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A Complete Marketing Message Screens Prospects, Makes Efficient Use Of Your Time

by Trey Ryder

I work hard not to use the word ďsellĒ because I dislike everything selling-based marketing stands for. Still, I want to relate an old adage that contains this distasteful term. So please forgive the verbiage and absorb the message. The old adage says, ďThe more you tell Ďem, the more you sell Ďem.Ē

What it means is this: The more information you give prospects, the more likely you are to win new clients.

Hereís an example: One prospect comes into your office and says he can give you five minutes to explain how you can help him. Another prospect says he can spend an hour with you.

Which of these two prospects is more likely to hire your services?

No doubt, the one who gave you more time. Why? Because you were able to tell him more about his problem, about your background and experience, and about the solutions you can provide.

Now take the same principle and apply it to your marketing message. It makes no difference whether weíre referring to your educational packet, seminar, newsletter, web site, or anywhere else you deliver your marketing message. Your information should be complete. You should discuss everything you would discuss in a personal meeting with your prospect. The only thing thatís missing is the actual one-on-one personal contact.

A complete, competent marketing message should include:

  1. A detailed explanation of your prospectís problem,
  2. Proof that the problem is so important that it should be solved now, without delay,
  3. An in-depth discussion of your background and qualifications,
  4. Examples of other clients you have helped with similar problems,
  5. A detailed discussion about fees and payment terms, and
  6. Comments from past clients and colleagues attesting to your skill and experience. (Some bar associations do not allow the use of testimonials, so be sure to check your barís rules of professional conduct.)

Some lawyers hesitate to discuss fees or other subjects they believe prospects might view in a negative way. The lawyers figure itís better to wait until the prospect is in the lawyerís office, when personal contact is at its highest and the strength of the relationship at its strongest.

But waiting for the one-on-one meeting isnít always best because it may not be an efficient use of your time. How often have you spent considerable time with a prospect only to later learn that the prospect:

  1. doesnít fit your client profile,
  2. doesnít need exactly the service you offer, or
  3. canít afford your fees? Had you explained your client parameters to your prospect before your appointment, you would not have wasted your time.

Still, I understand that some cases are complex and require that you ask in-depth questions before you determine whether to accept a client. So Iím not ruling out the value of meetings. Even so, the more information you provide before the appointment, the fewer appointments youíll waste with prospects who fall outside your client parameters.

When you offer complete details in your written materials, seminars, and web site, youíll find that prospects who donít meet your requirements usually wonít call you. In this way, your marketing message screens out people who arenít your prospects because you described the clients you are best suited to help in your marketing message.

In fact, if you wish, you can go one step further and insert a message for prospects who are not within your target audience. You might say something like, ďIf you do not fall within the group of clients I serve, youíre invited to call (someone else).Ē Or, if you donít want to make a blanket referral, you can invite them to call your secretary who can make a referral privately. In this way, you build goodwill with lawyers to whom you make referrals and you help the person even though you canít provide him with legal services. Plus, you donít get personally involved in what could become a time-consuming screening process.

Donít overlook this important point: Prospects often know very little about your knowledge, skill, judgment or experience. But one thing they can and do judge, almost immediately, is the degree to which youíre willing to help them.

You build a great deal of goodwill, even among non-prospects, when you help them find the help they need. Then, one day when their needs fit the profile of the clients you serve, theyíll remember how much you helped them and may call your office again. They may also send you referrals.

So, donít hesitate to explain all the details about your services in your marketing message. You can say just about anything in ways that appear positive, qualify your prospects, and help you invest your time efficiently.

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