It’s human nature to analyse what we’ve done wrong. This is particularly true of missed opportunities. We ask what we should have done, what we could have done differently and how we can do things better next time. In a sales or business development context, we review lost pitches and tenders and look for the lessons to be learned.
While there are obvious lessons we can learn from such reflection, is there a better way to get (better) feedback?
Yes, there is. It’s called “Won Sales Analysis”. Pioneered by Craig Elias in his book “Shift”, Won Sales Analysis is a process of reflecting on deals we’ve won. Not deals we’ve lost.
How does Won Sales Analysis work in practice and how can you carry it out for your law firm?
In “Shift”, Elias discusses how he became successful in sales. He identified that selling to prospects who had already begun comparing solutions was difficult. What was easier, in Elias’s view, was selling to prospects in the “window of dissatisfaction”. This is the point at which the issue they face has crystallised into an issue they need to deal with. Your prospects enter this window in one of three ways:
A Bad Experience. A negative experience with their current solicitor and are thus dissatisfied.
A Change or transition. Their personal or work circumstances have materially changed, necessitating legal advice.
Awareness. they have become aware of this need because of some other factor. Things like legislative changes, risk-avoidance or financial reason are the triggers here.
Before entering this window, they are in the “Status Quo” and thus not in the market for your services. Your calls and emails will go unanswered. Once a prospect has spent enough time in the “window of dissatisfaction” to actively seek change, they begin searching for and comparing alternatives. By then, it’s too late. Their buying criteria have been set (often poorly) by themselves. You are in a “beauty parade” and your chances of winning the sale have diminished. So, how do we find out where the window is?
Improve sales with a Won Sales Analysis process.
The first step is to IDENTIFY the triggers, pain points and experiences that put the issue on their radar. You’re looking for the moment when their need crystallises in their mind. What was the event in this person’s life or career that made them sit up and take notice?
You’re looking for an exact moment or identifiable external event. You can find this out by asking your clients questions like:
- What has made this a priority for you?
- What happened to put this on your mind?
- What has made you take action now?
These simple questions serve two functions. They build rapport and give you insight into their state of mind when they instruct you.
The next step is to find out how they FOUND you.
When someone is motivated to make a decision, it’s vital to get there before your competitors. Think about it. How often do we make a decision based on who speaks to us at the right time, rather than on the objectively “best” solution? The key here is to find out what steps your client went through when they came to instruct you. Did they search for you online, ask a friend, stop passers by in the street…
You want to find out where and how they sought information. You want to find out which interactions or activities of yours put your name front of mind.
Now you know what raised the issue and how they found out about you. Next, find out what made them CHOOSE you. You should also try to find out what their expectations are at this point. There’s another important (but often missed) question here. How did your new client justify choosing you to their colleagues or partner? This can help identify gaps in your marketing or sales process.
Once you have done that, we want to IMPROVE our strike rate. How can you make it easier for your prospects to do business with you? This lets you lower the initial hurdle and gets you in front of them faster next time. Let your customers teach you about your business.
Ask things like:
- What can we do to make it easier for people in your situation to instruct us?
- How can we make it easier for you to understand the value and benefits of what we do?
- How can we add more value in our relationship?
Once that’s done, we want to CLASSIFY the type of people who are likely to buy from you. You should already know who you most want to buy from you.
Aim to find out information about them as people or as businesses. Ask also how long the decision making/buying process took.
Once you’ve done that, you should have a clearer picture of what brings clients to you and why, and how you can get more of them!
If that all sounds a bit daunting, feel free to get in touch and we’ll send you our “Won Sales Analysis Tool for Law Firms” to send you on your way.