February 23, 2007 no. 457 - Vol. 5

"It isn't what they say about you, it's what they whisper."

Errol Flynn

In today's Law Firm Marketing: How to turn hot prospects cold? - A check list of Do's and Don'ts to avoid wrecking your future business.

  •  Top News

Brazil embargoes support for Iran's nuclear program

Brazil banned any transfer of equipment, goods or technology, which can be used to help Iran develop its nuclear program. The decree is a response to a United Nations Security Council resolution, which imposed limited sanctions on Iran over Tehran's uranium enrichment project. Lula announced that no kinds of materials or items related to uranium enrichment, reprocessing or heavy water projects, as well as the development of devices for nuclear weapons, can be sent to Iran from Brazil. The statement also said that all funds and economic resources of Brazilian entities and individuals linked to Iran's nuclear projects will be blocked.

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  • MiMIC Journal

US mulls WTO move on China piracy

The US is considering whether to open a counterfeiting dispute with China at the WTO over concerns about intellectual piracy. US software, music and book publishers say they lose billions of dollars of sales in China as a result of piracy. Other US firms claim they are also hurt by Chinese sales of counterfeit drugs, car parts and other goods. Now a top US trade official has said that, despite being given time to comply on copyright issues, there has not been sufficient action from China.

Law Firm Marketing

Hot prospects turn cold, build defenses when you look like a salesperson

by Trey Ryder 

If you talk or act like a salesperson, you immediately trigger your prospect's sales defenses, which he uses to keep you at a distance.  This puts you at a serious disadvantage because it causes your prospect not to trust you. And it may erase your opportunity to ever win that prospect as a new client.

One fundamental difference between education-based marketing and selling-based marketing is the issue of control. Selling-based marketing tries to wrest control away from the prospect. Then, through key questions, the salesperson dominates and manipulates the prospect until the prospect makes the desired commitment.

Education-based marketing does the opposite. It gives up any attempt to control the prospect. Instead, you help your prospect understand his problem through education and solve his problem through services. You always make sure your prospect knows that the decision to hire you is his -- and that he is always in control. Education-based marketing treats prospects the way you and I like to be treated, with dignity and respect.

Follow this checklist of Do's and Don'ts so you won't be perceived as a salesperson.

DON'T #1:  Don't cold call prospects over the telephone. This is a dead giveaway that you are a salesperson. What do you think of people who solicit you over the phone? The fact that you're a lawyer doesn't make you any less of a telephone solicitor if you cold call prospects.

DO:  Design your marketing program so you clearly identify genuine prospects and get them to call you. You do this by creating an educational message that educates prospects about their problems and the solutions you can provide.  You deliver your marketing information to prospects through any number of methods, including advertising, media publicity, seminars, newsletters, web sites, cassette tapes, CDs -- whatever ways your prospects find comfortable and convenient. You have many effective and powerful ways to get information into your prospect's hands.

DON'T #2:  Don't hand a new prospect your business card unless he asks for one. The cross-over technique of shaking hands with your right hand and delivering a business card with your left hand is a sure sign that you are a salesperson. From that moment on, your prospect knows that everything you say is part of your sales pitch, designed to get him to do something he probably doesn’t want to do.

DO:  If, during your conversation, your prospect doesn't request your card, you can always ask if he would like one. (This leaves the decision to accept your card under your prospect's control). But never hand your card to a prospect unsolicited. Wait until he asks, or until he has given his permission in response to your offer to provide one.

DON'T #3:  Don't insist on an in-person meeting before you divulge any information. The good ol' "let's get together so we can discuss your needs" tells your prospect a sales pitch is imminent. The needs approach is used so often that prospects know you learned it in sales school. When you withhold information and insist on a meeting, your prospect recalls the last time he had this experience with his life insurance agent, real estate broker, or someone else who insisted on meeting face to face. As a result, when you make this offer, you arouse your prospect’s suspicion. This causes him to fortify his defenses and look for an excuse to cancel the meeting.

DO:  You should be ready and willing to provide information any time you are asked, whether over the phone or in person. You greatly increase your credibility when you are open and up front with information. In fact, you should offer your educational handouts so prospects know you have materials that could help them. When prospects realize that you’re not trying to hide anything -- and not trying to control the flow of information -- they perceive you to be a level above other lawyers.  And your prospect responds favorably because he can tell you are trying to help him.

DON'T #4:  Don't avoid revealing your fees. How you respond to the fee question can really help you or hurt you.  It's your choice.  Prospects ask fee questions for two reasons: one, to find out what you charge. And two, to see whether you'll be up front with them, or whether you'll try to duck the issue.

Prospects know that vacuum cleaner salesmen (and most salespeople, for that matter) dance around the price and won’t reveal it until they reach a certain point near the end of their sales pitch. Your prospect concludes the more you dance around your hourly rate, the higher it will be. Plus it proves to him that, at least in this instance, you have not been forthcoming in answering his questions.

DO:  Your prospect wants you to answer his question with a number. So give him your typical hourly rate. This satisfies your prospect’s immediate need to hear you put some number in the blank. Then reassure him that you will give him a fee estimate, range or quote as soon as you learn more about the services he needs. This makes a positive impression twice, once when you disclose your hourly rate, and a second time when you tell him you’ll provide a better answer when you learn more.

DON'T #5:  Don't ask questions designed to trap your prospect. In one of his books, Zig Ziglar teaches the 3-question close. I suppose Ziglar would describe it delicately something like this: by asking just three simple questions you are able to show your prospect how much he will benefit from buying your product or service.

As someone who is tired of salespeople and phone solicitors, I hear it more in a carnival barker's voice: "Yes, my friend, you heard right. In just 30 seconds, by asking three simple questions, you can turn an innocent conversation into a steel-jawed trap that nails your prospect to the wall so he has nowhere to go and nothing to do but sign your contract."

What is the result of using this method? To start, you trapped your prospect, so you immediately jump to the top of the list of people he doesn't trust.  Do I have to go further?  Do you like it when someone does this to you? Of course not.

DO: A persuasive marketing presentation offers all the facts and all the ways your prospect benefits from hiring you. Then it emphasizes that you will do whatever it takes to make sure your prospect has the information he needs to make an informed decision. You add urgency to the message by pointing out what your prospect risks by waiting and how bad those consequences could become. But you always make it clear to your prospect that the decision is his and his alone -- and that you’re there to provide information, answer questions, and help him make the best decision, to whatever degree he wants your help.

DON'T #6:  Don't sell services from a trade show booth. Lawyers already have enough problems with their image. The last thing you need is to look like the guy hawking his vegetable licer / dicer / cuber / chopper / corer/ shredder / peeler. And even if you don't perceive a trade show that way -- even if you rationalize your way out of this comparison -- remember that your perception doesn't count. The only perception that matters belongs to your prospect.  And when your prospect sees you standing in a trade show booth, he immediately assumes you are there because you have something to sell. That's exactly the appearance you want to avoid.

DO:  Trade shows often work because they provide the opportunity for you and your prospects to interact, which is the essential marketing step most lawyers overlook. Fortunately, you can design interaction into your marketing program in better and more dignified ways:  For example, you can interact with prospects over the telephone, in person, at seminars, during lunch, even on the golf course.

In most cases, when you act and sound like a salesperson, your prospects treat you like a salesperson. They avoid you. They don’t trust you. They don't even want to talk with you. This is why I urge lawyers to avoid selling-based marketing.

To increase your prospect's trust, respect and confidence, stay in the education mode because education-based marketing is the key to attracting new clients with dignity. 

© Trey Ryder

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

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  • Historia Verdadera

Convenios

Los presidentes Néstor Kircher y Hugo Chávez pusieron el miércoles en marcha la perforación del primer pozo petrolero de la sociedad Enarsa y PDVSA en Venezuela ubicado a 200 km del Puerto Ordaz del país caribeño.

Símbolos patrios

La Corte Suprema de México avaló en 2005 el delito de “ultraje a los símbolos patrios”, base legal de un juicio contra el poeta y jurista Sergio Wits Rodríguez  procesado por uno de sus poemas que habla de la Bandera. Para los magistrados la comisión de ése delito tiene cárcel y no viola la Carta Magna, en tanto abogados y académicos aseguran que el proceso vulnera la libertad de expresión y por ende es atentatoria a la constitución.

La Haya

El dirigente político y ex candidato presidencial de Perú, Ollanta Humala anunció que pedirá la intervención de la Corte de La Haya en el caso de límites marítimos y territoriales que tiene su país con Chile, y critico falta de visión estadista del presidente Alan García.

  • Brief News

Black box reveals series of errors

The cockpit voice recorder from a private jet involved in Brazil's worst ever air crash and dialogues among traffic controllers point to a series of errors and misunderstandings that may have contributed to the accident.

DCX seeks to spin-off Chrysler

DaimlerChrysler AG is moving forward with preparations to sell or spin off the Chrysler Group, raising the prospect that it could auction off the embattled U.S. unit in the coming months, two people close to the matter said. The company has already received several expressions of interest from around the world for Chrysler since saying last week that it was considering "all options" to turn around the unprofitable operation, these people said.

Shopping for matrimonial settlements

English matrimonial law is thought to be so generous toward women that the country in recent years has attracted European "divorce tourists" hoping to receive more favorable treatment.

Making Martial Law Easier

A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night. So it was with a provision quietly tucked into the enormous defense budget bill at the Bush administration’s behest that makes it easier for a president to override local control of law enforcement and declare martial law. The provision, signed into law in October, weakens two obscure but important bulwarks of liberty. One is the doctrine that bars military forces, including a federalized National Guard, from engaging in law enforcement. Called posse comitatus, it was enshrined in law after the Civil War to preserve the line between civil government and the military. The other is the Insurrection Act of 1807, which provides the major exemptions to posse comitatus. It essentially limits a president’s use of the military in law enforcement to putting down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion, where a state is violating federal law or depriving people of constitutional rights. The newly enacted provisions upset this careful balance. They shift the focus from making sure that federal laws are enforced to restoring public order. Beyond cases of actual insurrection, the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any "other condition."

UN talks to review Iran defiance

Key nations will meet in London on Monday to discuss new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear defiance.

Microsoft faces $1.5bn MP3 payout

Microsoft must pay French phone equipment firm Alcatel-Lucent $1.52bn after a US court ruled the IT giant had infringed audio patents. Alcatel had sued Microsoft, saying two patents related to the standards used for converting audio into MP3 files had been breached.

Sao Paulo metro boss steps down

The boss of the underground network in Sao Paulo has resigned after last month's station collapse which killed seven people. The state governor's office said Luiz Carlos David had asked to step down and his request had been accepted.

Work has been suspended on a new metro line for the city after the accident at one of the construction sites in the district of Pinheiros.

Leaders set for Airbus jobs talks

Angela Merkel and Jacques Chirac prepare for a meeting on to hammer out the restructuring of Airbus.

Anger over NY 'immigration game'

A Republican student group in New York has sparked claims of racism by organizing a game called "Find the Illegal Immigrant". Students will act as immigration officers in Thursday's game and try to find a student in a crowd designated with a badge as the illegal immigrant. The game has sparked protests from other students with hundreds planning to demonstrate against it. The NYU College Republican club denied it was racist. It says the game is intended to raise awareness on immigration issues in the United States.

Row over Dutch Muslim ministers

The appointment of two Muslim politicians to the new Dutch cabinet has reawakened a row in the country over dual nationality. The opposition right-wing Freedom Party has objected to the new centrist government being allowed to have members with dual nationality.

Record EU fine for lift 'cartel'

The European Union (EU) has imposed a record fine of 992m euros ($1.3bn) on four lift and escalator manufacturers for price-fixing. Germany's ThyssenKrupp, US-owned Otis, Kone of Finland and Swiss firm Schindler were fined for taking part in a market-rigging cartel. The group fixed prices, rigged bids and allocated projects in four EU countries between 1995 and 2004, the EU said. These companies ensured, by rigging the bids and sharing the markets, that the prices paid both for the installation and the maintenance were way above what they would have been if there had been a competitive market.

Apple, Cisco Hang Up the iPhone Debate

Apple and Cisco Systems have resolved their dispute over the iPhone brand, with both companies agreeing that each can use the name for their products.

Google to launch new office tools in challenge to Microsoft

Google will launch an assault on one of Microsoft’s biggest earners today when it unveils its first suite of paid-for office tools. For $50 a year per user, Google Apps Premier Edition will offer corporate customers a bundle of web-based applications including e-mail, a word processor and a spreadsheet. It will compete with Microsoft’s Office, which includes the software stalwarts Word and Excel. Industry insiders say that Google has been quietly preparing for months to tap Microsoft’s cash cow. It is now using massive data-storage plants to host software and data. A user’s PC effectively becomes simply a “dumb terminal”, used only to access it via the internet.

Marubeni and Holland's Agrenco to Invest in Biodiesel

Marubeni Corp., Japan's fifth-largest trading company, will spend $40 million to set up a biodiesel venture in Brazil with grain trader Agrenco Group. Tokyo-based Marubeni will take a 33.3 percent stake in Agrenco Bio-Energia Ltda with the remainder held by Agrenco, which is based in the Netherlands. Brazil is expected to lead the world in demand for biodiesel.

UK court upholds school Islamic headscarf ban

The UK High Court  on Wednesday denied an application for judicial review stemming from a 12-year old Muslim girl's challenge to a public school policy that prevented her from wearing her full-face veil (niqab)  at school. Mr. Justice Silber found the policy appropriate, on the grounds that the veil would dampen teacher interaction with students as the teacher would not be able to read facial expressions. In addition, Silber found that the policy fosters a sense of equality among students and could prevent an unwanted visitor from using a veil as a disguise to enter the school undetected by administrators. Parents of the student had sought a judicial review to grant an injunction against the school dress policy.

Federal judge lets discovery proceed in domestic spying class action lawsuit

US District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker issued an order  Tuesday imposing a limited stay on discovery in a class action lawsuit  challenging the legality of the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program , despite the government's request  to stay discovery pending the outcome of an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The order permits the plaintiffs to "propound a limited and targeted set of interrogatories," and if such motion describes "why the discovery will not moot the issues on interlocutory appeal to the Ninth Circuit," Walker will "entertain plaintiffs’ motion to lift the stay for the purpose of requiring a response." Also on Tuesday, Judge Walker denied a media request to unseal documents  filed in the case, including internal AT&T documents and a declaration from a retired AT&T telecommunications technician.

Enron shareholder class action suit to be tried in April despite certification appeal

The Enron shareholder derivative lawsuit  will be tried in April as previously scheduled, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. US District Judge Melinda Harmon  denied a motion filed by defendants Merrill Lynch and Co. Inc. and Credit Suisse Group  to delay the trial pending the outcome of an appeal to the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals . Judge Harmon certified the class  in June 2006, and Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse appealed to the Fifth Circuit, alleging the certification should be thrown out because it allows Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse to be held liable for actions taken by other defendants even though they had no actual knowledge of those actions.

  • Daily Press Review

Africa

Split looms in ODM-Kenya
East African Standard, Liberal daily of Nairobi, Kenya

Trial of Tagor & Abass:  cocaine tape admitted in court
Ghanaian Chronicle, Independent, published  in Accra, Ghana

Fidentia: Union fund was warned
Mail and Guardian, Liberal daily of Johannesburg, South Africa

Railway tragedy: Police officer tells how it happened
Times of Zambia, Government-owned daily of Lusaka, Zambia

Americas

More charges possible
Barbados Advocate, Independent daily of St Michael, Barbados

The bond that binds
Buenos Aires Herald, Liberal daily of Buenos Aires, Argentina

New debate on Trafigura funds
Jamaica Gleaner, Centrist daily of Kingston, Jamaica

Mexico makes light of Al Qaeda threat
The Guadalajara Colony Reporter, Independent weekly of Guadalajara, Mexico

Asia Pacific

2 arrested over threats to Dietman / Incidents tied to listed firm's land deals
Daily Yomiuri, Conservative daily of Tokyo, Japan

China to add 25,000 kilometers of pipelines by 2010
People's Daily Online, Pro-government daily of Beijing, China

Soldier's death shot 'self-defence'
The Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily of Sydney, Australia

Locals, Refugees Clash After Youth's Death in Morang
The Himalayan Times, Independent daily of Kathmandu, Nepal

Officers encouraged killingsñMelo report
The Manila Times, Pro-government daily of Manila, Philippines

RM3 million compensation for Briton
The Sun, Independent daily of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Europe

Airbus Job Losses to Top Agenda at Merkel-Chirac Meeting
Deutsche Welle, International broadcaster of Cologne, Germany

Hamas delegation to arrive in Moscow on Feb 26 - ministry
Interfax, Government-owned news agency, Moscow, Russia

Hogan's nephew says it's time to welcome England
Irish Examiner, Centrist daily of Cork, Ireland

End of Jackson-Vanik Forecast
The Moscow Times, Independent, English-language daily of Moscow, Russia

Nuclear drive picks up pace in Iran despite UN demand
The Scotsman, Centrist daily of Edinburgh, Scotland

Turkey, Iran set to increase energy ties
Turkish Daily News, Independent daily of Istanbul, Turkey

Middle East

Rallying for Article 5
Al-Ahram Weekly, Semi-official, English-language weekly of Cairo, Egypt

OIC Slams ‘Deafening Silence’
Arab News, Pro-government, English-language daily of Jidda, Saudi Arabia

Iran defies deadline
Gulf News, Independent daily of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

U.S. hardens line on talks between Israel and Syria
Ha'aretz, Liberal daily of Tel Aviv, Israel

Supreme Leader calls for unity among people, officials
Islamic Republic News Agency, Government-owned news agency of Tehran, Iran

Rail strike may presage wave of labor protests
The Jerusalem Post, Conservative daily of Jerusalem, Israel

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