Want More Love From Your Clients? Focus On Benefits, Not Features.
Last week, Stephanie discussed a few options for attorneys to celebrate Love Your Lawyer Day on Friday. But if you’re wondering how you can develop a more positive attitude for your firm the other 364 days of the year, you’re not alone. Pretty much every business wants its clients to be happy with their hiring or purchasing decision. After all, happy clients are more likely to return or refer future business, right?
But there’s no secret formula for getting your clients to love working with you. It often comes down to some combination of customer experience, client perception and, in the case of legal matters, outcomes. Over time, you’ve probably developed a few tried and true tricks for building a positive vibe with your current clients, but if you want to get more love from your future prospects, start by making sure they see the benefits of what you do.
It’s about them, not you.
At some level, you probably have this covered already for your current clients. You instinctively understand the importance of focusing on their matters and their perception of your firm.
You might deliver responsive service even outside of business hours saying, “I’m thinking about you and your case, even when you’re not around.” In-person, your style might send the message that you’re 100 percent engaged in their case. Or perhaps the language you use in your official communications strikes just the right tone of professionalism and readability, making clients feel that you’re both on the same page.
Each of these is a great example of how attorneys build affinity between them and their clients.
But what about your prospects? How do you nurture a relationship that doesn’t exist yet?
You start by focusing on benefits over features.
Sit through even a basic sales training and this topic will come up. Selling features is easy. Salespeople across the globe fixate on features when they’re just starting out. Some never develop their skills any further.
Visit an electronics superstore next month and head to the computer department. Any teenager working the floor can walk you through the specs of all ten of the top selling notebook computers on the shelf. Why? Because it’s easy to memorize the numbers. “This one is a beast! 32 gigs of RAM, a one terabyte SSD hard drive, the latest Core i7 processor, and a bonkers 17-inch 4k UltraHD screen!”
Aside from some new slang, what did you learn that wasn’t printed on the information card already? Rattling off features sounds impressive, but it doesn’t reveal much about how your computing experience will improved by choosing that laptop over any other. Taken at face value, features really don’t motivate buyers because they don’t paint a picture of a future that’s engaging.
Oh, and features are ridiculously easy to beat. Every few months, a new laptop or tablet takes over the top spot. For attorneys, you’ve got a diploma? Guess what, so does the guy who graduated last in his class. His might even be in a nicer frame.
To be fair, features do have a place in legal marketing.
Just like the superstore, the details of what your firm offers should be easy to find and clearly documented. Some prospects will want to know about your expertise and credentials. If you have a convenient location or flexible payment options that others cannot claim, don’t hide those lights under a bushel. But if you want to make your prospects really feel good about working with you, learn to speak in terms of benefits.
Head back to that electronics store and into to the appliance department. There, you’ll meet a seasoned salesperson who understands the value of benefits. She can still tell you the specs of a new top load washer and help you with an apples-to-apples comparison. But she also knows when and how to highlight the ways one model can make your life better. “Both of these are great machines and I sell a lot of each, but the combination of power and capacity of this one means you can wash your whole family’s jeans in a single load. And the new design doesn’t suffer from those musty smell issues that some early front-load washers did.”
With benefits like those, you’re not only more likely to be sold, you’re more likely to feel good about your purchase.
The crux of all this is that benefits focus on the buyer, features focus on the seller.
You know how to focus on your clients once they’re signed. Now it’s time to bring that same attitude toward your prospects.
Make your marketing about them.
- Talk about the peace of mind they’ll receive (a benefit) once your diverse legal team (a feature) is put to work for them.
- Show them how your experience (a feature) navigating the court system can protect them (a benefit) during complex and risky legal matters.
- Acknowledge their emotional state, and explain how your hands-on approach (a feature) means they won’t have to face this situation alone (a benefit).
So much of marketing a law firm comes down to differentiating yourself from the competition. Finding that edge is a never-ending pursuit for some. But if you want to stand apart from other firms (particularly when it comes to having clients and prospects who “love” their lawyer) learn to sell your firm based on the benefits. You’ll stand out in the sales process by going beyond the features everyone else lists and you’ll develop stronger client relationships as you begin to see things even more clearly from their side of the table.