How to Sell Legal Services Without Selling Legal Services


JDBlogger Last week I had an interesting interaction with the customer service department at Dell.  I needed a new power cord for my laptop.  I jumped on Dell’s website, found a million different adapters, and decided I had better do the responsible thing and ask for help.

Like many sales websites Dell has a 24/7 chat option to get help with your purchase.  Here is how it played out when I sought to get a little help (Dell was kind enough to email the entire conversation):

  Agent (Sanjeev J): “Hello John, good evening :)
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “Welcome to Dell Parts and Accessories Chat! My name is Sanjeev Nag (            1800 289 3355       at extn. 4162708) and my e mail id is I am pleased to be your Sales Chat Expert!. How can I assist you today?”
  John: “Hello”
  John: “I have a Dell Inspiron N5010 laptop and need a replacement power adapter but am not sure which is the correct one to buy?”
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “Its my pleasure to have you on my chat line today. I’d be happy to assist you.”
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “I will help you with the adapter John”
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “Please help me with the service tag”
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “Service Tag is a 7 digit alpha numeric code which ends with “1″ bottom of the laptop.”
  John: “XXXXXXX”
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “Thank you”
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “Checking with the Tag”
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “This laptop was bought in 2011″
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “John, may I have your full name, billing address and home telephone number inorder to complete customer verification please.”
  John: “John Skiba, xxxxx, xxxxxx
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “Thank you”
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “I have checked with the adapter that is needed”
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “The adapter is there with me for $56 only and if you are looking to order it, we can help you with Dell preferred account”
  Agent (Sanjeev J): “Dell Preferred Account is an revolving line of credit offered by Dell, with No annual fee, or prepayment penalty charges. It will help you make payments in easy installments and leave all your other credit sources open for other use. If you are interested, I can quickly check if you qualify for the same..Is that Okay
  John: “I do not want you to do that, I wanted to know what adapter to use. Never mind”

As you can read above, things started out okay, and the Dell representative appeared as if he was going to be helpful, but at the end of our brief conversation I still had no idea what power cord I needed.  I knew how much it was going to cost- $56.  And I knew that Dell wanted me to sign up for a Dell credit card to pay for this $56 dollar item. But didn’t know what I was supposed to buy.  So while it appeared that Sanjeev was there to help me out, he was really only there to sell me.  This was not only frustrating but left me feeling that Dell really wasn’t interested in helping me at all.

We often do the same thing with the content we put up on our blogs.  We write a great article on some aspect of the law where people are looking for answers and then at the end we put what is essentially an advertisement about how great we are and why they should call us to set up a consultation.

This turns what was otherwise a no-strings attached helpful article into something similar to my conversation with Dell.  I needed help.  Dell appeared as though they were ready and willing to help, when all they were ready to do was try and sell me on their credit card.

If I had been given the information on the power cord for my laptop I would have taken that information and completed the sale.  Instead, in my frustration I went to Amazon and bought the power cord there (for $38 no less!).

The content you put on your blog should be helpful.  End of story.  Don’t try and sell them on hiring you.  People who read your blog know your are an attorney and if your content is truly valuable when they need to hire a lawyer, you won’t have to do any selling at all.  To them, you will be the authority in the law in this area and there will be no question that you are who they will seek out and hire.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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