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Selling Professional Services With Stories

Date January 31, 2013 Comment Comments Off on Selling Professional Services With Stories

Selling Professional Services With Stories

Storytelling is key to selling professional services. And you don’t have to be a great story teller. If you take the time to come up with a few anecdotes that illustrate what you do, you are more likely to be memorable.  Our brains are wired for stories.   If a story is “good”, it will illustrate to the potential client or referral source, that you can handle the kind of problem they have or are likely to encounter.

6 Marketing Lessons From the Presidential Debates

Date October 17, 2012 Comment Comments Off on 6 Marketing Lessons From the Presidential Debates

6 Marketing Lessons From the Presidential Debates

We can learn a lot about marketing by watching politicians.  For better or worse, this year’s Presidential debates have provided us with an unusually rich body of marketing lessons.

If you are willing to take a more objective look at how Obama and Romney have conducted themselves during the first two debates (to the extent that this is possible), there is a lot that is worth emulating.  There are also more than one or two cautionary notes.  Here are my top 6:

1.  Your level of enthusiasm matters a lot when you are trying to sell yourself.  In the first debate, Obama looked like he’d rather be anywhere else.  He looked down at his notes and he did not project good energy.  In the second debate, he seemed much more engaged and interested in getting reelected.  When you are out speaking with prospective clients and referral sources, project interest in what you do.

2.  Resilience is key in selling.   Being able to recover from your marketing mistakes is the difference between ultimate success and failure.  Prior to the first debate, most pundits were already writing Mitt Romney’s political obituary.  But his performance in the first debate clearly had a big impact on the polls.  It is too early to know how the second debate will effect the polls; but after his first debate drubbing, Obama demonstrated a lot of resilience and came back with a much stronger performance.

3.  Getting lost in the weeds does not help your messaging.  If you want a prospect to understand what you do (and more importantly, if you want to be memorable), distill your message down to shorter phrases and stay away from intricate detail.  Several times during the second debate, Mitt Romney’s message became much weaker when he started getting too deep into the details.

4.  Preparation is critical.  The lawyers who are best at marketing their services spend a lot of time preparing before they meet with prospects, give a presentation, etc.  Both candidates did a lot of preparation for the second debate.  They knew what questions might come up and they had well prepared answers that they could adapt to the actual questions.  It showed.

5.  Listening is just as important as speaking.  If you want to learn how you can be helpful to your clients, let them do more of the talking.  It is only by listening that we learn what really matters to our clients and referral sources.  If your body language says that you are formulating your next thought rather than listening to what the other person has to say, you will lose some credibility.  In the second debate, both Obama and Romney talked over each other and at times, seemed to be bursting at the seams to say something.  While the Democrats were looking for a more engaged and forceful President, I don’t think either Obama or Romney were at their best when they were trying to interrupt.

6.  Don’t be afraid to tout your successes.  Many lawyers consider it bad form to brag about their accomplishments.  But if you have an accomplishment that illustrates why a client should hire you, you should make sure to bring it up.  Obama failed to do that in the first debate.  But clearly, his advisers explained to him the importance of touting his accomplishments and in the second debate, we heard much more about what Obama had done.

It’s Not What You Say

Date October 12, 2012 Comment Comments Off on It’s Not What You Say

It’s Not What You Say

The words you choose to describe your practice are of course important.  But we communicate a lot more through our facial expressions, tone and demeaner.  More in my latest LPM tip in the MBA Lawyers e-Journal.

Research on Why In-house Counsel Fire Law Firms

Date October 5, 2012 Comment Comments Off on Research on Why In-house Counsel Fire Law Firms

In deciding what companies may be good targets for your legal services, should you avoid companies that have established relationships with outside counsel?  Not according to new research reported in the American Lawyer.  There are plenty of ways to “unseat the incumbent” including competing on price, something which until recently did not seem as important in the legal sector.

If You Want Happy Clients, Try Offering Solutions

Date August 16, 2012 Comment Comments Off on If You Want Happy Clients, Try Offering Solutions

If You Want Happy Clients, Try Offering Solutions

Highlighting risks for your clients is an important part of effective lawyering.  But clients want more than a laundry list of risks.  They want solutions so they can sleep better at night.  Click here to read more.

When Selling Legal Services, Forget Your ABCs

Date May 31, 2012 Comment Comments Off on When Selling Legal Services, Forget Your ABCs

Lawyers should always focus on finding ways to give value to their clients and prospective clients.  Trying to close business all the time is likely to backfire because pressure does not build trust.  For more on this, my latest tip in the MBA Lawyer’s e-Journal.

10 Ways to Ensure Marketing Failure

Date May 18, 2012 Comment Comments Off on 10 Ways to Ensure Marketing Failure

My latest LPM Tip in the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Lawyer’s e-Journal.

Why Putting Your Marketing Goals in Writing Works

Date April 19, 2012 Comment Comments Off on Why Putting Your Marketing Goals in Writing Works

My latest LPM tip for the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Lawyers eJournal.

In Selling Legal Services, Don’t Document; Tell a Good Story

Date January 27, 2012 Comment Comments Off on In Selling Legal Services, Don’t Document; Tell a Good Story

Being thorough is a good quality for a practicing lawyer.  But it may not be the best way to communicate when trying to sell your services as a lawyer.  My latest tip in the MBA’s Lawyer’s eJournal.

Where Lawyers Fall Down in Selling Legal Services

Date January 17, 2012 Comment Comments Off on Where Lawyers Fall Down in Selling Legal Services

Where Lawyers Fall Down in Selling Legal Services

Lawyers are actually pretty good at marketing when they make the time.  Writing articles, researching novel issues, giving presentations and serving on relevant committees are all things that many lawyers feel comfortable doing.

These activities are all very important (they help raise the profile of the lawyer and of their firm).  But they don’t make clients pick up the phone and call you (at least not necessarily).  That requires follow up.  Larry Bodine does a good job of identify easy ways to do the necessary follow up.  I’ve also written about this dynamic in the past.