Many lawyers are better at talking than at listening. But experts say that when you are developing new business, you should listen at least 50% of the time. You can improve listening by preparing customized questions before each meeting. Review this list, pick three, adapt them to your situation, and then sit back and listen.
Eleven business questions for clients and prospects
- What are the biggest challenges that you face?
- What business problems keep you up at night?
- Where do you see your industry going in the next few years?
- How do you keep track of developments in your industry? What do you read? What organizations do you belong to?
- What does your ideal customer look like?
- What works best in finding new customers?
- Who are your biggest customers?
- What is it like to work for your company?
- For your job, who are the key people in your company?
- Do you often socialize with people you meet through business? What do you like to do?
- What else should I ask about?
Seven legal questions for clients and prospects
- What did you like best about legal services in the past?
- What did you like least?
- How is your legal department organized?
- How do decisions about legal services get made?
- What are your biggest legal concerns?
- What do you look for in a law firm?
- Do you have an impression of our firm?
Sixteen questions to keep people talking
- Tell me more about ____.
- Would you elaborate on ____.
- Give me an example of ____.
- What else should I know about ____?
- How does ____ fit in the picture?
- Talk to me about your experience with ____.
- How do you handle ____?
- What makes this urgent?
- Why is this important right now?
- What bothers you most?
- How tough a position does this put you in?
- How does this affect you?
- Why is this important to you?
- How does that sound?
- Do I have it right?
- "If you were to go ahead with ____ when would you ____?"
Coming soon: 24 more questions aimed at current clients. This material was adapted from The LegalBizDev Success Kit.