Lawyers PI Program
From the Desk of:
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
Getting Lawyers to Respond When “Cold-Calling”
Getting a law office to pay attention to you is about leverage and when cold-calling, there is inherently very little. There is, however, one area that you have leverage over the lawyer and if you position yourself properly and have an effective communicator making the calls, you can consistently win in “cold-calling.”
First, let me tell you about the art of negotiating. Being a New Yorker has exposed me to some of the best negotiators and negotiating tactics in the world. There is a street in New York called Canal Street. It is located adjacent to Chinatown and it is the street hawker’s capital of the world. You can buy anything from a shop, which is actually a booth inside a storefront, that sells pocketbooks, purses, jewelry, perfume, computer peripherals, hardware, etc., at severely discounted prices, as much of this stuff is sold through secondary markets. A Fendi purse, normally sold for $400 can go for $60 with the understanding that some of these are “knock-offs,” SO YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL. However, the asking price, as an example, is $60. This is a technique I have taught my daughters well. You offer $30 initially, they say $50. You then say $35 and they say no, $50. You take $35 and put it in their hand while they are still saying no. Once the money is in their hand, they rarely let go and sell you the product for that price or very close to it.
The tactic is 2-fold. One, it’s always about the money and second, it’s the “3 No Rule.” For me to take “no” in a negotiation, I have to hear it 3 times. However, I will ask the question a little differently each time and when necessary, I will soften my position and offer a little more each time in understanding the other party’s position, in a compromise effort. There are times when I know I am being unreasonable or an ass and cave in. That doesn’t happen often.
Now you know my “Canal Street” tactics of negotiating that have served me well throughout life; you are probably thinking I am nuts, as what does this have to with lawyers, cold-calling and getting past the secretaries in their offices? The answer is everything!
Let me introduce you to a widget. A widget is absolutely nothing and everything. A widget is a universal concept that can be substituted for any notion or gadget in the world. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if it is purses on Canal Street, lawyers in Kansas or margaritas in Aruba; selling and negotiating are the same no matter what widget you substitute for the deal.
Now let’s tackle the lawyers and cold-calling. The concept I have realized is that in the past we were offering “cutting edge educational material that would help the lawyer prevail in his cases” and offered to sit with the lawyer to give him/her the research. That is like saying to a longtime friend you haven’t seen in years, “It’s great to see you. We should get together for dinner some time.” The reality is that you rarely get together for dinner with that person; if you intended to have dinner with him/her, you would already have done so. The conversation with the lawyers is no different.
You need a person who gives very good “phone.” You cannot have a shy, non-aggressive personality perform this task. When calling, the caller should introduce himself/herself by giving his/her name and stating what office he/she is calling from. Then he/she should inform the lawyer’s office of what you have for him/her and when rebutted, should not take “no” for an answer. Remember the “3 NO Rule.”
Show Spelled Pronunciation[lev-er-ij, lee-ver-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA
3. Power or ability to act or to influence people, events, decisions, etc.; sway:Being the only industry in town gave the company considerable leverage in its…negotiations.
Leverage is the difference between success and failure. What ability or act do you have to influence the lawyers’ offices to want to work with you? The answer, quite simply, is knowledge. The field of law is about leverage in an argument and knowledge is the tool that renders leverage in order to prevail. You now have to convey, in a very aggressive manner, that you have the tools the lawyer needs, in a very specific format, versus the previously generalized format.
The 3 hottest topics in personal injury, based upon a survey of 1000’s of lawyers nationwide are:
- Age dating the onset of herniated discs
- Pre-existing arthritis does not mean all bodily injury is pre-existing
- Their clients do get injured in “no damage crashes,” as documented by the insurance company’s own research
The first, although a very hot topic, cannot be used, as there is no research published on this topic. I have been working with a nationally acclaimed neuroradiogist trained in Columbia and Harvard on this subject over the last 2 years to get research published. Although the information is dramatic and will change the landscape of the medical and medical-legal community, it is still not yet published. Until then, there is nothing to give the lawyer, so we will take that off the table. As a note, this is part of what I teach when I lecture to lawyers nationally and a very powerful motivator. The other 2 topics are just as powerful and lawyers will clamor to get your research once you get past their secretaries and the information gets to them.
When calling, your telephone person, notice I said telephone person and not your staff. If your staff is not aggressive, get someone else for this project! I don’t care if it’s your mother or a high school or college student. That person has to give “great telephone” and be bold enough not to take no for an answer using the “3-No Rule.” When calling they have to be specific and now offer something definable that will enable the lawyers to prevail in their cases. This is called leverage, as it will give you influence over those making a decision!
To get further details on how to make these cold-calls and what to plan for the meetings, please call our program coordinator, Allison, at 631-626-0406. She will set up a time with you to train you and your staff. She will provide you with a script and other communication materials. The training takes about 30 minutes.