Lawyers often carry out marketing programs under the misconception that if they offer general information about their practice, their prospects will figure out the rest.
Wrong! If you assume your prospects will fill in the blanks, you’re asking too much.
For example, if I said to my prospects, who are attorneys, “I’m a marketing consultant for lawyers” and told them nothing more, I might get a few phone calls, but not enough to sustain a business.
As consumers, you and I are bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages every day. We do our best to screen them out unless the product or service interests us. The problem is, sometimes we get so good at screening out advertising that we exclude even those ads that could have helped us had we paid attention.
Then we turn the tables. As marketers, you and I take little comfort knowing that our prospects try to screen out our messages as successfully as we screen out messages from other advertisers.
How you craft your marketing message and how you deliver information directly relates to whether your prospects focus on your message or tune it out.
The most powerful marketing messages are SPECIFIC and DIRECT. They leave nothing to your reader’s imagination. What’s more, you’ll find that the more information you provide, the more your prospects believe your message because it is positive and specific.
These tips will increase your prospect’s interest, your credibility, and your chances of getting the response you want. Apply these tips through all of your marketing communications:
TIP #1: Provide full facts that support your marketing message. When you identify and prove the problem exists — and identify and prove your solution works — you should include specifics, numbers, facts and detailed descriptions in every step.
Here are sample statements about lawyer marketing. Which do you find most persuasive?
Statement 1: Lawyers who market their practices increase their average income.
Statement 2: Lawyers who market their practices increase their average income by 300%.
Statement 3: Lawyers who market their practices increase their average income from $75,000 to $225,000 per year.
SUMMARY: Statement one offers no specifics. It may be true, but you find no facts on which you can rely. It is nothing more than an unsubstantiated claim. Statement two is more vivid because of the 300%, which is clearly an eye opener. Statement three is the most persuasive because it gives exact dollar amounts that you clearly understand, rather than a percentage.
Disclaimer: Don’t rely on these numbers because I made them up. But even if the numbers aren’t correct, they look correct because they are specific. Specifics create the appearance of truth.
Your marketing is vivid, persuasive, and credible when you include specifics. No question, when you write in generalities, you write more quickly. But the time it takes to research and include precise facts is well rewarded because your persuasive powers increase dramatically.
TIP #2: Invite your prospects to take action. At one time or another, you’ve probably called a business only to find that the person who answered the phone was less than helpful and, perhaps, downright rude. After we experience this a few times, all of us wonder whether our calls are welcome.
In your materials, use statements like: I invite you to call with your questions or concerns. I’ll be happy to talk with you over the phone or in person, whichever you prefer.
You could rephrase it, focusing on “you”: You’re invited to call me to discuss your company’s legal matters. I’ll be glad to talk with you over the telephone, or in my office or yours, whichever is easiest for you.
TIP #3: Tell prospects the action you want them to take. The more you leave to chance, the more you risk that your prospect won=t do anything. Here are a few action statements:
– To receive your free copy of my Executive Briefing on Director’s Liability, call (phone number) or e-mail (address).
– If you’d like to talk with me over the telephone, call (phone number).
– Call now to reserve your seats for my next seminar: (phone number)
TIP #4: Tell prospects how easy it is to respond. Your prospects may perceive contacting you to be such a hassle that, instead, they decide to “just forget it!” What’s more, they may hate leaving messages because not all lawyers return phone calls.
Take these steps: Tell prospects how easy it is to respond to your offer. Then assure prospects that, if you’re not available when they call, you’ll return their calls promptly. For example:
— You can reach me by phone (number), fax (number) or e-mail at (address) — whichever you prefer. If I’m with a client when you call, I’ll get back with you just as soon as I’m available.
— You can reach me simply by picking up the phone and dialing (number). If I’m out when you call, I promise I’ll return your call just as quickly as I’m back in the office.
TIP #5: Tell prospects the specific services you offer. Law has become so specialized that your services may be more narrow or broad-based than your prospects expect.
The only specific, direct way to cover your bases is to describe in detail the services you offer. Because if your prospects don’t think you provide a particular service, they’ll call someone else. To attract prospects who need specific services, you should spell out in your marketing materials the services you offer.
TIP #6: Name the specific clients you serve. If your field of law is broken down by the types clients you serve, spell out those types or groups. If prospects don’t see their group in your materials, they could easily conclude that you won’t represent them.
TIP #7: Provide specific facts whenever possible. One of my friends is a trial attorney who won the largest judgment in Arizona. When I refer a prospect to him, if I told the prospect only that he is a trial attorney, they might not know what that means. This is because people think of lawyers more for the types of cases they handle and the type of law they practice than for the methods they use (trial) to achieve the result. So, instead, I give them key facts on which they can rely:
First, I say he is my friend, which transfers my credibility to him. Second, I say he won a $1,500,000,000 judgment at trial, the largest ever awarded in Arizona, which proves he is a skilled, experienced lawyer. Third, I say he has handled several cases for my wife and me, which serves as our testimonial.
Three key facts, all true, all specific, and all designed to help the person decide whether to contact this lawyer.
In conclusion, you hurt your marketing effort when you use words that are not specific or direct. Don=t assume anything. Spell out everything. Generalities hurt. Specifics persuade.