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Dropping the Professor Role in Estate Planning and Elder Law

Posted On: January 21, 2022

By: Jennifer Goddard

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Written by: Jennifer Goddard

Jennifer Goddard is CEO and co-founder of IMS. She has been at the helm of the agency since its start-up in 1995. Jennifer specializes in helping estate planning and elder lawyers grow 7-figure firms with digital marketing. Jennifer has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's degree in business administration from Michigan State University.
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Sales Training for Lawyers Pays Off ... For Clients AND For You

Client Drops the Professor RoleWe got this message today from a grateful client who saw the power of the "doctor frame" when meeting with prospective clients.

"James Campbell, thank you for your support around sales and the coaching you gave me last week. I took it to heart, I reviewed all of your modules and tried very hard this week to make the mental shifts I needed to truly serve. Today I held the Doctor frame and implemented everything the best I could. I engaged my clients for a fee of (redacted fee) and I feel so energized -- not the depleted professor feeling I told you about. Thank you again!"

One of the biggest mistakes that estate planning and elder lawyers make in growing their practice is slipping into what we call the "professor mode," during the sales process. It usually comes from the best of intentions -- wanting to be sure the prospective client fully understands every legal aspect of their planning options before making an "informed decision."

The problem is that professors are lousy influencers.

When meeting with a prospective client, it's important to remember that education is not your job.

You are talking to someone who has a problem. Sometimes, it's a very serious, perhaps even urgent problem.

Their biggest risk right now is indecision.

You know, people don't just window-shop for a death attorney. Typically, something is going on in your prospect's life that feels very threatening to them. A spouse or parent needs nursing care before something (even more) dire happens. A loved one has just gotten a bad medical diagnosis. Or worse.

Education is not what this person needs.

They need to be coached into making a good decision. 

And, in the vast majority of cases, that will include hiring you and moving forward quickly to solve the problem.

We like to think that we can educate to motivate prospects.

But that's not what happens.

Instead, we over-educate, we over-inflate the importance of their ability to understand every possible legal ramification and option ... and the prospect is not better-informed.

He or she is confused.

And a confused mind will always say some version of "no."

"I need to think about this."

"I need to talk this over with my financial advisor."

Or ... a buyer's defense mechanism would be to feign understanding and offer up a price objection. This actually makes perfect sense because literally any amount of money sounds like too much if I am confused and not sure you're going to actually solve my problem.

And it's easier to say "That's a lot of money," than, "I don't understand."

We coach our clients every day on how to meet people where they are and lead them to making good decisions.

The first step is to drop the "professor role" and adopt the "doctor frame" instead.

Great things happen when you do.

Clients see the value of your solution and price objections disappear.

You get paid for the value you bring ... AND

The client gets their problem solved!

Book a Call now to learn more about our sales training for lawyers.

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