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Delivering Your Marketing Message May Prove Harder Than You Think

by Trey Ryder

Most lawyers are skilled communicators. Even so, they often have trouble explaining how they can help prospective clients. Follow these 12 Steps to get your message across:

Step 1: Start talking with your prospect at his own level. Ask your prospect what he's concerned about because that's all your prospect can relate to.

Step 2: Identify the problem your prospect wants to solve or the goal he wants to achieve. Listen carefully so you can determine which points your prospect considers most important. Then focus your message on those subjects.

Step 3: Confirm and reinforce the importance of your prospect's problem. Explain how serious it could become if your prospect doesn't act now.

Step 4: In simple terms, give your prospect an overview of the solution you recommend so he understands how you will take him from where he is now to where he wants to be.

Step 5: Keep your message simple. Every day, prospects suffer from information overload. They screen out complicated messages. A simple message is the only message that has any chance of getting through to your prospective clients.

Step 6: When you begin your explanation, always go back to square one. When you assume your prospect knows and understands basic facts, you're almost always wrong.

Step 7: Speak in plain English. If you must use a legal term, make sure you define it. Don't assume that your prospect understand these terms. He may have heard the words before, but he may have no idea what they mean in this context.

Step 8: Explain each Step in the process -- in order -- so your prospect knows exactly what you will do to solve his problem or achieve his goal.

Step 9: During your explanation, answer every question your prospect might ask. When you explain all the major points in order, your message is clear and straightforward. On the other hand, if your prospect raises a number of questions later, he is asking questions outside the context of your presentation, which often results in more confusion than clarity.

Step 10: Explain how your prospect benefits from your solution. Your prospect needs to know how the Steps you plan to take will bring him the solution he wants -- and how he will benefit from that solution.

Step 11: Talk about other clients you have helped in similar situations. The more your case histories are like your prospect's situation, the more they will motivate him to act.

Step 12: Don't worry about repeating yourself. When prospects take in new information, they forget most of it. Your prospect needs to digest what you say -- Step by Step -- in plain English -- in logical order. Only then can your prospect understand how you will bring him the solution he wants.