How To Attract Clients Without Hard Selling

Effective Practice Growth Strategies For Intellectual Property Lawyers, By Eria Odhuba

How To Create An IP Legal Services Value Proposition That Differentiates You From Your Competitors

Next time you walk down any high street, count how many shops have signs advertising sales or huge discounts. Just stop and think for a moment – how many of these have to cut prices because that is the only way they can compete for customers?

Do any of these businesses have a loyal group of customers that would be willing to continue to buy from them even if prices were not reduced?

Very unlikely! And guess what? A lot of IP legal services businesses are in exactly the same position. Many increasingly compete on price, and are proud to do so, simply because that is all they have to differentiate themselves from their competition.

That sucks, and here is why…

If customers buy from you simply because you charge less, then it is because they think there is a huge supply of what you offer and don’t necessarily think you offer a better IP legal service than your competitors.

When providing IP legal services, there are 2 questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. Are you targeting the right people?
  2. Have you created a value proposition that differentiates you from your competitors?

When people push back on prices, it is not because they can’t pay. It is primarily because you have not created a perception in their minds that the benefits they get from working with you are worth the price you want them to pay.

Granted, there is a percentage of the population that simply looks at price. What you need to do is make find a niche that is willing to look beyond price as long as you are clear about the benefits they will get from using your services.

How, then, do you create your IP legal services value proposition and develop trust?

  1. First of all, make sure you understand what their fears and frustrations are, and put systems in place to capture the conversations going on in their minds (e.g. by using surveys, feedback forms, asking current customers or even those that went elsewhere).
  2. Provide free information to your prospects that shows them how to solve their problems or provides guidance that takes away their fears and frustrations.
    1. Create newsletters, blogs or articles that focus on issues your clients and prospects are concerned about.
    2. Make sure there is an opportunity for readers to comment and provide feedback, and respond appropriately so that there is a two-way conversation going on.
  3. Have an effective direct response marketing system in place to build your list of prospects that is willing and primed to get more information from you.
    1. In case you don’t know, direct response marketing is designed to get a direct response which is specific and quantifiable. You want people to provide their contact details for reports, future communication and to make a commitment for something of value that you can provide within a certain time frame (e.g. free consultation, register for seminar or specific report).
  4. Develop a strategy product that people will pay for and which acts as a platform for prospects to make a final decision in your favour about the services they need. This could be seminars that provide steps on how to implement solutions people are crying out for, or reports that people need to buy that go beyond the general advice you provide in your free articles and blogs).

The whole process above is aimed at getting you away from being seen as a typical salesperson pushing IP legal services. You need to develop the power in your relationship with prospects so that they seek you out rather than the other way round. The value of the information you provide can not be under-estimated, and the way you interact with prospects will be totally different from most of your competitors.

Not only will you build relationships more easily, but as a result of this process you will be much more clearer about what your prospects really want and have conversations with them that focus on their needs, not  just your services.

You need to think differently, and your whole business needs to reflect the new way you develop relationships with prospects.

The Magneto Effect transforms IP legal services businesses to ones that have specific steps in place to develop trust and get their value propositions embedded in prospects minds. You will stop having to sell your services, and have prospects coming to you because you have shifted the balance of power in their minds so that you become the only person they want to work with.

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