We mentioned last week that Thomson Reuters Legal is going to double-down its efforts to sell its products to the one- to three-attorney law firms. From some of the people I’ve talked to, it appears that the majority of these efforts are going to take place through an increase in phone sales focused on these attorneys. So that headline that popped up on the Twin Cities Business website that lead with 60 Eagan, Minnesota jobs going away, but followed up with

“On the flip side, the Eagan campus plans to add an unspecified number of customer-facing sales and marketing positions in order [to] put more of a focus on a growing clientele – one- to three-attorney law firms.” 

I guess “customer-facing” was more figurative than literal in this case.

I know how much we all love sales calls, so I thought I’d point out a few things that my solo and small firm friends might want to do before they head out for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Do Not Call List
Most of the companies you’ll deal with should comply with national Do-Not-Call (DNC) requirements and honor opt-out requests through that service. To add your name to the national DNC list, you may register at www.donotcall.gov. Check with your local state to see if it has also created DNC lists for their residents.

Company Privacy Statements
If you wish to be removed from specific company direct sales lists, you should check out the privacy pages that most (if not all) of the legal publishers post on their websites. I have to give some recognition to LexisNexis for having a very straight-forward opt-out page that isn’t hidden like some of the other publishers seemed to have done. Here is a list of the privacy/opt-out pages that I could find:

Westlaw Online Privacy Policy
LexisNexis Direct Marketing Services Opt-Out
Aspen Publishers Internet Privacy Policy (w/Opt-Out) [note: I did not find one that covered all of Wolters Kluwer Publishers]

Personal Relationships Trump Phone Sales
The key message that I want to spread here is that most of us are turned off by phone sales. Most of the folks I’ve talked to really like dealing with their local representatives (even if we don’t agree with how they are pressured by the regional, national or international managers they work for.) We would much rather sit down with them and go over the new or existing products that may help us in our work. I didn’t talk to a single person that said that they would prefer having direct marketing via phone sales over their local representative. Well… I did have a couple mention that they know the area codes that these calls come in from, and tend to ignore those calls.

We may poke fun at the vendors, but don’t think that a faceless voice on a phone is going to be a better option when it comes to sales and building relationships with your customers.