We Die Alone

It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
- Paul Bryant

Yes, that's perhaps a macabre subject line, but it is, after all, a bit of a solemn day.

My wife and I were in Cancun on September 11th, and a Brit walked over to the pool area and declared: "The World Trade Center's been flattened." I didn't believe it, of course, so I rushed over to the hotel bar where CNN International was showing the shocking truth. Suddenly, our poolside margaritas seemed somehow less appetizing.

Yep, the world changed that day (or, perhaps, it simply showed its true colors). And it's right that we don't forget.

But, We Die Alone is the title of a book that I just finished, on recommendation from a friend. I'm a bit of a WWII buff, having probably read 50 books on the subject (and more to come), but this one was unlike any I'd ever read...and it moved me deeply. Highly recommended.

It's the story of Jan Baalsrud, a Norwegian native who, along with 11 other men, traversed 1000 miles of harsh North Atlantic from England to land in northern, Nazi-occupied Norway, to establish a foundation for anti-Nazi sabotage operations there. On the first day of landing, they are inadvertently betrayed--and his compatriots are killed or captured (all of whom were eventually executed days later). Jan, almost crippled in the fight, embarks on a journey across the Norwegian mountains to eventually make it to neutral Sweden--having cut off all of his own toes, left for dead...but heroically assisted by a variety of Norwegian villagers who eventually arranged for him to make it to Sweden.

Now...that's the plot. But the story is really in the details, right? Jan stared death in the face, at multiple points throughout his journey--and eventually prevailed. There's all kinds of reasons why he survived, perhaps chief among them the help he found along the way from incredible men and women longing to contribute something to the effort against the Nazis. But the point is that he DID survive, using every tool at his disposal to do so.

Why do some law practices survive (and even thrive), while others, well...die?

Having been "along for the ride" as Marketing Director for a tax firm that went from 50K to $4.3 million in fees (in under ten years), and having now seen many others I've coached with similar success--as well as some failures--it's tempting to just focus on the "plot" (like I just did), and not go into the details for how to get there.

Well, one of those details is what I have for you now, in this week's Strategy Note. Just one of the "helping hands" to walk with YOU, as you fight for the survival and growth of your business.

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

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Nate Hagerty's
"Profit For Life"
Law Business Marketing Strategy

How You Get A Prospect To Take Action

How do you do it?

Make "irresistible" offers to your target market!

Irresistible offers? Most lawyers either don't know what an "offer" is, or they just don't use them in their advertising. And if they are using an offer in their promotions, they think saying, "Please call for a free consultation," is the most irresistible offer in the world.

** Quick Tip: If you have a "free consultation" you'd like to promote, that's fine. But spend some time and come up with a new "selling" title for your consultation. I KNOW the public is TIRED (and bored) with professional service businesses (like lawyers ) advertising those same two words.

What is an offer supposed to do? An offer should be either THE reason or one of the reasons the client "moves towards action" and contacts your practice.

A good offer helps close the sale. (Just the offer alone can make the difference between an average promotion and a big money-making hit.)

So what do most ads in the legal industry look like? They say, "We are Allen, Allen & Allen. Here's our phone number. Use us this year for your legal needs." Or, they say, "We've been in business 20 years. Call us for your free consultation."

Now don't get me wrong, those are "offers", but I believe if you spent some time thinking about it, you could develop some "irresistible offers" that knocked your clients' socks off!

You see, your competitors will continue to have weak, wimpy and "ordinary" offers like I've already described. But you can promote BOLD, GUARANTEED, RISK FREE "SELLING" offers that would blow your competition away and give you a series of unique selling propositions that set you apart from all the other law practices in your area. And yes--without looking like an ambulance-chaser.

The goal of your IRRESISTIBLE OFFER is to have your targeted client say in his mind (if not out loud), "I'd be a darn fool if I said 'NO' to this offer!"

If you have your targeted client thinking this way once they read, hear or listen to your series of messages or one outstanding irresistible offer, get ready for the stampede, because they will be coming!

What makes an irresistible offer so "irresistible?" When the client REALLY WANTS what you are offering! (If the target market doesn't want it, your "irresistible" offer is not going to go over very well.)

I think lawyers underestimate what it takes to actually make a prospect get up off the couch, go to the phone and call you (much less actually come down to your office and give you their money).

If you can get a person to pick up the phone right after reading your sales letter, seeing your ad on TV, online or whatever, the power of your offer is probably pretty good!

Let's talk about some examples.

Our strategy for developing an irresistible offer came from the "Ginsu Knife" technique.

You remember the ads. "This knife is so amazing and it only costs $19.95. But as an added bonus we will give you these extra knifes. And to go with that, we'll throw this in for free. And if you call right now we'll include this other extra thing and we can't offer it if you wait and call later. So that means you get these 21 things for only $19.95 etc. etc."

Yes, it sounds "cheesy" but it works. And if you are interested in results you'll learn from that example and tailor your marketing message accordingly.

Here's what we did. (This example is from one of our old ads targeting the "blue collar" market--just one of the niches we went after.)

In an ad we'd offer:

  • NEXT DAY Refund Loan Checks -- GUARANTEED!
  • SAME Day Tax Preparation Service
  • A "Complete Peace Of Mind" Accuracy Guarantee
  • Open Year Round (with 26 years in the tax business)
  • $29 Off Coupon on any tax service (w/ deadline date)
  • Added bonus: $25 worth of Free Gifts for each tax return prepared
  • An additional "Special New Client Offer" limited to 1st 25 callers

Now if you were a "blue collar" taxpayer looking for a tax firm to help you with your taxes this year and you saw two different style ads -- one ad like we talked about before (ie. "Free Consultation") or an ad with the above messages ALL LISTED TOGETHER MAKING AN IRRESISTIBLE OFFER -- which one do you think would at least get a phone call?

Do you think the potential client might say to themself, "I'd have to be crazy not to at least call these guys and see if they offer quality tax services!"

I rest my case.

Now you can do the same thing for a "white collar" legal service, or frankly anything you're offering out of your office.

Don't promote it "wimpy" or BORING! Use the power of an IRRESISTIBLE OFFER to set your law practice above the rest.

And one more thing--don't accept the fallacy that this is only true for tax shops, or for "blue collar" clients. Heard of NetJets? They do this very thing--they sell shares of private jets for the ultra-rich. Oh, and when the client signs up NOW...they get a custom tailor to ride with them on their first flight and fit them for a custom suit.

It ain't just for the ambulance-chasers. You just gotta find the right bait.

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OK, you get the idea. That's enough for now. See you next week!

Until then, God bless you--and your firm!

Nate Hagerty

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