Azimuth Check, December 8, 2010

View of Knicks game at Madison Square Garden
My faith in the Knicks almost earned me some concrete shoes and a swim in the Hudson. Image via Wikipedia

I’m a crappy salesperson. I really am. If anything dooms my law practice, it will be my lack of ability to market, not my skills as a trial lawyer. So, today, I focus on aspects of my biggest weakness in the private practice of law.

I’m not a Bookie

I gave up being a bookie after the Gambino family finally told me to hit the road. I lost too much money running one of their basement operations. I kept favoring the Knicks. Who knew Isaiah was going to tank so badly?

Now, its deja vu all over again. Prospective clients call and invariably ask  “What are the odds?”

How to answer? I don’t really know. I’ve tried several tacks:

  • I lost my job as a bookie, but I do know a guy named Carlo. He’ll steer you right.
  • I’ve had the Clippers winning it all for the last 15 years. You sure you want to go with my odds?
  • 8-1 if Brady and Welker both stay healthy.
  • I can’t give you that, but you might do well to consider the over/under.
  • Well, you’re calling a lawyer. You must realize that you are to military justice what the Royals are to baseball.

I know, I know. They want a guarantee or assurance that things will work in their favor. I can’t give that.

If you want a guarantee, you’re better-off buying an extended warranty for your spouse’s “special toys” while you’re on vacation to Leavenworth.

    Why should I hire you?

    My second favorite question.

    How the hell do I answer this? It’s a lose/lose proposition. You can adopt one of two affirmative stances:

    1. I’m freakin’ amazing. My in-court demeanor is such that women want me and men wish they were me. You could hire one of the other hacks out there, but none hold a candle to my proven greatness. Well, now I just came across as a pompous and inflated jerk. Such an answer is enough to turn-off even the most desperate of potentials. Not a good course of action.
    2. Well, I’m just a simple lawyer from simple beginnings, but I’ll work really doggone hard for you. You see, I’m an honest man, looking to help people. OK, this makes me look like a wuss who will let the prosecution wipe their feet on my JC Penney suit. Not good either.

    As I said above, I’m not a salesman. I’m not here to tweak my value, and at this point I’ve briefed my initial plan for the case. As a general proposition, my methodology for earning fees is clear already.

    So, instead of one of the affirmative stances, I adopt a more passive, yet abrupt, approach.

    Dude, that’s your decision to make. Just call if you decide to go with me. Now I’ve gotta go walk my cat. Good luck.

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