When we analyze why clients and potential clients make a decision to hire you or to hire someone else, it’s easy to assume they’re being logical in their decision-making process, so you operate accordingly. You give them information that appeals to that logical side of their brain.
Let’s discuss that because there’s another side to this discussion you need to be aware of.
Welcome to Legal Marketing Minutes, where I share short bursts of current marketing news and advice. I’m your host, Nancy Myrland.
If we haven’t met, I’m a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in content, social and digital media marketing for lawyers and their legal marketers.
Your time is valuable, so let’s get started, okay?
Just The Facts
It’s easy for us to assume that buying decisions, whether they’re ours or someone else’s, are done in a very logical state. We know that if we just present facts, if we just write enough blog posts that contain step-by-step instructions and bulleted lists of the most important and logical steps that something should consider, eventually we are going to appeal to that person because clients and potential clients are very logical people who make very smart decisions.
Logic or Emotion?
Quite a while ago, I wrote down a quote from my friends, Andrew and Pete, that said that buying decisions are 80% emotional and 20% logical.
Whether those percentages differ for different markets or not, the percentages are still important to think of because even though we all fancy ourselves as people who make very logical, fact-based decisions, what’s really happening under the surface is that your clients and potential clients are asking themselves questions under the surface.
“I’m really worried. I don’t want to make the wrong decision. I don’t want to hire the wrong lawyer. What am I supposed to do because this is my career on the line.?”
“I’m really frustrated because I wish we didn’t have this problem in the first place. I wish I didn’t have to spend money even thinking about it, and it’s taking my time away from other things that I should be doing. So I’m frustrated about this. I’m scared.”
“I’m really scared about this because if we don’t get control of this, then this is not good for the company and this is not good for my position within the company. This is not good for anyone at my company. So I’m really worried about this.”
“I’m not very confident about making this decision. I know that I have so many choices and I’m not quite sure who the right person is, and I’m just not confident because I haven’t gone through this process enough. These lawyers seem very much alike, and I have no idea what to do or who to choose.”
The Emotional Side of Buying
My point here is that people say these things to themselves. That is the emotional side of buying.
What happens when they do have a logical side that is on a fact-based mission to try to figure out if you are the right person to hire, and then they have all these thoughts and feelings and voices that are operating in the background, whether they realize it or not?
If you just stop for a minute and think about some of your own decisions, don’t you have some of those same thoughts when you’re making decisions?
You and I make decisions very much based on emotion. We may have fact-finding in the middle of all that, but our emotions control the day.
What Does This Mean For You?
This means that, in addition to providing the facts to appeal to their logical side, you also have to show your human side. You also have to show, and I know this word is overused, but you have to show empathy.
You have to show that you understand.
You have to show enough of your soft skills, your soft side. You need to be able to acknowledge that, yes, maybe they’re worried about this situation or choice, or frustrated about what’s going on, then let them know you understand. You understand because you would be, too.
- You can say things that will help them to not be so afraid.
- Perhaps that is that you have worked in this space for a long time.
- You can share stories, some very human stories about others.
You don’t need to provide names because you don’t want to talk about clients to other clients, but you can show them that you understand and that you are not just there to throw facts at them, that you understand.
You don’t have to come right out and say those words to them.
“Oh, I know you’re worried.”
“Gosh, I know you’re frustrated.” or
“Hmmm, yep, I know you’re scared.”
“Yeah. You don’t seem very confident.”
Obviously, you don’t want to be that literal with clients and potential clients when you sense that those emotions are stirring under the surface. But your words can show your human side. Your body language can also help put them at ease, and yes, you can also do this virtually if you’re using Zoom or other virtual meeting platforms.
People Can Sense Your Empathy
They can see it in your eyes. They can see it in the way you lean in and listen. They can see it in the way you hold your body.
Think about the way you react when talking to someone in your family. You know they have an important decision to make. You sense or you know something is bothering or challenging them. You ask questions to try to uncover the reason behind the challenge. You instinctively show empathy or sympathy. You show caring and concern on your face. You let them know you care.
They Are Looking For Someone To Make Their Job Easier
This is the same when you talk to your clients and potential clients. Yes, be fact-based. Appeal to that left-brain part of them that wants to make an objective decision by giving them a logical set of facts to deal with, but also realize that they are looking for someone to help make their job easier. They’re looking for someone to help them make their decision easier.
How To Be The One They Remember
If you are the one that can show empathy, that can show that you understand this is a frustrating situation and that it’s not an easy decision, and you ask questions to try to draw that out of them, you are going to be the one that is more memorable to them than others.
Again, you don’t need to verbalize their underlying feelings and insecurities exactly. You just need to blend that smart, logical, fact-based side of what you offer with the human, understanding, perceptive side that will help you connect with your clients and potential clients in a way that results in a connection that makes a difference when they are making the important decision of who to choose as their lawyer, their advisor, their problem-solver, or their advocate.
Until next time.
Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.
As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.
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