Increasing credibility key to marketing; name visibility a poor substitute and speed critical when responding to inquiries

friday, 13 june of 2008

Increasing credibility key to marketing; name visibility a poor substitute

by Trey Ryder

"Keeping their name in front of prospects" is often the reason lawyers choose certain marketing methods. But keeping your name in front of prospects is a very low standard.

When I choose a lawyer, it's not because I've seen his name over and over. It's because I want the benefit of that lawyer's knowledge, skill, judgment and experience.

That means, to make my choice, I must have some idea about the lawyer's knowledge and experience. That comes through educational methods the lawyer uses to communicate with me.

When you consider marketing tools, ask yourself what that tool does for you. Does it increase your credibility by offering information and advice about your prospect's problem? Or does it simply "keep your name in front of them"?

Remember, any time you communicate with prospects, offer some amount of information and advice, even if it's just a small amount. This way, with each communication, your prospect learns something new. While these communications do keep your name in front of prospects, they also continue the flow of knowledge and experience from you to your prospect. This is a much higher standard and a much more effective way to market.

In this way, your prospect benefits from your communications. Without your knowledge in the form of information and advice, your prospect simply receives an advertising message, which he promptly tosses into the round file. But notes, letters, alerts, newsletters and fliers that contain information and advice are often kept - sometimes for a very long time. I've seen prospects carry materials into my client's office as long as five years after we published that particular handout.

Bottom Line: In all of your communications, stay in the education mode. If you keep educating, your credibility with your prospect will continue to grow. This puts your marketing effort miles ahead of other lawyers who simply "keep their name in front of them."

Speed critical when responding to inquiries

In yesterday's mail I received a pamphlet I requested about a company's products. The problem is I requested this pamphlet at least two months ago and long since gave up on receiving it. What's more, I already bought the product I wanted from a competing company.

When prospects call your office and ask for your materials, first they evaluate how you and your staff treat them on the telephone. Second, they evaluate how quickly they receive your materials. (The moment they hang up the receiver, their subconscious clock starts ticking.) So even before they receive and open your envelope, they have already evaluated you in two important ways.

When your prospect asks to receive your materials, he is primed and ready to read. After two or three days, his interest wanes. (At this point, he often concludes that his business is not important to you - or that you forgot to send his materials.) And after five or six days, your prospect has all but forgotten that he called your office - except for the negative comments he makes about you to his friends and associates.

If you hope to strike while the iron's hot, you must get your materials out quickly. Preferably, the same day you receive the inquiry. This reinforces the value of having a web site, where prospects can read your materials immediately.

If this prospect called your office for materials, he also could have called other lawyers' offices. Fortunately for you, most lawyers don't have anything persuasive to send. So if you have powerful educational materials, you're far, far ahead of your competitors. But... if you're like most attorneys and don't have a persuasive marketing piece you can mail, I urge you to correct this situation immediately.

I suggest you proceed on the assumption that your prospect called several attorneys - and will hire the lawyer whose materials he receives first.

Do everything in your power to make sure those materials belong to you!

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© Trey Ryder

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