I need to get something out of the way up-front. . . lawyers "sell". We may call it "marketing" or "rainmaking". But we do it. And we need to learn how to do it well if we're going to have enough business to keep ourselves and our staff busy with enough new work to both achieve our financial goals and have the courage and the resolve to turn-down cases and clients that are not a good fit for our personalities or our practices.
I also have an admission to make. . . I love to read "junk mail". I also watch home shopping and tune into infomercials with a pad of paper and take notes from time to time. Because we may wish the world was different than it is, but the fact of the matter is that the producers of those pieces invest millions of dollars for just one reason: it works.
Now with that out of the way, I have the following excerpt from a lesson to share with you which I recently wrote to one of my "Platinum" coaching clients. Don't bother looking for an application or for information about "Platinum" level of Membership on my website. It's by invitation only.
Now Here's The Good Stuff. . . First, I generally ignore the "one page" rule. If it takes six pages
to make a persuasive argument, then it takes six pages. If you capture
the reader's attention and if they have an interest in what you're
communicating about and if you keep them hooked with compelling and
enticing content in every paragraph that feeds their interest they will
read a book.
But if you miss a single one of those "if's" you might as well save the postage.
Too many people in my experience an an avid reader of my "junkmail"
shortcut the "if's" and just shoot for brevity instead. As if they can
impose on me to read a brief and irrelevant and boring message and that
somehow that will move me to buy their product or service. Instead if
I'm interested in a subject, I'd rather read a ten page message if it's
well-written, tells me what I want to know (notice I said "want", not
"need") and especially if there are built in "hooks" that draw me in
and make we want to turn the page to discover what comes next.
Second, every message is different. Like a sculptor tells you the
stone tells him what it wants to become, when you get your head into
the message it tells you what and how much it needs to communicate in
order to be persuasive. If your message isn't telling you that, you
haven't got your head into it enough yet. It takes time. And it can
be a painful process. But the rewards are well worth the effort. I
Third, you don't persuade someone to action by artificially or arbitrarily limiting the number of pages from the outset.
And fourth, yes, after we have the whole message laid-out (that is all
three parts of it) we'll put the whole thing aside for a week and then
come back and agonize over what can be eliminated because it's in there
for us, vs. what needs to stay because it's in there for the reader.