Trey Ryder 2013-10-25 12:11:09
6 Magic Words that Overcome a Competitor’s Lower Price You tell your prospect that you bill at $250 per hour. Your prospect responds by saying, “But another lawyer I interviewed charges only $175 per hour.” Now, what should you say? One powerful way to respond to your prospect’s comment is to get out a piece of paper and divide the sheet into two vertical columns. Put your name at the top of one column and the other lawyer’s name over the second. In the first column, write down all the specific services and documents you include in your fee. (If you’ve followed my suggestions in past issues, you’ll already have a detailed written list of services and fees in your desk drawer for just this occasion.) In the second column, write down all the specific services and documents your competitor includes in his fee. In all likelihood, you won’t know everything your competitor includes — and neither will your prospect. So, the certainty of knowing exactly what you provide — and the uncertainty of not knowing what your competitor provides — allows your prospect to see clearly on paper “what he gets for his money” when he hires you. But — what do you do if your prospect raises the issue at your seminar? Or at a luncheon meeting? Or during a phone consultation? In these examples, taking out a sheet of paper for your two-column demonstration isn’t practical. So here’s what you do instead. When you speak about your own fees, speak with confidence and be specific. A specific, confident answer builds credibility. Explain to your prospect exactly what you off er, clearly and carefully. Make sure you don’t overwhelm your prospect with different numbers, which you could easily do because your prospect doesn’t have this information on paper. When you refer to a competitor, emphasize that you don’t know (or can’t be sure) what the other lawyer offers. An uncertain answer emphasizes doubt, arouses suspicion and increases skepticism. And, since the other lawyer charges less than you do, it’s easy and logical for you and your prospect to conclude that the other lawyer provides less. That could mean fewer services, fewer documents, or both. Then casually, with a question in your voice, add these six magic words: “I wonder what he’s leaving out.” In two seconds, you just shot a big hole in your competitor’s bucket. And now any credibility that he might have had with this prospect is fast spilling out all over the ground. With those six words, you logically and reasonably emphasized doubt, aroused suspicion, and increased skepticism. And it’s legitimate because neither you nor your prospect knows what the other lawyer’s fee includes. If your prospect does know what the other lawyer includes in his fee, then you must go over that list with your prospect point by point. You must compare the other lawyer’s list with yours, identifying how your services provide the prospect with precisely what he needs — and how the other lawyer’s services increase your prospect’s risk. Most lawyers do a poor job of creating a vivid picture of what their prospect receives when he hires the lawyer’s services. Lawyers oft en assume, “My client gets me and everything I do for him.” (That’s about as vague as you can get!) Prospects want a clear picture of what they get when they write you a check. The more specific you are about your services, the more credible and trustworthy you appear to prospects. On the other hand, the more uncertain you are about your competitor’s services, the more you arouse suspicion and distrust. Memorize this short sentence — because rarely will you find words that work as well as, “I wonder what he’s leaving out.” Trey Ryder specializes in education-based marketing for lawyers. He designs dignified marketing programs for lawyers and law firms in the United States, Canada and other English-speaking countries. Trey works from his offices in Payson, Arizona and Juneau, Alaska. To read more of Trey’s articles, visit the Lawyer Marketing Advisor at www.treyryder.com and add your name to Trey’s e-mail distribution list.
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