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Speak to Customers' Emotions--Allay Fears & Magnify Desires

Yesterday I was doing some research for a law firm client of mine. In visiting the sites of numerous law firms I noticed a key trend that many law firms fall into and probably causes them to lose many potential clients.

Most law firms feel they need to have a look and feel that reflects the justice system. They want to look professional and often give a feeling that they dominate the courtroom. You know the image. It's the image that comes to mind when you think of a good lawyer. And it's for that reason that lawyers tend to use that image--because it's one you recognize.

But hiring a lawyer can be an extremely intimidating event for most people. Most people don't interact with lawyers on a regular basis. And all that grandeur and posturing makes it even more intimidating. Lot's not forget the other image that comes to mind when you think of lawyers: money--lots and lots of it.

So people who are searching on the internet for a lawyer--especially those who are looking for someone to represent them in an accident case--are experiencing two negative emotions during their search: they are intimidated by law and lawyers and they are afraid of how much it costs. Many are probably also feeling hurt and betrayed by someone if they think they need to seek out a lawyer.

I think law firms would do much better on the internet if they address those fears and make an effort to allay them rather than play up the intimidating aspects of their industry.

One law firm, I thought, did a pretty good job of that. Take a look at www.lawyersgroup.com. The first words a visitor notices on their home page is "Injured in an accident? Get the money you deserve." This message does two things: 1) it identifies its clients--people who have been injured and 2) promises some relief from the financial strain of the injury. For some customers it may also connect with their sense of retribution if they thinks someone ought to ante up for their suffering.

But the site doesn't stop there. After you read the headline, your eyes immediately go to the column on the right where there is a simple form to fill out and a bold invitation to speak with a lawyer for FREE. That alleviates the concern about how much it will cost to talk to the lawyer--it's free. And it's easy; all you have to do is fill out the short form and click the button. Then the lawyer calls you.

Lawyersgroup.com immediately deals with two strong negative emotions their clients are dealing with: the intimidation (the headline effectively says, "We're on your side.") and the fear of high costs. The people behind this site are also smart marketers as they've included an automated way to add prospects to their lists. When people fill out the form, Lawyersgroup.com gets their contact info and can market directly to those people. And there is plenty of incentive to fill out the form because many people who have been injured want to know what their rights are and whether they have a case, and now they can find out without paying anything.

I think it's also a fairly friendly-appearing site, which makes it even more inviting to web surfers.

So the moral here is that your web site should be inviting to your clients. Who cares whether others in your industry are intimdated by you or whether you're the best at what you do if your client doesn't feel comfortable talking to you. Bragging and intimidation can give many people the feeling that you're likely to walk all over them even while trying to "help" them. Make sure your web site and other marketing materials are speaking to the people who are your customers and the emotions they are feeling when they first come in contact with you.

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posted by John E Fike @ 6:20 AM,

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