The best marketing requires THIS

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I talked to a business associate today. She’s getting leads via email on LinkedIn, getting some inquires, and wanted to know what I recommend she do to follow up.

We talked about what she was doing and what she wanted to happen, and then I told her something I know she knew but needed to be reminded of.

I told her she needs to talk to these people.

You can use LinkedIn (or whatever) to get people to hold up their hand and ask for information, but if you want to sell them something (she does), the best thing you can do is transition from email or text chat to the phone, a video chat, or an in-person meeting.

It’s not the only way to sell (or get clients), by far. But it is the most effective.

You need to hear their voice and they need to hear yours. You need to ask questions and answer theirs. You need to see their body language and they need to see yours.

You need to connect with them and have a real conversation, because marketing is more than just delivering information.

When you talk to people, you can weed out the lookers and focus on the serious prospects. You can find out what they really want and what they’re willing to do about it. You can overcome objections and sign up more clients more quickly.

And if they’re not ready to hire you, you can set the stage for the time when they will be, and make sure they come back to you because they got to know you, like you, and trust you.

I’ve sold a lot of products and services without speaking to anyone. I’ll take that business all day, every day. But if I really needed to make a sale or sign up a new client, if my life literally depended on it, I’d take my fingers off the keyboard and call someone.

How to get your website to do most of the selling for you

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The number one marketing skill for attorneys

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What do you suppose is the most valuable skill for marketing and building a law practice?

If you said, “salesmanship,” you are right.

Learning how to sell your services makes you better at prospecting and lead generation, qualifying prospective clients, presenting, handling objections, and closing.

When you know how to sell, you get more clients and better clients, with less cost and less effort.

Learning how to sell also makes you more effective in the courtroom and the boardroom. You’ll win more cases and close more deals.

Sales skills also help you to write more effective articles and blog posts, driving more traffic to your web pages and sales pages. You’ll get more people contacting you to ask questions or make an appointment.

More people will trust you and want to work with you. More people will want to tell others about you.

When someone questions your capabilities or balks at your fees, you’ll know what to say and do to make them happy and ready to proceed.

When a client has a complaint or questions your judgment, you’ll know how to show them that they are in good hands.

When you speak or network or do an interview, you’ll be more confident, more persuasive, and more attractive to prospects and fellow professionals.

Sales is the uber-skill every attorney needs to learn. So, why do so few attorneys learn it?

Probably because they’re afraid they’ll appear too aggressive, manipulative or hungry for business. They think they’ll come off as less professional or less successful.

“I didn’t go to law school to be a sales person,” they often tell me. But learning how to sell doesn’t make you a sales person. It makes you better at your job.

When I began practicing, I found it difficult to bring in clients and I struggled to pay my bills. Everything changed when I studied marketing and sales and starting using what I had learned.

I encourage you to do the same.

How to use email to sell more of your services

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Your fees are too high

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What do you say to a client or prospective client who says your fees are too high?

Do you negotiate? Offer to reduce your fees?

Yeah, don’t do that.

Do you tell them that’s what you charge and they can take it or leave it?

Don’t do that, either.

Instead, say something like, “When you say my fees are too high, what are you comparing this to?”

Let them tell you about other lawyers who charge less.

And then show them why you charge more because you are worth more–to them.

Show the client what they get with you they won’t get from other attorneys.

The best way to do that, of course, is to let your other clients do it for you. Show them your positive reviews and testimonials and share success stories about what you’ve done for other clients.

But maybe the client doesn’t have anyone they’re comparing you with, they think all lawyers fees are too high.

In that case, go over their current problem or situation and ask how much this is costing them now, in terms of time and money and mental anguish.

Let them see how they will be better off hiring you than continuing to live with their current situation.

Finally, if they can’t see things your way, say something like this:

“I don’t want to take your money if you don’t think this is going to work for you. I understand you want to solve this problem but I don’t want to work with you if you’re not committed to working with me to solve it”.

C’mon, you know you want to.

Referred clients make the best clients. Here’s how to get more

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I need to think about it. . .

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Ever have a prospective client tell you they’re not ready to sign up, they need “to think about it”? How do you respond?

Do you say something like, “No problem. Let me know if you have any additional questions”?

There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s great posture. Don’t chase. Make them come to you.

But there’s something else you can do instead. You could find out what it is they want to think about and “handle” it.

The fact is, they’re not going to think about it. That’s just an excuse.

They need to talk to someone (and get their permission or buy-in), they don’t have the money (and may need to “find” it), they’re not convinced they need to hire an attorney (yet), or they’re not convinced they should hire YOU.

They came to you with a problem. There’s something stopping them from getting the help they need and probably want.

With a little probing, you may be able to find out what’s stopping them, address it, and get them to sign up.

Because if you let them walk, you have to assume they won’t be back.

They’ll talk themselves out of it, or get overruled. Or they’ll see a “better deal” offered by another attorney and grab it.

Take a minute to find out what they need to think about.

“Is it the fee?” Because that’s often it.

“Are you thinking you have more time?” Because they often tell themselves they do, hoping the problem will go away or they’ll find another solution.

“You told me you wanted/needed X; has that changed?” Remind them why they need your help.

But DON’T ask, “Do you need to clear this with your [spouse/boss/partner]?” because that’s something you should have clarified at the time they made the appointment. That other person should be seated next to them.

Your job is to help people. You can’t do that unless they sign up.

So, help them do that.

For lawyers: The Quantum Leap Marketing System

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I have the answer to your problem but you can’t have it

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It’s better to have people ask you to send them information than you for you to ask them if they want it.

It’s better because when they ask, they’re raising their hand and telling you they want it and will probably consume it.

It’s also better posture for you. “Be the pursued, not the pursuer.”

So, how do you get people to ask?

My favorite way is to use a “takeaway”. Let them know what you have but don’t offer it to them.

To wit:

YOU: “I just wrote a report that shows how to [solve a painful problem]. Do you know anyone who might like a copy?”

You have something that, ostensibly, a prospective client wants but you’re not sending it to them or offering it to them. If they want it, they have to ask for it.

And they will. “Could I get a copy?”

YOU (Surprised): “Oh, well, sure. . . I can send you a link. What’s your best email address?”

If they don’t ask, they’re either not a prospect or your report title/description needs improvement.

How well does this work? Brilliantly. I’ve used a takeaway successfully more times than I can count.

It’s a beautiful thing hearing the other person (prospect or professional) ask if THEY can have a copy.

Sometimes, they’re not interested but they know someone who might be. That’s fine. They help their friend or client get information that could help them, and they do some “advertising” for you.

Sometimes, they’re not interested and they don’t know anyone.

That’s fine, too.

At least they know what you have and if their situation changes or they run into someone with a problem your report addresses, they know where to turn.

Who do you know that’s ready to take their law practice to the next level?

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A simple way to get more people to listen

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When you speak to prospective clients or anyone else you want to persuade, they are often skeptical about what you offer or propose.

To overcome this, you want to make them feel safe so they will open their minds and listen to your offer.

One way to do that is to use words that align with the idea that what you’re proposing is “normal”–not unusual or risky.

This can be as simple as using the phrase, “If you’re like most people. . .”

For example,

“If you’re like most people, you want your loved ones to be protected in case something happens to you.”

“If you’re like most people, you want your business to be safe from claims and lawsuits. . .”

“If you’re like most people, you want your property to close quickly. . .”

Most people will agree that they want what “most people” want.

They’re listening.

You also got them to focus on a problem you just happen to be able to solve for them–and tacitly admit that they want a solution.

Clever you.

You can (and should) use this in your newsletter

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Closing the deal

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Lawyers need to be good closers, right? There are many sales techniques and scripts we can use to do that.

But most lawyers don’t use them.

Most lawyers simply deliver information to the prospective client, showing them what they do and how they can help them.

They tell them about the features and benefits of the services they offer, they tell them their options, they share some examples or stories and answer frequently asked questions.

But they don’t close.

No scripts, no techniques. At most, after they’ve presented the information, they ask the client, “What would you like to do?”

But you know what? That’s a closing question. A soft one, to be sure, but if you’ve done a good job of educating the client about what’s at stake and what you can do to help them, you probably don’t need anything else.

Are you relieved?

You can let the client sell (and close) themselves.

Besides, you don’t want clients who feel like they “got sold” or who regret signing up, do you? If they’re a good candidate for your services, they’ll make the right decision for them, which is also the right decision for you.

On the other hand, every lawyer should learn some basic sales skills, including how to close.

Because not every prospective client will do a good job of selling themselves and may need a little help from you.

And that’s really what sales is about: helping people make good decisions.

When you’re ready to take a quantum leap in your marketing. . .

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What to do when “nobody” shows up at your event?

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An attorney was hosting a “lunch and learn” for Chiropractors and didn’t have many RSVPs. She was thinking of canceling but went ahead with it after reading my previous post about how marketing is like riding the bus.

Anyway, she didn’t ask for my advice but I offered her some. I told her to move most of the chairs to the back of the room or to another room so that it doesn’t look like you expected 30 and only a few showed up.

Yes?

But what do you do after the event? And what do you do for your next one?

After the event, you email (or call) everyone who didn’t come and tell them they “missed an incredible event”. (Wasn’t it incredible that so few showed up?) You intimate that they missed something great, making it more likely that they will come next time.

And, next time, don’t announce the event or invite people to it–sell it.

People are busy. You need to persuade them that it’s worth taking their time to come to your event.

Tell them the benefits they will get and make ’em good.

Will they learn something they won’t learn anywhere else? Will they learn how to get more patients, save time, cut costs, or protect themselves? Will they get an edge over their competitors?

Will they get to meet someone special? Meet other DCs who are doing things they need to know about?

Will they be invited to your Facebook or Slack group, where they can network with their colleagues, exchange ideas (and referrals)?

Will they be able to get on a follow-up call or webinar or receive additional information that can help them?

And, share testimonials from their colleagues who attended your previous event.

Tell them you won’t do this again for another x months.

And then, call everyone on your invite list. Ask them to tell you that they will (or won’t) attend. Tell them, “seating is limited and we need to know if we should hold your seat or if it’s okay to give it to someone else”.

Do this and you won’t need to hide chairs, you’ll need to bring in extra.

Want to grow your practice quickly? Here’s what you need

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I might not be the right lawyer for you

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Scrivener is my favorite writing app for long documents. I use it on two Windows machines and my iPhone. 

But Scrivener has a flaw.

Because of the way the software is built, you can’t use iCloud to sync between devices, you have to use Dropbox. 

(Funny, I use another writing app that doesn’t play well with Dropbox; I have to use iCloud to sync.)

Anyway, on the App store, Scrivener generally gets great reviews, but there is a chorus of complaints from customers who want to sync via iCloud and are PO’d that they cannot. So they give Scrivener one- or two-star reviews and call it a day.

The sales page says that syncing “requires a Dropbox account (not compatible with iCloud” but it’s a footnote and, apparently, a lot of folks miss it. 

If I was in charge, I would put the “no iCloud”disclaimer up front and center.

I would explain the technical reason why you can’t use iCloud and talk about why had to do it this way so that customers could get certain unique features that are key to Scrivener’s greatness. 

This will cut down on bad reviews but it should also lead to more sales to customers who are intrigued enough by the unique features of the app that they’re willing to switch to Dropbox to get them. 

In sales, this is known as “admitting your flaws”. It’s designed to reduce objections, buyer’s remorse, and bad reviews. Telling customers the flaws of your product or service before they discover them on their own builds trust and allows you to turn a weakness into a strength.

It works the same whether you’re selling software, houses, or legal services. 

I heard from an immigration attorney recently who isn’t an “accredited specialist” in his country because he doesn’t do the type of work that the accreditation accredits. He wanted to know how he should handle this on his website and other marketing. 

He should be upfront about it.

Admit his “flaw”. Explain that he specializes in a different area of immigration law and that accreditation isn’t required to practice in this area. 

He should do this because some prospective clients are no doubt wondering why he isn’t accredited, as they see other lawyers are. 

Give them a good explanation and most of them will not only be satisfied, they’ll see that you specialize in precisely the services they need (instead of everything) and thus see you as the better choice. 

He added, “It’s interesting because just yesterday I was reading the website of a competitor who is an accredited specialist and I was more drawn to his personal story about why he does migration than his credentials. If I was a potential client of his that’s what would get me.”

Me too. 

What to put on your website

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I need to think about it

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There are lots of reasons why a prospective client might hesitate to sign up. Here are some of the thoughts going through their mind:

  • Do I really need this service?
  • Can I wait?
  • Can I fix this myself?
  • Will this solve my problem?
  • Is this the right attorney for the job? How do I know they can handle this?
  • Does she have a lower-priced service?
  • Why do I need to pay upfront/retainer?
  • Are there any additional charges? Hidden expenses?
  • Why do I have to pay by the hour? Why not a flat fee?
  • Can I negotiate the fee?
  • Maybe other lawyers charge less per hour or offer a flat fee
  • Should I talk to [someone] first?
  • Is there a different legal service that would be good enough?
  • Can I trust this lawyer? Will he overcharge me? Cheat me? Let me down?
  • Do I need all of these services at once or can I get started with one or two?
  • Am I making a mistake?
  • What will [someone else] think about my decision?
  • Should I get a second opinion?
  • What if X happens? Will I have to come back and pay more?
  • What if she does a bad job? Do I have any recourse?
  • If I tell her X, how do I know she won’t tell [someone else]?

You should be prepared for all of these, and more.

Your best bet is to anticipate these questions and concerns and address them before they are voiced. Do that in your marketing materials, FAQ’s, website, presentations, and consultations.

Explain your policies and your process. Give examples in “if/then” language. Share stories to illustrate.

Inevitably, you’ll still be asked these kinds of questions and you should practice delivering your responses. Also, practice how you will smoothly transition to the next step—getting your agreement signed and payment tendered.

You should know exactly what you will say the next time a prospective client says, “I need to think about it”.

Prospective clients are nervous and afraid of making a mistake. Being prepared to patiently and calmly answer their questions and address their concerns will go a long way towards getting them to take the next step.

Referred clients are easier to sign up

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