David Freeman has a great video this morning on how to engage in a conversation with a potential client, not just regurgitate a boring and pre-planned elevator speech.

With all due respect I would officially like to kill the concept of the elevator speech and replace it with an approach designed to start a memorable conversation.

I couldn’t agree with David more. No one wants to be talked to, especially by a lawyer, no matter how charming and brilliant you are (wink).


Take a deep breath when meeting someone new. Ask some engaging questions about the other person. Their business. Their industry. Their challenges. And listen to the responses.

If you have the legal skills to help solve their business problems, feel free to share some tips or suggestions.

If there is a potential there for a new relationship to form, you need to start introducing yourself and your firm to the prospect.

Odds are, you won’t walk away with the business today. This is just the first touch point of many that will be needed to establishing that know, like and trust so necessary to converting a prospect into a client.

The most important step in this initial meeting is to walk away with your next step confirmed.

You need to ask for the permission to contact them again:

“I’ll send you a link to that article when I get back to the office.”
“I’ll put you in touch with my partner Bill so that he can get you that information. It really is his specialty.”
“Let’s meet back here for a cup of coffee after the last session. I have some ideas that I’d like to run by you that might help.”

In these initial meetings the 80/20 rule is so important to follw: Listen 80%, speak 20%.