It is hard for the average consumer to discern what is different about how you practice your craft versus the approach of the other lawyers who the prospect is considering. And since you usually don’t know what other names the prospect has in hand, you most of the time cannot diplomatically point out the differences.
As a result, the best way to distinguish yourself at the outset is to provide superior educational content. Having a broad and deep website is one way to do this, but many browsing prospects won’t take the time to read more than a few pages.
Simpler, more effective technique
A second and easier method is to send your prospects helpful materials. Since most lawyers don’t send anything to their prospects, you will immediately stand out as someone who knows their specialty and cares about the prospect.
If you only have time to create one item to send your prospects, let it be a lengthy series of FAQs. All prospects have questions, and if you answer many of those questions in the first piece you send, you will immediately leap ahead of any competitors being considered.
You also save time in your initial calls and conferences because you don’t have to provide the same introductory information over and over. Your FAQs have done it for you.
Examples of good FAQs
It is important to make a good first impression. If you do a slap-them-together job on your questions and answers, prospects are likely to think that is the caliber of the work product you provide. You should answer numerous questions in detail. Your writing should be clear and well-organized. And your finished piece should be well-designed.
Here are two examples of FAQs available in our marketing automation software (please respect our copyrights):
We also have FAQs for other specialties, but these two demonstrate what we have in mind when we stress the importance of making a strong first impression.
FAQS can be comprehensive, like our 84 bankruptcy answers filling 36 pages, or our 41 criminal questions comprising 15 pages.
Or you can create separate collections of more targeted questions dealing with a specific phase or aspect of a case, like our 5 bankruptcy questions-and-answers about debt settlement or our 6 criminal questions-and-answers about a grand jury subpoena:
At James, we generally like to begin our prospect outreach with broad and lengthy pieces, and then follow-up with shorter, more-focused content.
What is most important, whichever approach you take, is that the items you send be high-quality and helpful. If they are, prospects will figure that the representation they will receive from you will be of like quality and helpfulness.