I hear lots of excuses as to why law firms aren’t interested in using our product, or really any type of legaltech for that matter. But then sales and #startuplyf in general is all about remaining positive and staying true to product and strategy – i.e. the art of not giving up. It’s hard not to be salty in response to the rejectors, but the better reaction is to use rejection as a motivator. As our CEO says – “there’s nothing like someone shitting all over your goals to motivate you.”
It’s been 10ish months since we launched Automio. In that time, I’ve had some clanger rejections. I thought it was time to share a few of my top or most common rejections, and my thoughts on why lawyers and law firms shouldn’t be using these excuses.
Reason #1: The sky is falling
Zac: [Insert cheery smile ‘n’ dial introduction to Automio].
Lawyer: “No thanks. The change coming to the legal profession will be so massive – the Uber of legal – that there’s no point doing anything innovative.”
Zac: “Wow – calm down Henny Penny.”
Lawyer: “What do you mean?”
Zac: “Well don’t you think you’re being a little dramatic? Have you told your staff you don’t think they have a future?”
Lawyer: “Of course not.”
Zac: *Ends conversation*
Well. What do we say to this?
Yes, the changes coming to the profession will be fundamental – our Customer Success Manager, Olivia Wensley, recently shared her vision for the future in law in this blog. But in reality, tech advancements are not new for lawyers (e.g. telex machines, to fax to email). The key is to be an early adopter of new tech and to embrace it, so you can provide your clients with the service they demand (and deserve), and so you’re not left behind.
Reason #2: No time for round wheels
Lawyer: “I’m sorry, we’re too busy to speak with you” while furiously typing away like this:
Ah, the classic “we’re too busy to talk about things that will make us less busy” scenario. I understand it and I’m guilty of it myself. But it doesn’t take much reflection to realise it’s ridiculous in terms of future planning.
We are all busy, but we need to make time to learn about alternatives. No one likes working 18-hour days. Technology exists to help us be more productive – to get more done with less human effort. There’s a bunch of cool legal tech out there – go and find out what might work for you!
Reason #3: Self-flagellation pleases the law gods
Lawyer: “I love drafting the same documents over and over. I particularly enjoy doing this all night after I have spent an entire day meeting with clients.”
OK, so, nobody has actually said this to me, but it’s what I like to imagine when people flatly refuse to speak to us. I’ve been amazed (and disappointed) by the number of lawyers who aren’t willing to spend 20 minutes speaking to us about a product that will make huge improvements to their life and their client’s experience.
The lesson here is to be openminded and curious – if you’ve been doing something the same way for 20 years, there is probably a better way to do that same thing now.
Reason #4: Robot lawyer could never be as good as a real lawyer
Lawyer: “I don’t see how you could teach a computer to think like a lawyer.”
Newsflash: we can and do, and we’re making huge advancements with the use of AI, blockchain and logic mapping in the delivery of legal services. Lawyers will remain important but increasingly need to (and should want to) reposition themselves as strategic advisers.
We are already helping lawyers around the world build automated self-service documents and advice. You can check out some of their success stories here. It will be in the strategic value-adds that lawyers will remain truly valuable to their clients.
How do innovative lawyers react?
I get a completely different response from innovative lawyers, as there are no excuses. They are genuinely interested in finding out more, as they are keen to use legaltech to help grow their businesses. They have a real thirst for knowledge about legaltech. They have, or a working on, a strategy around how they will use technology to achieve their strategic goals, so they’re keen to find out how our (and other) technology fits in with this
So, what’s your excuse?
Are you guilty of using any of these excuses? Have you heard any good ones? We’d love to hear them.
If you’re interested in using lawyer bots to better serve your clients, check out this case study about an Australian law firm using lawyer bots to win new clients and serve clients online.