Attorneys can benefit from a unique selling proposition

A few years ago, Progressive Insurance ran TV commercials touting that they assign a dedicated claims specialist claimants their policyholders can count on for the life of their claim. The benefit is that you can always call "your" representative and never have to worry about what’s going on with your claim. Policyholders want to be able to talk to the same person each time they call, someone who understands their claim and is staying on top of it "for them".

Now, most other insurance companies probably do the same thing. But because those companies aren’t saying they do it, when Progressive says it, they virtually OWN that benefit.

You can do the same thing. You can promise prospective clients that they will have a dedicated member of your firm assigned to their claim, so that they don’t have to worry about who to ask for when they call. They’ll feel better just knowing that someone is assigned to their case and that it’s not lost in the shuffle.

The fact that most lawyers do the same thing is not important. If you say it and they don’t, or you say it FIRST, you can effectively "own" that benefit and preempt other lawyers in your market from using it. It can become your "Unique Selling Proposition" (USP), the competitive advantage that sets you apart from other lawyers in the minds of clients and prospects.

In marketing, perception is everything. If you appear to offer a unique advantage, people will see a benefit to hiring you instead of your competition.

Your USP can be about any meaningful benefit you offer. What do you do faster, better, or more thoroughly? What do you do that you know clients like?

A great way to find a powerful USP is to learn what your clients DON’T like about lawyers in your field, and promise them the opposite. If clients consistently complain that lawyers who do what you do take to long to do it, for example, your promise to do it quickly would likely be seen as valuable and desirable to those who can hire you.

The number one complaint received by state bar associations is lack of communication by their lawyer. Many lawyers have difficulty, it seems, keeping their clients informed about the progress of their legal matter. Even worse, many complaints involve lawyers who don’t return phone calls. Something this common, and this easy to fix, would seem to be a great USP for lawyers in many practice areas.

If you’re bad at keeping clients informed (or returning calls), resolve to get better. In fact, I’d suggest a goal to become not just better but the best. Make a promise to yourself to return calls within 24 hours, for example. Raise the bar. It’s so easy to do and it will have a profound impact on your practice. Fewer unhappy clients, more repeat clients and referrals.

Then, proclaim it to your clients and everyone else. Let them know of your commitment. Make it your unique selling proposition.

If you’re already good at keeping clients informed and returning calls, the odds are you don’t tell people this, or you don’t tell them enough. Consider doing so before some other attorney decides to make it her unique selling proposition.