Thursday, February 23, 2012

Adding Value Without Devaluing Your Services

As a business coach for lawyers, I'm hearing this more and more:

I know it's supposed to be good to be generous and provide value to prospects. I have all this great information that I give away on my website, but I never hear from anyone who downloads it! They just take the information and think they can do it themselves, or use it with a different lawyer...

All experts struggle with the desire to help and serve with their expertise versus the fear of giving it away. It's the conflict between adding value and eliminating the need for your services. And, let's be clear that I mean perceived need for your services, because one of the worst jobs of any professional is to fix the problems that people create by NOT hiring a professional! Sometimes lawyers earn higher fees to address issues related to the new do-it-yourself legal services than they would if they'd done the work initially.

I'm a fan of Hinge Marketing; they focus on marketing and branding for professional services firms and they offer a generous amount of free information. I sent them Fairytale brownies for Valentine's Day, so you know I think they're special. What I want to show you today is the description of one of the resources they offer for free:

 This is a great example of how you can give prospects information they'll value- and still position yourself as the partner they turn to when they're ready to act. Look at the logical path the material takes; it starts with when/why you need the services, includes information regarding the investment clients might need to fund, introduces a timeline and offers the prospect other resources and tools.  And wait- check out that 6th bullet: 

How to select your rebranding partner

I'm pretty sure that whatever that list of criteria is, Hinge Marketing meets it and you know it by the time you hit that section. By then, you'll have an idea re whether you want to rebrand now, whether you can afford it, how long it might take, and whether or not you're interested in an expert partner. That's about as much qualifying as you can do with no interaction. If you are ready- then Hinge has established its expertise and already started to create a relationship with you. They don't "sell" to you. They encourage "try before you buy". Wouldn't they be your first call?

Back to the point- the piece offers a great deal of value to readers and it demonstrates expertise. What it doesn't do is tell you how to do it yourself. 

Generosity works. Unless you're new to me, you already know I believe you can market without doing anything that feels tricky or sleazy. This is an example of a great way to offer value to prospects, do a bit of qualifying as you educate, and create an appetite for your services.  Is it a tactic you can use?