How to identify benefits that are important to your prospects

friday, 14 november of 2008

How to identify benefits that are important to your prospects

by Trey Ryder

Has this ever happened to you?

You meet with a prospect for an initial interview. During your discussion, you focus on key reasons most prospects find persuasive, which usually result in their hiring your services. But, for some unknown reason, this prospect doesn't respond to your presentation. Then, suddenly, the prospect decides to hire you.

You tactfully ask what fact the prospect found most important in deciding to engage your services. Then you learn your prospect is your secretary's next-door neighbor and intended to hire you all along.

From your experience, you know prospects can choose you over another lawyer for a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all. This, naturally, makes your job harder because you want to know what specific facts cause prospects to hire your services.

Wouldn't it be easier if prospects came into your office and handed you a sheet a paper with their "hot buttons" clearly marked?

For marketing purposes, I call their hot buttons "objectives."

As you present your educational message -- in your written materials, at your seminar, or on your Web site -- you'll explain the many ways prospects benefit from hiring your services.

At the same time, you'll explain the many risks prospects face by allowing the matter to persist. Naturally, you want your prospect to decide to hire your services so he gains the benefits and avoids the risks.

Here's what you do: Create a single sheet in the form of a checklist that identifies the specific ways prospects benefit when they hire your services. On the same list, itemize the many negative things prospects can avoid by hiring you. You'll probably notice some overlap.

Then make sure your prospects receive and fill in this form before your initial conversation. If you offer a fact kit, mail this sheet of objectives in your fact kit. You can also offer it as a handout at your seminars. Ask prospects to mark their objectives and bring the form with them when they meet with you. Or ask them to mail it to you before your phone consultation. If you want to go into more detail, you can ask prospects to number the objectives based on their importance.

As you write the list of objectives, phrase everything from your prospect's point of view. For example: For individual prospects, write everything from the "I" perspective. For couples, write from the "we" point of view.

When prospects enter your office, ask for their sheet of objectives. They will hand you the form with their highest priorities clearly marked. During your discussion, focus on the points they checked, and disregard benefits that are not important to them.

Here are a few examples:

A personal injury attorney could list the benefits of finding doctors, locating a rental car, keeping insurance adjusters from calling the injured victim, and so forth. Make sure the benefits the person derives are benefits that are usually important to injured victims. Likewise, make sure the negative elements the accident victim wants to avoid are things most feared by injured victims.

A business lawyer could list the benefits of helping the business avoid liability from employee lawsuits, avoid tax audits, improve employee benefits, avoid legal problems with vendors, collect past due receivables, and so forth.

An estate planning attorney could list the benefits of avoiding probate, reducing estate taxes, avoiding guardianships and conservatorships, protecting assets, and making sure parents don't become a financial burden to their children.

You'll notice that these itemized lists parallel the teasers you use in your educational handout and seminar promotion materials.

When you use the "objectives" method, you know immediately which benefits your prospects consider most important. And your job of identifying needs and explaining benefits just got a whole lot easier!

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© Trey Ryder

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