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Marketing for Lawyers: Sell the Pain

One of the things most lawyers miss when they look to engage a new client is the thing that should be most obvious. Although it is one of the key tenants in marketing for lawyers, most attorneys do not do an adequate job creating urgency.

The client needs to feel urgency to hire a lawyer, preferably the lawyer in front of him. There is only one way to do this: Sell the pain.

The client must fully comprehend how bad things can get. The client must realize that the worst case scenario is not only possible; it is probable if they do not act quickly. The client must FEEL the danger of not making a decision.

Read that statement carefully because it is different than what most lawyers think. You are selling against indecision and not against another lawyer.

Here is the process for selling the pain to the client:


First: The client must feel that they need help. They really have to be moved, on an emotional level, to take action. This means they need to visualize the worst case scenario and believe it can happen to them.

One of the ways a skilled lawyer can do this is by asking some seemingly harmless questions. These questions should be designed to have the client visualize the potentially negative consequences of the case.

Next: The client must admit they need help. Knowing and admitting are two distinctly different things. The way to help the client admit they need help is to give him permission. You must nurture the client until he feels comfortable with you and then you give him permission to confess his need for assistance.

Finally: The client must feel compelled to act now. This always seems to be the component of the process lawyers get hung up on. The best way to help your client gain a sense of urgency is by showing them examples of past cases where the client failed to act quickly. Nothing sells like the truth. You should always be prepared with examples and case studies that support making an immediate decision.

Keep in mind that you can never force this process on a client. You must do your best to draw it out of them. You need to use your strategy of asking powerful questions to lead the client exactly where you want him to go. If this is your idea, it means nothing but if hiring you is the client’s idea, it means everything.

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