September 23, 2011 nº 1,093 - Vol. 9

"Character must be kept bright as well as clean."

Lord Chesterfield

In today's Law Firm Marketing, How to overcome 8 negative perceptions that tear down your marketing efforts.


Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at


Visit our new 'Magic Eye' page and boost your career

Migalhas International, with the support of executive search firms, brings the best career and professional development opportunities to its readers. We call this service the "Magic Eye". Click here to go to our special webpage and find your next lease on life.

  • Crumbs

1 - Brazilian boy shoots, wounds teacher, kills self - click here.

2 - Brazilian lawmakers approve probe of abuses - click here.

3 - Fashion's Hugo Boss expresses regret - click here.

4 - Undocumented women forced to give birth while shackled and in police custody - click here.

5 - Australian actor David Gulpilil sentenced to jail for broom assault on wife - click here.

6 - Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez fined for speeding - click here.

7 - Probation ends for Paris Hilton - click here.

8 - Niqab women fined by French court - click here.


100% Migalhas:


  • MiMIC Journal

US slams China's intellectual property policies

China have made possible systematic stealing of intellectual property of American companies and have not been very aggressive to put in place the basic protections for property rights that every serious economy needs over time," U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner said. "We're seeing China continue to be very, very aggressive in a strategy they started several decades ago, which goes like this: you want to sell to our country, we want you to come produce here ... if you want to come produce here, you need to transfer your technology to us," Geithner said.

  • Law Firm Marketing

How to overcome 8 negative perceptions that tear down your marketing efforts

by Trey Ryder

Has this ever happened to you?

You and your prospect meet in your office. Everything goes well. Your prospect says he plans to move forward, but needs a little time. He leaves without hiring you -- and you never hear from him again.

What happened? You answered all his questions and everything seemed fine. Yet something your prospect saw -- heard -- or felt caused him not to proceed. What could have made such a negative impression?

Often, your prospect's perceptions dictate his actions. Fortunately, you have the opportunity to rebut negative beliefs by providing facts to the contrary. But many lawyers don't because they fail to realize how prospects perceive them.

Here are eight negative perceptions and steps you can take to rebut them:

Negative perception #1: You're too young.

If you're fortunate enough to look young -- or actually be young -- make sure you overcome any negative conclusions about your age, such as a lack of knowledge or experience. Provide your prospect with a detailed biography, case histories about clients you've helped, as well as testimonials and letters of recommendation from former clients and professional colleagues. (Not all bar associations allow lawyers to use testimonials, so make sure you check your rules of professional conduct.)

In addition, turn your youth into a competitive advantage. Point out that if your client has problems in the future, you will likely still be practicing law, where older attorneys may have retired. This means your client can return to you, rather than looking for a new attorney who knows nothing about him or his circumstances.

Further, explain that while you stay busy, you are more accessible than lawyers who have practiced 30 years and carry a huge client load. Emphasize that you continue to build your practice and that doing an excellent job for every client is important to establishing a good reputation.

Negative perception #2: You're too old.

Overcome any negative perceptions about your age by reinforcing the value and depth of your experience. Discuss the many clients you have helped in situations similar to your prospect's. Identify strategies you have learned that allow you to achieve the best possible result, tactics a younger lawyer might not know. Emphasize the seriousness of the issue and how important it is for the prospect to hire a highly skilled, qualified attorney. Highlight the risks of hiring a lawyer who has too little experience.

Reinforce your competence, integrity and experience by providing your prospect with a detailed biography, summary of case histories, testimonials and letters of recommendation.

Negative perception #3: You're too cheap.

Explain how you're able to charge less than other lawyers. Explain factors that directly affect your fees, such as how efficiently you work on your client's behalf, your low overhead, the small number of employees in your office, and so forth. Reinforce that the services you provide are sufficient to protect your client's rights, but that they do not include the bells and whistles provided by attorneys who charge higher fees. Also, show testimonials from clients and letters of recommendation from colleagues to emphasize that they are pleased with your services.

Negative perception #4: You're too expensive.

If your fees are higher than those of other lawyers, start by emphasizing your value. Explain the depth of your knowledge, background and qualifications, highlighting how you're different from other lawyers. Discuss case histories about clients you have helped who are similar to your current prospect. Be careful about emphasizing items that increase your overhead, such as your large support staff or handsome offices. While some clients appreciate those things, others may see them as unnecessary costs. At every opportunity, provide facts that help prospects conclude that your fees are based primarily on the depth of your knowledge, skill, and experience -- and your ability to get good results for your clients.

Further, to help put your fees in perspective, use the contrast principle, which says: You can change how a person perceives your fee by changing the information that comes before it.

Instead of saying, "I can prepare your estate plan for $15,000," which your prospect might perceive as high, say: "I can prepare an estate plan that will save your family $300,000 in federal estate taxes -- for just $15,000." By inserting the large savings earlier in the sentence, your prospect sees your fee as small by comparison.

In addition, provide testimonials and letters of recommendation to support the value of your services.

Negative perception #5: You're too busy.

Some prospects think you're so busy that you will never have time to handle their case. As part of your marketing message, describe how you calendar work and set deadlines. Reassure your prospect that you will meet his deadline, just as you do for other clients. Then keep your client informed as you work on his matter so he knows you haven't forgotten him Also, show testimonials and letters of recommendation that reassure your prospect about the good service you provide.

Negative perception #6: You're too available.

Make sure prospects and clients perceive that you're always busy. This doesn't mean you must be busy with client matters. You could be busy working on your marketing, office procedures, civic or charitable projects -- whatever. When a prospect wants to speak or meet with you, mention how busy you are then suggest two different times for your appointment. When prospects understand that you don't have many time slots available, they see your services as even more valuable. This is called the scarcity principle and it says: Prospects put a higher value on resources they perceive as scarce.

If your prospect can't see you at a time you suggest, then ask your prospect to name a convenient time. Then offer to shift appointments to accommodate your prospect.

Negative perception #7: You're too specialized.

If a client or prospect wants legal services beyond the usual scope of your practice, offer to provide the service if it's in an area you feel competent. Or, offer to delegate the work to another lawyer in your firm -- or bring in a lawyer who can handle the project under your supervision. This way your client doesn't feel that you abandoned him. Instead, your client appreciates that you're staying involved, even if only in a supervisory role.

Negative perception #8: You're too generalized.

If a prospect thinks you don't have enough specific knowledge to handle his claim, then you need to increase your credibility in that field. You do this by educating your prospect about his problem and the solutions you can provide. The more you explain, the more your prospect realizes you know. The more case histories you describe, the more your prospect values your experience. In addition, show your prospect testimonials from clients you have represented in this area of law. Also, show letters of recommendation from professionals who refer clients needing these services.

Summary: You may never know why a prospect decided not to hire you. Still, you should look for holes in your marketing argument that could result in negative perceptions. Then do your best to compile facts and testimonials that rebut those conclusions. And, whenever possible, turn a perceived negative into a positive and explain how it works in your client's favor.


© Trey Ryder

FREE LAWYER MARKETING ALERT: If you'd like to receive Trey Ryder's weekly Lawyer Marketing Alert, send an e-mail to Write "Subscribe LMA" in the subject line and write your name and e-mail address in the body of the message.


Tell your friends and colleagues you've read it in Migalhas International


  • Historia Verdadera


Bolivia y China firmaron el jueves seis convenios que amplían la cooperación entre los gobiernos y empresas estatales de ambos países. (Presione aquí)


Cámara de Comercio de Santiago, Chile acuerda elaboración de un Código de Buenas Prácticas. La iniciativa tendrá como objetivo perfeccionar las relaciones del comercio con los consumidores. (Presione aquí)


El Congreso de Perú aprobó el jueves un paquete de leyes sobre la minería que fijan un nuevo régimen tributario para esa industria que incrementaría la recaudación fiscal en cerca de 3.000 mlls. de nuevos soles (US$1.100 mlls.) anuales durante los próximos cinco años. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

Asia shares continue global slide

Asian stocks slide on Friday, after warnings about the state of the global economy caused a US and European sell-off. Fresh data Thursday pointed to a decline in manufacturing activity in both China—a critical engine of the global recovery—and Europe, a sign businesses are bracing for slower growth. Compounding the concern is the political paralysis in Europe and the U.S., where rival parties are divided on how to respond to the crisis.

ABA president asks labor department to reconsider 'intrusive' rule change

American Bar Association President William Robinson III sent a comment letter Wednesday to the Department of Labor, asking the agency to reconsider a proposed rule that would impose an unjustified and intrusive burden on lawyers and law firms and their clients.

Italy Prepares 'one Strike' Anti-piracy Law

The Italian government is preparing an anti-piracy law that could ban Internet users from access after one alleged infringement, a lawyer and an analyst warned. ISPs would be required to use filters against services that infringe copyright, trademark or patents under terms of the draft law. Citizens could be disconnected from the Internet if a provider is notified of an alleged copyright, trademark or patent infringement on the Web. ISPs would have to blacklist citizens who are only suspected of infringements and providers might be compelled to install filters to sniff out copyright, trademark or patent abuse. Furthermore, ISPs that do not comply with the filter requirement could be held liable under civil laws.

Google denies 'cooking' search results

Google's executive chairman has denied that the company fixes its search results to promote its own websites and services. The Senate Judiciary subcommittee on anti-trust is looking at whether Google abuses its market position. The US Federal Trade Commission is also investigating the same issue. The website search giant faces a further continuing investigation by the European Commission. When asked whether Google was a monopoly company, it said the search engine giant was "in that area", adding that it recognized it had a special responsibility because of its market power.

Greece contemplates faster cuts

The Greek cabinet is meeting to discuss accelerating austerity measures in order to secure further bailout funds.

Dilma Rousseff urges reform at UN

Rousseff has demanded a greater role for emerging nations in addressing the global economic crisis. "This crisis is too serious to be managed by a small group of countries," she said. She reiterated Brazil's desire to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. To loud applause, Rousseff said she was convinced that the 21st century would be the "century of women". She also repeated Brazil's support for full UN recognition of a Palestinian state, saying "only a free Palestine can address Israel's security concerns".

Holder defends EU data sharing agreement

US Attorney General Eric Holder has defended the sharing of personal data between the EU and US, during a hearing with the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee over tackling transnational crime, such as terrorism, fraud and human trafficking. Concerns have been raised by some over privacy issues surrounding the use of EU data - such as financial data and airline passenger records - by US authorities. This was highlighted in the rejection by MEPs of the proposed SWIFT agreement that would give US authorities access to financial transaction data. Holder told the committee that the US was committed to protecting privacy but said the EU and US "should not impose each other's system on each other", and urged the EU to respect the principle of reciprocity. The EU has a number of agencies, such as Europol and Eurojust engaged in tackling cross-border crime, but the Commission is currently looking at how these organizations can work more effectively with US agencies such as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

France prosecutor seeks acquittal in Chirac corruption case

A Paris prosecutor on Tuesday, asked that the corruption charges against former French president Jacques Chirac be dropped. Additionally, the prosecutor has requested acquittal of the nine other individuals charged with Chirac. The charges against Chirac stem from his time as mayor of the city of Paris and accuse him of using public funds to support his political ambitions. The anti-corruption group Anticor, whose lawyers exposed some of the ways in which the funds were allegedly misused, have highly criticized the prosecutor's request. Earlier this month, Chirac's legal team filed documents with the 11th Criminal Court of Paris claiming Chirac is too ill to face his corruption trial, only days before the trial was slated to continue after being delayed in March. However, Judge Dominique Pauthe of the court agreed to continue the proceedings without him.

UK to pay compensation to 'Bloody Sunday' victims

The British government announced Thursday that it would pay reparations to the families of those killed or wounded in Northern Ireland's 1972 Bloody Sunday, the day on which members of the British Army's Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights marchers in Londonderry. The shooting killed 13 Northern Ireland civilians and wounded 15. The UK Bloody Sunday Inquiry released an assessment in June of last year concluding that the attack by the British forces was unjustified.

Cambodia genocide tribunal to separate trials of Khmer Rouge leaders

The UN-backed ECCC - Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia on Thursday ordered the trials of four alleged Khmer Rouge leaders be split into a series of smaller trials. The ECCC said that the separation of trials will allow the tribunal to deliberate more quickly in the case against the four elderly defendants.

Judge weighs constitutionality of graphic labels on cigarette packages

Attorneys for five of the largest cigarette manufacturers in the country sparred with the government today in Washington federal court over the point at which factual health warnings on cigarette packages become advocacy.

Venezuela ready to pay Exxon only $1bn

Venezuela will pay ExxonMobil $1bn in compensation for assets nationalized in 2007, far less than the $6bn the world’s biggest oil company by market capitalization is seeking through international arbitration, according to government officials.

Daily Press Review

President Saleh 'returns to Yemen'
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Palestinian delegation reacts angrily to Obama's UN speech
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

PLO council in show of support for Abbas at UN
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Israel security force braces for mass Palestinian protests in West Bank
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

US envoy: Assad losing support among key constituents
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Asia shares continue global slide
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

U.N. tensions swell amid controversy
CNN International, London, England

'Female' panda turns out to be male
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Please drive carefully... there's an iPed crossing: Smartphones distract us while wandering into traffic
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Kate Winslet and Richard Branson's married nephew Ned Rocknroll 'become an item'
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Papandreou tells Greeks 'don't waste sacrifices'
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

MARKETS: European markets slump to 26-month closing low
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Turkish-Americans play big roles in hit web series 'Downsized'
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Satellite heading for Earth (but the odds of survival are in your favour)
Independent The, London, England

Are gypsy cabs on their way out?
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Planning changes 'will make gipsy camps easier'
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Hamish Bowles auditions for The X Factor
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

PTT, Bangchak cut pump prices
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Moody's cuts ratings of Wells Fargo, BofA and Citigroup
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Strong Women Have Less Sex, Research Finds
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

India-Nepal security talks resume after four years
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

First year IIT-Kanpur student hangs self
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

U.S. draws Swiss in Davis opener
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Cyclone Yasi's baby legacy
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Magnitude-6.6 earthquake jolts Tonga: China Earthquake Networks Center
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Australia bracing for whale baby boom
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

The tricks of the trade
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

India: 5 more bodies found in areas hit by India quake
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

China Vice-Premier Li: Global risks rising
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Yellowknife plane crash kills 2 people
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

CSIS notes reveal how Canadian was kept in exile
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

CEO Pays Shoot Up in FY 2010-11; CBA, Coles, BHP Lead the Way
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

SOUTH AMERICA: Drug Addicts Are Sick, Not Criminals;
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Asia stocks slide, euro gains after G20
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Chavez in Venezuela says chemo finished successfully
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Video: Joy and tears as family arrives in Canada after deportation overturned
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Sata elected Zambia's president
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


How are we doing?

We would like to hear from you how we perform. What you like and what we should change or add… Send us an email; we aim to please!

Tell your friends and associates…

to subscribe to Migalhas International!

Express yourself

Want to share your opinion, your experience, your questions? You are welcome to do so. This forum is yours. Please contact the editor:


We welcome information about your events or conferences to come. Please contact the editor.


Become a sponsor. Spread your name in the business and legal spheres around the world in Migalhas International.


To subscribe: Register your name and your address at

To unsubscribe: Send your name and e-mail address to in the subject line. We will remove your name soonest.

Address changes: If you want to continue to receive Migalhas International, please make sure we have your current e-mail address.


Michael Ghilissen, editor:

Miguel Matos, publisher:

Please feel free to send your comments, questions and suggestions to the editor.

Your comments

We always welcome information, articles, testimonials, opinions and comments about something you've read in Migalhas International. Please forward your contributions to the editor.


When you add your name to Migalhas International, you can be sure that it's confidential. We do not share, trade, rent or sell this list. Our "privacy policy" contains no fine print. No one gets our list. Period. Your e-mail address is safe with us.

Sharing Migalhas International

If you'd like to share this Migalhas International with friends and colleagues, feel free to forward this issue including the copyright notice. Or, invite them to subscribe so they receive their own Migalhas International every week.


The content of the Migalhas International newsletter is edited for purposes of news reporting, comments and education from several sources, including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The London Times, Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, The Financial Times, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Google News, International Herald Tribune, Paper Chase (, The World Press Review:, Forbes, Fortune, Time, Newsweek, Harvard Business Review, American Bar Association, American Lawyer Media,, The National Law Journal, Reuters, Associated Press, Internet Business Law Services, Folha de S. Paulo, O Estado do S. Paulo, Lexis Nexis, West Law, CNN, The Globe and Mail, The Los Angeles Times, Wikipedia and more.

Fair use notice

This newsletter contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of legal, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this newsletter is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

The messages that appear in this newsletter are for informational purposes only. They are not intended to be and should not be considered legal advice nor substitute for obtaining legal advice from competent, independent, legal counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.

Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The information contained on this list may or may not reflect the most current legal developments.

Copyright 2011 - Migalhas International