somebody something, they’re not ready, they might be like I need so some of the things you hear like, well, I can’t do it today I need to talk to so it might just be a knee jerk reaction, whereas they’re programmed to not make decisions around money. They’re programmed to not make decisions quickly around money. They’re programmed to not feel confident they don’t trust themselves to make a decision. So it’s never about you.
Davina: Oh but it is. It always feels like it’s about me.
Shawn: It is and here’s why. When we encounter a situation where we get pushback, or an objection or someone wants to negotiate, here’s what’s happening. Our brain immediately recognizes that as conflict with a potential negative outcome. So man who comes in real fast our fight or flight system, our senses go, Oh, my God, oh, my God, we got we have to exit this conversation. Everyone does it. on both ends of the conversation. We go into fight or flight, which takes us out of our slow rational thinking and puts us into fast thinking. And whenever we come up into that complex situation, we want to find the question Exit and exit that conversation. So it might be okay, fine. Okay, call you back later or Okay, I’ll drop my price, whatever. So one of the keys is understanding what you know, reflecting on, what are the most common push backs? Is that a knee jerk reaction? Or is it a true objection? How do I figure out if it’s a true objection? And what am I going to do? The most common mistakes around this are not anticipating that there will be pushback objections or negotiation. If you don’t plan for it, and you don’t prepare for it and practice for it, you’re going to be bad at it.
So, so that’s one of the common mistakes, I’m gonna list off a couple of them because they’ll these will allude to how to fix it. The second is thinking about everything as a winning sort of a winning mindset, I need to close this deal, I need to, I need to hold my price, and they do win the negotiation. And people smell that. And that’s one of the things that turns people most off about being sold is when they feel like you want to win. So so many times, you’ve heard the terms, overcoming objections, and how do you, you know, reboot, rebut those what it creates almost an adversarial response, and then you definitely have put the defensive motions up for the person you’re with.
Davina: And we’re lawyers.
Shawn: So yeah. Yeah. So thinking instead of thinking of as winning or losing, it’s, it’s think about finding solutions together. And the solution might be that I’m not the right fit for you. The solution might be that I don’t want you as my client roster, right? All right. The next problem is, people rush to resolve pushback or objection or negotiation, your brain is going to exit the situation, find the nearest exit, you know, like alarm bells are going off. And so we have to stay calm and cool. Don’t hurry and ask more questions. Here’s where salespeople kill me at this sellers are really bad about this. I have more salespeople that will launch the negotiation process on an inference when when it’s not even their job to start. Like, they started negotiating their own price before the client starts to do that.
Davina: And yes, like, like, going right into going, Yeah, payment plans. And we have and if you do this, you’re gonna get a discount. And I’ve had so many attorney clients. Yeah,
Shawn: Yeah. So if I, you know, if you said to me, Well, Shawn, this seems really high. And then I start either defending my price, or telling you how we can make it better. Or, dear Lord, talk about discount, I’m gonna slap that on people’s hands. You and I have launched the negotiation process, all the client did was naturally making an inference, or what’s the opposite of the upset on the other side of inference? That’s what I’m looking for. I inferred, you.
Davina: I don’t know what you’re looking for.
Shawn: You are inferring that they want to discount or that they have a problem with it. They haven’t even said it out loud. Trust me. If they do that, they don’t want to be in a conflict situation any more than you do. ask them a question and let them be the one on the emotional defensive. So if they say, well, Shawn, this seems really high. I can go into one a whole technique, say, all you have to do, all you have to do is repeat back their last words 10 with a slight inflection Lexa question really high. And then let them do the backpedaling. And invariably, they’ll they’ll back themselves out of conversation. So all you have to do is like make it sound like it’s a question and then they will either start explaining or they will backpedal because they’re going to participate in the social contract. Now it’s on them don’t launch the negotiation process.
Davina: That is wonderful. If I said this is what this is what people are doing, we’re watching the negotiation process. And we made them think that we they can negotiate with our fees or with our time commitment or with our you know, level of service or whatever. That’s, that’s a wonderful insight.
Shawn: And if they can’t come straight out and say your price is too high, or your fees are too high, I want a discount, then don’t do it for Yeah, exactly.
Davina: This was one of my this is one of my early mistakes. I have had many sales conversations where it gets just uncomfortable. You just feel like you’re about to boil alive inside because somebody is somebody is because it I when you haven’t made that separation, you feel like the person is questioning your value. And what is the what is the most awful thing is when somebody says, I don’t question your value. But, you know, this is too much advice to me. I can’t afford it. I don’t question your value, but I can’t afford it is very common. And then with you know, with attorneys, it’s often well that’s way more than I thought it was gonna be.
Shawn: Yeah, you know, in that part of that mistake with, you know, someone making a statement like, well, you’re too high, or that’s a lot of money. And then you are your launch negotiation process is you’re focusing on the wrong thing. So at that juncture, once you kind of push that back on them to explain and shift it from a cost or a price conversation to value, what is really important, and I want to show you just a way to shift your mindset around this too, is, cost and price are two different things, the cost of something and your fees are two different things. So a lot of people will get hung up on on the seller point of view, if you’re if you have services that you want to sell to someone, of what what what that price point is right. But cost and press people when they objected, it’s just an alignment mechanism, they want to understand is what I’m going to pay align with the value of what I appreciate it for. It’s just an alignment mechanism.
And having that mindset to think if someone is challenging your fees, if someone is saying you’re too high on they’re not, you know, personally attacking your value, they have to do some internal alignment to make sure that what they pay is aligned with what they value. So that was a huge shift. And it’s also their problem. It’s their problem. If they can’t align that to do business with you, it’s not your job to align it with them. You don’t need to so what what happens is, people start spewing Well, here’s, here’s why I’m valuable. Here’s my experience, whatever, you go on sort of the emotional defensive and start lobbying up your value, instead of you can flip it and have the potential clients spell it out for you. So I’ll give you an example of like, someone says, Well, you know, your, your this is way more than what I thought it would be, um, you know, you’re really you’re, you’re, you cost a lot of money. So you can flip it with a simple question, say, what do you think some people pay that? Yeah. And so now they’re going to do the selling for you, and they’re going to line up all the things, you can see what they value about you and say, Okay, well, are those things important to you? And you’ve now taken the burden off of you to prove your worth to prove your value and put it back on them.
Davina: Right, right.
Shawn: There’s so much work. There’s so much work that can be done around this mindset shift about objections and pushback, and then negotiation that makes converting people in the end so much easier, not necessarily about manipulation. It’s about them selling themselves on the idea and then closing the deal. And instead of letting everything linger out there like hanging chads,
Davina: Right, right. hanging chads, that’s a nice Florida reference from a few years back, I love it. Since we’re in the election season, as we’re recording this, the I had a boss who used to say I work for an engineering firm, and he used to say, don’t give them a Cadillac, if they’re all in one device, a Ford and not nothing against Ford’s, but, but you know, there is a big difference between, you know, a Ford Focus and a cat, daddy. And oftentimes, I think attorneys feel an obligation to help you they buy into stories that people have about why they can’t afford, and I can’t. And one of the things that I know to be true is that we don’t really know, first of all people lie. And sometimes they don’t mean to lie, but they do. But we don’t really know what resources they have available to them. And they may have resources that they may have a mother in law, who will loan them money, or you know, a grandmother who’s waiting there to help them or whatever. So we don’t know. And we when we start getting into negotiation over our fees, because we have means that we are making a prejudgment about something somebody you just met, we don’t know anything about their life. And we’re looking at it, we’re going well, they can’t afford me. And the truth of the matter is, if they truly can’t afford you, there are other options available to there. It doesn’t have to be you.
Shawn: You’re not Yeah, your fees are about your firm. Your fees are about what business structure, what makes sense for you about the profit margins that you design, and that’s your business decision. So I think that we it’s really this is where things get muddy but having an understanding what that our fees are set because of our firm’s business decision our firm’s business infrastructure. Now what what’s something called To someone is is how is aligned with their personal value? You know, price and costs are two different things. I’ll give you an example to think about this you’re talking about your fees are about your firm. So say I’m a manufacturing company, and you know, my neighboring manufacturing companies that this has just been acquired. And this facility is become obsolete, and they’re selling off stuff, they just built this, they just bought this new machine that does this really cool thing.
And it increases production capacity by 100%, they paid 100 grand for it, and they’re going to sell it to me for 25 grand, and that is a fabulous price, fantastic price. But the cost to me, is too high to afford it because I don’t I you know, I don’t have the room, I don’t have the square footage for it, I’d have to put another electrical panel, I don’t have the the manpower to run the thing. I you know, I can’t overcome the cost, even though it’s a fantastic price. So, right separating cost, price and value and understanding how you build your fees, versus what someone infers from from your fees, or how they feel about it is kind of like you got to work at that work at that whatever work you need to do talk to somebody about it. I know, really strong training around money stories, right?
Davina: Yeah, well, and it’s interesting, because you brought up a very good point that you become much more confident. And, and, you know, really to create a boundary around your fees, when you have done the homework, and you understand what it takes to run your business and make it profitable. So if you say I need to, I this business needs to make X number of dollars for me to be able to hire two attorneys, three paralegals a legal assistant receptionist, me and, and get me a 30 to 40% profit, after I’ve taken my salary, and they’ve all taken their salaries, we’ve fed everybody, right. And we have money allocated toward marketing for future growth. So you have an assessment that you have to go through. And I think a lot of times we, you know, when when you’re new in the business, when your fears in even five, six, I mean, I do a lot of work with people who’ve been in practice for 10 years.
Well, they made it practice longer. And they started their firm and their their own firm for a few years. And so they’re you know, mid six figures and they want to get over the the million dollar mark. And they just been working, working, working, working, taking everybody that comes in and charging, charging, charging, and they may have done a little bit of selection over time. But have they ever sat down and said, This is what it costs to run this business and make money you know, and you when you have one way to really get you honed in on that is to is to start studying what investors look for. So no investor you don’t have we don’t have investors in law firm, do you really. But that may be changing because some states are now allowing non attorneys to actually own law firms. Very scary, just very scary for attorneys. But I’d offer business opportunity now to leverage it. And so we have to start looking at our businesses in a more clinical way. And saying what does it actually cost? Because what we’re thinking is, is it’s arbitrary, and it’s arbitrary in our mind, in the person sitting in front of you, even they even though they don’t know, for certain that it’s arbitrary. You’re giving off arbitrary vibes. Yeah, when you enter into negotiation about your fees, but if you have done all the work, and you know what you require to get something done, it’s just not negotiable. Because then you’re just like, this is what it this is what it cost me to run the firm. So it’s not negotiable, right? So I need to make this fee, right.
Shawn: And it’s almost like I’m making it personal. Like it’s just a thing. It’s our business fee. It’s not my personal value. It’s our business fee. And this is a story for as attorneys, you all appreciate this, right? You’re What’s your job, right? You use leverage to negotiate what so I put, I put together a proposal for a client to for a year long intensive sales training and put me on retainer for his firm as a recruiting firm. And, you know, this is a great client four years down the road, like he keeps increasing every year. And so the first year I put this proposal in front of him and he review the proposal and I’m sitting there and you know, he didn’t really have any questions. So then he said, so I guess this is here this year is negotiate and I just leaned in and said, I don’t negotiate. And he just sat there for a minute. What’s it gonna say? Okay, I’ll sign and don’t hurt me.
Davina: I’d love that.
Shawn: What kind of sales trainer do you think I’d be if I negotiated with you or caved, they’ll be terrible. I people don’t need to do it. That’s what I’m teaching not to do.
Davina: So that’s excellent. I don’t negotiate. You. And I’ve had a similar conversation, when we talked about people using someone else who’s not in the room as an excuse for not making a decision in the moment about something. So they come to you with a legal problem. But then they’re out, when you name the fee, that’s shocking to them that they have sticker shock, because it conflicts with their money beliefs. their responses, well, I have to check with my ex, right? It could be a spouse, it can be a, you know, their parent, it could be whatever, I have to talk to somebody else who’s not here in this meeting. And, and you and I, of course, have really strong beliefs about women saying, I have to talk to my husband first. response to that, when I say to you, I have to talk to my husband first shot.
Shawn: Uh, you have to talk to your husband.
Davina: Yeah, I have to talk to my husband about this, because you know, it’s a lot of money.
Shawn: So just do what I did. Right there. Yeah. Or the last thing, and then you felt the need to elaborate. Right. Right. Right. It’s a very subtle way of having of gathering more information. Right, that mirroring technique? Yeah. So tell me a response again, because a lot of money.
Davina: Yeah. Because it’s a lot of money. So we, you know, I, I consult him about, you know, it’s a lot of money. So we’re talking about that.
Shawn: Okay, what is it that you think he would want to know?
Davina: Well, you know, he’s gonna want to know, I want to explain to him why I want to hire you, I really want to hire you. But you know, I really need to explain it to him. So that, you know, we’re on the same page, have we talked to each other about anything over, you know, a certain amount? And so I just, you know, feel like, I need to do that.
Shawn: It sounds like you have a very strong relationship.
Davina: Oh, yes. Yes. We’re very close partners and everything.
Shawn: So how does he feel about the conversation we’re having today?
Davina: Oh, well, he knows, he knows that I was going to come and talk with you about this. I’ve told him that I’ve been wanting to hire you for a long time. And I really need to do that, because we need to take care of this. So he said that, you know, it was good. I was having a conversation. But I really need to talk with him about you know, the money cuz, you know, we share finances and yeah, so something I need to discuss.
Shawn: Okay. All right. Well, I don’t know that I would, I know, I’m trying to think of in a very nice way how I would tell her that. I don’t necessarily think that I want your husband as a client. It might be so you know, so should we go down this road of you know, would I be dealing with your husband? Or you?
Davina: Oh, well, you know, it’s my business, and I need legal help with my business. He’s not a partner in it. But, you know, I just, you know, he’s, he’s somebody I trust? Sure. Sure. Right.
Shawn: Well, I appreciate that you have a very close relationship. But I will tell you, I will only deal with the person who signs the contract. And in this instance, you know, we’re looking for someone who’s pretty decisive. So I don’t know that this is going to be a good fit. Because you and I are going to have this conversation. If that’s the case, and you drill down and they really need to talk to their husband, you’re never going to get her to answer or do anything or respond or do anything this without dragging her husband in it. And that’s just how much billable time do you waste? That’s that you can’t even build because she has to ask her husband and bring your husband into or you have to re-explain things to her husband. I would I hard pass?
Davina: Yeah. Yeah, it is an interesting thing. You and I have had this conversation before. You know, in the years we’ve known each other. It’s an interesting thing, because I have, you know, both of us have worked with male clients and female clients, and business owners. And invariably, when I’m working with men, they say, which credit card do you want? Or where do I saw or what have you, and with I have so many women who are strong, independent feminist women who were out there making decisions in their business, and maybe they need to hire a business attorney and they’re sitting there and they’re talking. And really what’s going on is we know that we know that. We just talked for an hour, the likelihood of your client leaving you And going home and explaining to a spouse, what you talked about completely, and clearly is going to be nil right there, because there’s so much that you cover, and so that the experience is going to be different, the spouse is going to go, Well, that’s a lot of money.
And they’re not going to understand. And so it’s a difference when somebody already made the decision. One of the things I do with people is I ask them, is this if this if this is something that you want? Is it something that you want? Because the conversation with your spouse is going to be totally different? If you’ve already decided, then if you haven’t already decided, so it sounds like to me, you haven’t decided if this is really what you want? Is this really what you want? And I, I go into that conversation. My temptation, though, is, and you and I’ve talked about this, because we’re both really like, crazy feminist. And, and just business people, you know, we think about like business people. And I remember a time in my life, when I would use that excuse to get me up from the table. Because I was not confident in my ability to make decisions, right. And over time, that has really shifted for me. And I also know, when I’m going into a business conversation, whether I’m hiring an attorney, or a hiring consultant, or anything that we’re engaging, I already have an idea of what it costs. So I am not going to have that situation. Right. Where where I think I think that a lot of times, people have an idea. They’ve already maybe shopped around, they know. And they’re trying, you know, they’re trying to see what you do.
Shawn: Yeah, I think that that’s where having, I mean, you the bulk of your work in in selling should be pre qualifying. Man, when people get on web webinars or podcast, people say What do you wish you had known as a young salesperson, Shawn? Like, I wish I would have pre qualified a shit ton more than one I did. Yeah, I just qualified more than, you know, one of the ways I like in my consulting practice that I really understand early on, I say, how can you tell me how you tried to solve this problem before? Because if they’ve hired a consultant or a trainer before, I have an understanding of, if I know who that is, I know what the ballpark is, if they’ve tried to home grow it, I know what that is, if they’ve hired a sales director before, I know what that is, I know what they’ve been willing to spend money on.
And so that’s one of my good pre qualifying questions to say, okay, Jimmy, and so, you know, have you having its challenges persisted, tell him about how you tried to solve the problem before or, you know, have you ever hired an attorney for XYZ kind of work before? Or, you know, what was your experience? But, you know, have you looked at other attorneys, and understanding that before you get into the conversation, if they haven’t, you might want to, you know, do have a little bit different conversation then. And, you know, also to, I don’t know so much about this, but if you’re having an hour long conversation with someone, you are consulting and advising, like, it should be, like your example where the attorney says, Okay, I’m ready to take you on as a client, before we continue having conversation, because we’re getting into advisory services territory, you need to what’s your max 15 to 20 minutes, whether you know, this is someone you want to take on or not like that. It’s, you know, make a decision. Right?
Davina: I do have longer conversations, but mine are, I’m asking a lot of questions and a lot of information. But generally, I have a very good pre qualifying forum for my business, and I advise my clients do the same. And part of the purpose of that intake process, and having that information is that you want to see, first of all, are they willing to fill out a form if they’re not peace out? Right, you know,
Shawn: We’re gonna do more work.
Davina: Right? Exactly, because they’re not going to do their part. Everybody knows your client needs to do their part. The other thing is that not only does it give me the information, I need to know if somebody is going to be a good prospect, but it also plants seeds for things they hadn’t thought about yet. Because there’s so much when people are coming into meeting, a professional meeting that they don’t know about yet. Certainly, it’s the case with legal services. It’s the case with, you know, consulting services of any kind. People think they know, but they don’t know. And there’s a lot of things you know, because you’ve gone to law school, you got a degree you’ve been practicing for a number of years. And so you can plant seeds that could cause you to get better answers from them or maybe to upsell services of some kind. Let’s say you got somebody coming in for a state planning.
If you’re asking questions, somebody is coming in for probate for because a parent died. You asked them on your intake form. Do you have estate planning documents, right? Have you a power of attorney? Are you you know, like, you’re asking things so that not only are you helping with the probate, but then you’re helping them with their own estate planning needs. Right. So there’s all kinds of things in these different practice areas, you know, have different, you know, things, there’s business law and personal injury and, you know, family laws, all kinds of practice your criminal law. And, you know, obviously, there are tweaks to each of those. So this is not a, you know, you have to think about your own practice and my clients to do that. Right. But that that intake process is so important to set you up for success.
Shawn: Yeah, well, it’s so we, I would call that you know, one of the best and most important pieces of your sales process, every business needs a sales process, and your sales process marries your strategy, your go to market strategy with how you execute. So knowing who you are, knowing who you want, as clients, what makes a fantastic client, and knowing who that is to make sure that you’re reflecting who you want to attract is huge. thinking through the experiences and the touch points, both from, you know, prospective clients to, you know, people on retainer and referrals and stuff like that. All that is part of your sales process, building a selling organization.
So whether you a firm of one, or a firm of 10, or 100. And there’s no more room to have sort of like vertical silos of processes, your client experiences to flow across all of them, from how you serve them, and helping them make decisions to choose you to how they refer you in the end to other people. And it’s all part of the process. Everyone’s involved in the process. So think through each each touchpoint each customer experience, who do you want as customers? How do you want them to feel? How did they want to feel, all of that makes you It makes selling so much easier, and less stressful, and less negotiation in the end and less objections, push back all your stress, nearly all of your stress, as a business owner, can be reduced with a really strong sales process that delivers a beautiful client experience.
Davina: Right? Right. And I think that, that if if people just start and say, I’m going to, I’m going to get really clear on who my client is, and I’m going to create a process, and a culture that is a sales culture, and I’m going to take control of the process, so that when the person comes in, they know somebody in somebody knows what they’re doing. And somebody is in charge, because they’re in an area, excuse me hiring a lawyer, they’re an area that’s, you know, deep waters for them. And they don’t really know what’s lurking underneath, but you know, and taiki, and your demeanor, from the very first time that you meet someone, and how you take them to that process and how you address them when they’re ready to, you know, when they’re wanting to negotiate with you. All that is called I call client control is, is this is your business, and this is your house. And these people are guests in your house, and you want them to have this awesome period. Right?
Shawn: And and you want, you want who you invite, like you want to be real specific about those guests in your house. You don’t want to your house, you’re not Walmart, you don’t have the budget to advertise blonde nothingness like Walmart, you don’t have, you’re not a one stop shop. And let me ask you this, what was the last time you could even define the experience other than awful that you had at a Walmart? I don’t know what you’re gonna get on day.
Davina: I’m not a Walmart shopper, but nothing against people who shop at Walmart. I’m not because of my husband’s politics and his belief about how Walmart is leading to the destruction of the small American business. So that’s why we don’t shop at Walmart. All right. Well, Sean, thanks so much. I know I’ve kept you for a long time today. But you know, I love to talk about sales. And I’d love to talk with you about sales because I always learn something. And it’s always so much fun. So thanks so much for being here today and sharing with us. I’m sure everybody can walk away from this experience with a goal or at least a gold nugget, hopefully several gold nuggets. Yeah. Tell me, tell us how we can find you. If I know more about you. And if there’s any sort of, you know, trainings or you know, I’ve got you got an awesome YouTube channel. I know. So any trainings you have you want to share.
Shawn: So www.thesellingagency.com is the easiest way to find me. That’s our website. And there is so much content there about a lot of the stuff we’ve talked about today. I’m like, I know do a really good job with my content. When my email goes out Monday morning and people respond. What were you doing? Are you literally sitting in my meeting? Did you know that that just happened? Did you know? Because that’s what I write about is the day to day stuff in business and in sales meetings. And even if it’s talking about sales teams and stuff like It’s still really applicable because I write and, and train coach from the point of view of coaching humans how to sell to other humans, at the very heart of this is you have to care, you have to show up and give a shit and and treat other people with, you know, with dignity and serve them in that way.
So know that there’s a ton of valuable content for you there. and sign up for my email every Monday morning, you get an email for me, come find me on LinkedIn, I’m easy to find just google me Shawn Karol Sandy, just google me, I would love to connect with you and your audience. And you know, if you have specific questions, let me know. And, you know, most of my training is with businesses, building selling organizations and sales teams, I don’t do a lot of virtual and online stuff on that’s not well suited for my personality. And you know, that’s so hot and popular. All my colleagues are doing that, but I just know me and I want to put my hands on you and grab you and shake your shoulder.
Davina: You want to go into the organization and see all the dirt in the corner. The skeletons in the closet.
Shawn: Yeah, and everything. Yeah. Because Yeah, that’s what people need. That’s how we get specific. And so if, you know, Davina, you’ve got great content and great courses. But if you want help building an experience for your clients, if you want to help build that and teach people in your organization, how to get them on board with the you know, per the sales, building, the selling organization, just drop me a line and eat like so easy to find my email contact form SK s at the selling agency, like I’m debt, right, love great.
Davina: Great. Great and that’s an awesome for attorneys who have clients who are business people, that’s a great this is a great referral that you can put in your back pocket for those folks. I know a lot of business attorneys love to be able to refer people to people who can help their clients and be that source in that go to so a lot of reason and of course your newsletters awesome. I love it. I have a newsletter indeed. So all right, my dear, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
Shawn: Oh thank you for having me on and such a great conversation you deliver so much value to you know anyone who listens and encounters you. I’m so proud of how much you’ve figured out and how dialed in you are to the specific people you serve with your business. From you know that conversation at that little Airbnb many, many years ago.
Davina: Yeah, come on, baby. No kidding, right. Thanks a lot. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode of the Wealthy Woman Lawyer podcast. If you have, we invite you to leave us a review on your preferred podcast platform. The more five star reviews we have, the more women law firm owners will be able to positively impact. Your thoughts and opinions are so important. If you are a woman law firm owner and want to scale your law firm to a million dollars or more in gross annual revenue and do it in a way that’s sustainable and feels good to you. Then we invite you to join us in the Wealthy Woman Lawyer League. The league is a community of highly intelligent, goal oriented and driven women law firm owners who are excited to support one another on their journeys to becoming wealthy women lawyers will be sharing so much in the league in the coming year, including the exclusive million dollar law firm framework that until now, I’ve only shared with my private one to one client. For more information and to join us, Go now to www.wealthywomanlawyer.com/league. That’s www.wealthywomanlawyer.com/league. League is spelled L E A G U E. We look forward to seeing you soon in the league!