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OTHER ITA SITES:
Attorney Marketing Requires Handling Prospective Client “Objections” Part 2
Before we dive into the attorney marketing draft-scripts I would like to remind you of two other distinctions when it comes to dealing with objections. The attorney marketing attitude we are looking for is a detached attitude of having no attachment to what the prospective client decides. Instead you are committed to delivering a good process to them that enables them to decide, hopefully from an educated position. You are a facilitator, not someone who is trying to get them to make any particular decision. If you catch yourself convincing or presenting your case you are off track.
The second distinction is known as “permission marketing”. This suggests that in successful attorney marketing you always need to get the prospective client’s permission first if you are going to ask questions or make guesses about what they may be thinking that could lead to some uncomfortable feelings on the client’s part. One never wants to get in the position with where you are pressuring the person or you have indeed lost the game. With these two attorney marketing reminders lets move on to the draft-scripts on “I want to think about it” type concerns prospective clients might come up with:
First response in general is always: “That makes sense to me.” or “I can understand that”. Then say. “I am curious. Do you mind if I ask you a question?” Before moving on to explore the prospect’s thinking.
Possible re-direct question: “What is it that is causing you to want to think about it? Are you not sure you want to go this route or are you not sure you would want to work with me as your lawyer?”
If they say it is not you but the “route” then you need to review with them the value in going that way while acknowledging any downsides of that route (if any) and sorting out what their concerns are about the suggested route. If they actually say it is you, then ask them very kindly what is it about you that concern them. Is it your experience? Is your personality or “bedside manner” concerning them (be sure they know you would really appreciate honest feedback so you can improve with others – but realize few people indeed will tell you if it is you)? If it is neither of the above then it must be the fee or something they won’t tell you. If they own up to the fee see the material on money objections from last month. If it is something they won’t tell you then give up. Gracefully get out of further conversation and move on to the next prospect! In attorney marketing you can’t win them all. Best to move on gracefully and maybe they will come around later.
Possible re-direct: “No problem. I think it is good for you to think about it. I am curious though. Do you mind if I ask you a question? What exactly do you need to know in order to make the best decision for you? Perhaps you would like to work together with me now and lets come up with the “decision points” so you can be clear on what you need to think through. OK?
Some points to think through and maybe suggest to the client: Cost/benefit analysis (not just monetary but emotional as well impacts on other people like the family or business); quality of the lawyer, trust for the lawyer; how easy is it to get them on the phone if I need the lawyer, experience of the lawyer; experience of the lawyer’s team; does this professional have a fiduciary relationship to me; how do I know they can deliver the desired result quickly as it is costing $7K a month if this drags out, reputation of the firm the lawyer is in; can I do without going this way totally so I don’t have to spend the money on an attorney at all; who do I need to ask for advice before making this decision (my relatives/friends/trusted advisors, etc.), who do I need to get to agree with the decision so I don’t have any fall out afterward.
Possible re-direct: “No problem. I think you should think about it. Most of my clients who needed more time to think about it need about a week to make the decision. I have a suggestion. Could I share it with you? What if we went through together, now briefly, what are the key factors you need to know and consider in order to decide if this is the best option for you? Then you can think about it for maybe a week and then I will call you to see what you have decided if you have not already called me to let me know your decision. Can that work for you?”
Possible re-direct: No problem. I understand. Often people in your situation say they need to think about it. Makes good sense. (Pause a bit here and then say) Do you mind if I ask you a question though? “Yes.” First, this is an emotional time with a lot at stake for you and maybe family looking over your shoulder. Sometimes when folks tell me they want to “think about it” they have not told me something or have a fear that is holding them back. Would you trust me and tell me if there is something you are holding back or some fear that is stopping you now from saying yes to moving forward. Even if you think it might offend me or be impolite to say to me or maybe even if you think I might think badly of you if you told me? After all if we are going to work together we need to have an honest and straightforward relationship. Also if I have made some mistake or offended you in some way I would like to hear about it so I can change and it does not happen again.
Possible re-direct: No problem. I understand. Often people in your situation say they need to think about it. I am curious though. Do you mind if I say something really straightforward to you? “No” Often people just are afraid to make a decision so they say automatically “I need to think about it.” Could that be the case for you now?
Well, there you go. Two articles on dealing with objections completed. If you go to my website and sign up for my free 7-part eCourse on Client Development you will find more on the general subject of attorney marketing scripts that includes the area of “objections” in the 6th lesson. You will also find sample scripts for “the pitch” that precedes any objections.
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