Talk Directly to Client

Using Video to Speak Directly to Your Client

Speak Directly to Your Client

Selling a consultant into your new client is a cause for celebration but there still obstacles to overcome.

Who will do the job? You need a credible candidate.

Do you pick someone who is over-qualified to create a good impression? Do you risk putting in someone who is good but inexperienced?  What if the client wants to interview your guy just to check they’re as good as you say they are?

It’s tricky and if you get it wrong celebrations become recriminations.

What you need is to present evidence of your consultant’s credibility – at the sales meeting, if possible. If you are able to select the right  person in advance you can of course take them with you. If not, you can use video.

 Using video to create credibility

If you are knowledgeable about your client’s business sector, video is a great way of proving it.

You can use either individual consultants (and hope they’re available at the right time) or use the team.

Your aim is simple – to create the impression that your people are experts in your client’s business. To do this successfully you need the team to

  • Tell the client about their business “in the client’s own terms”
  • Tell the client about “typical” issues and
  • Tell the client about possible solutions – that are available when they use you.

If you can do these, it tells the client that you’ve done it before – and probably done it successfully.

However if you aren’t knowledgeable but want to move into a particular sector, video can work just as well – because actually it’s no different.

In the former you can use video to get you over the line in the sales process. In the latter, you can use it as a marketing tool.

Either way you’re creating credibility – which is where we came in. Talk Directly to Client

3 Ways to Differentiate your Law Firm – Part 3

3      Create your own perception

When “no win – no fee” started in 1995 some law firms saw a great new business opportunity open up.

  • They could take on cases with no deal-breaking financial commitment from the client.
  • They were handed a brand new revenue stream with huge potential.
  • They could be seen to be helpful rather than just making money.

Perfect – except it wasn’t.

The term “ambulance chasers” entered the vocabulary and law firms were often portrayed as big businesses preying on people who, because of a moment’s carelessness, were unlucky enough to have caused an accident.

Twenty years later and personal injury firms are the champions of the underdog.

  • Victims are vindicated (“this is how justice feels”);
  • People with life limiting disabilities enjoy life’s great moments just like the rest of us; and
  • The “guilty” parties aren’t mentioned.

Our perceptions are changed. It’s not because claim companies and PI law firms are doing everything differently, they’re just portrayed in a far more sympathetic light.

It’s a decision they chose to make.

Your firm can do the same. You can choose your perception. And frankly you shouldn’t treat it as an optional extra – because if you don’t do it, someone else will do it for you and you’ll lose control.

Lawyers aren’t all grey men and grey women in grey suits who are so lacking in personality that anything more than a passport photo would open them up to undue attention. Most of them I’ve met are clever and engaging people who because of their knowledge: can

  • solve your problems,
  • save your business money, and
  • help you make good decisions.

Let’s look at 3 ways you’d probably like to be perceived.

I think I need you. How can I find you?

The perception at the outset is “you’re a law firm but can you do the job I need?

People and businesses look for you when they have a need. Your role is to address that need. Your start point therefore is to be found on the basis of that need.

I’ve never been divorced. What do I have to do?” “Will I have to go to court?

 “We need to write new staff handbooks after the reorganisation and they’ll need to be in French and Spanish now.”

 “If we’re selling in China we need someone who understands how our contracts work and how they fit in with the way the Chinese work.”

When they look for these things, they should find you.

And when they do find you, you’ll have changed the client perception from “can they do the job I need?“ to “they can do the job I need”.

Once they’ve found me. What should I be telling them?

The perception at the outset is “Lots of law firms but can do the job. Have you done it before and successfully?

  • You tell them about the issues involved
  • You relate the benefits of taking legal advice and
  • You allude to the risks they’re taking if they don’t.

Then you give them your name, job title and contact details. They’ll get the message.

But let’s be more specific and look again at our examples.

In our first example you can tell them about the process of getting divorced, how assets are divided, how to avoid going to court, or the benefits of planning everything beforehand with a pre-nuptial agreement.

In the second, you can tell them about the issues you need to be aware of when rolling out T&Cs into different countries – and to illustrate the point you say/write part of it in (say) French and part of it in Spanish.

In our third, you tackle cultural issues and how they affect business – and you link each issue to a solution.

They give you credibility because you know the issues not just the role.

They show you can explain complex concepts in an easily understandable way.

They differentiate you because not everyone is doing this YET.

The perception now is “You’ve done it before so you really understand my problem. I could look for ever to see if there’s someone better but I don’t need to.”

I can do the job. They know I can do the job. How can I clinch the deal?

You’re already doing it – to some extent. You are one of many suppliers who handle divorce, write contracts etc. but you have credibility because you’ve clearly done it before. However,you need to remember that ultimately whether it’s contracts, handbooks or divorce – one person buys from another person.

So you probably need to go through the three-step process

  • know you
  • like you
  • do business with you.

You can do this over the phone, in person, or on video – or a combination of all three.

The first two are obvious so let’s look at video.

Video makes you available when you’re not available. It enables your new client: to see you; listen to you talk knowledgeably about your subject; and start to like you – before they even meet you. So it’s a very powerful tool.

By the end of the process, the perception is “I feel as though I’ve met him or her, they know what they’re talking about, so I’m ready to do business”.

Summary

You can create a perception of yourself as someone to do business with if you

  • can be found on a list of people who can solve the client’s problem
  • enhance your credibility by articulating the issues
  • can be seen, known and liked

If you don’t create your own perception then someone may do it for you and you’ll have no control.

3 Ways to Differentiate your Law Firm – Part 2

2 Use your People Page, Use the Wider Web, and Use the Broadcast Media

We’re going to look at how you can make more of your website and how you can start to make use of social media.

Using your website “People” Page

This page has one purpose. To convince the viewer that he or she should buy from you.

It’s also likely to be one of your most visited pages when new clients are looking to choose a firm.

So it’s important.

“People” pages tend to follow a pattern.

We’re shown the person’s: name; job title; professional memberships; experience and specialisms.

A passport sized photo is also often included.

They’re OK but there’s

  • nothing that differentiates you,
  • nothing that persuades clients that you’re the best (and therefore)
  • nothing that convinces them to buy from you.

Here are 3 steps that can help you turn that round.

Step One.

Since most clients come to you because they have a need, organise your people into the teams who meet that need – and sell the team. Tell the viewer what the team does, why they’re good at doing it, and give an example.

Then do it for each key member of that team.

Step Two

Turn them from text into real people.

When we hear radio presenters we don’t need to know where they’re from, anything about their families, or whether they struggled with the traffic that day. But they tell us anyway. That’s because we want to know them as people. Know them, like them and keep listening to them.

It can be the simplest thing. I read a Linkedin profile where a barrister said his main interest was “following the great Everton FC”. Immediately I liked him, not because of any allegiance to Everton but because I felt I knew him better than if he’d just said one of his interests was sport.

Step Three

Will potential clients read all this? Possibly but don’t gamble on it. Use images and video. People look at images and watch video for longer than they’ll read text.

Social Media

It’s a good way to

-        make new contacts and

-        keep in touch with your existing clients.

We’re going to look at how you can start using social media to bring in more business.

Linkedin Profile

Linkedin has been described as “Facebook for business” and it’s a fairly good description. If you want to know what a person does and why they are credible candidates for winning your business, it’Linkedin profile JKJPGs the place to go.

Use your profile to expand on your achievements. Tell the reader what you’re good at – and provide evidence. Your profile is like an online CV (LinkedIn’s original purpose) and like your CV it’s a sales document. What it’s selling is you.

Use Slide Share to post presentations.

Use blogs to share knowledge with your followers and connections.  They help your credibility and give you a start on your competitors.

Use recommendations. People are more likely to believe third parties saying how good you are than just you saying it. It’s like Trip Advisor- but even better because you have control. You can say “No” if you don’t like what someone wants to say about you.

Linkedin operates a “Freemium” model. If you use the basic tools it costs nothing. If you want more there’s a charge. The best way to use it is to go as far as you can without paying – then if you need more, work out the costs and balance it with the probable benefit.

Twitter

Twitter has lots of functions but these 2 are probably the most important for you.

You can tell your clients how the latest court cases and political decisions affect them.

You can express opinions about topical issues. If they’re controversial you’ll stir up lots of interest – even if not everyone agrees with you.

You can tweet a message of 140 characters, an image linking to a blog and use 30 second videos.

These can be used for anything you like – and they’re all free. But more importantly they differentiate you.

Other Media

Use Vimeo or YouTube to get noticed.

If you search for “How do I….” on Google it will normally find a YouTube video. This is because Google owns YouTube. Video is a great way to drive people to your website.

If you search for a person’s name it finds their Linkedin profile. So it makes sense not just to use them but to get the most out of them.

Contact TV and radio stations and appear on shows. You’ll be surprised to find how much they value having experts available to them. And of course it gets you noticed and it gets you ahead of your competitors.

In our next blog we’re talking about perceptions so here’s one to start you off. If you’re on TV or radio, lots of people assume that you’ve been chosen from a list of thousands – so you must be good.

On the Bench 1 – Selling Yourself

No one is happy on the bench but there’s nothing you can do about it?

Have you ever been a substitute for your football team? I have. It’s frustrating, boring after a while, and if you’re being honest a bit demeaning.

If you’re on the bench in a management consultancy your feelings are roughly the same.

They (whoever they are) don’t bother finding out what you’re good at.

They are not using you properly.

They aren’t trying hard enough to sell you.

The problem is they think it’s you.

You always say what you can’t do. You don’t say what you can do,

You say how people don’t make the best use of you. You aren’t saying how people can make the best use of you,

and perhaps

You aren’t trying hard enough to sell yourself.

Since you care more about yourself than they care about you, you need to start selling yourself.

Here are 3 steps to get you going.
1. Make a list of what you want to achieve
2. Make a list of what you like doing and another of what you can do (even if you don’t like them)
3. Ask yourself (or better still someone else) whether your second list will make your first list a reality.

The outcome will probably be a combination of

  • what you like,
  • what you know, and
  • what you need to know.

You’re almost ready but what can you do about the “I need to know” list?

I read a quotation by Richard Branson when he said that if you’re asked to do something you can’t do, don’t say No, say Yes – and then learn how to do it. I don’t think this applies to climbing Everest, but you get the point.

If you can do that, you can now sell yourself.

In the office you can tell your mentor, your boss or your Resource Manager.
Outside the office you can use YouTube, Linkedin and Twitter.

Maybe in future, when they want to use an example of someone who sells themselves they’ll use you.