December 3, 2010
Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney Business Building Tip Sheet
Featuring timely marketing tools and tips to increase your productivity and profitability

Moving Potential Clients to Take Action

By Paula Langguth Ryan; Consumer Bankruptcy marketing consultant
800/507-9244; www.paulalangguthryan.com/bankruptcy-tools/attorneys

Michael Masterson*, author of Ready, Fire, Aim, recently shared a conversation he had with one of the leading “no-money down” real estate gurus. The guru shared that most people’s motivation for buying his products is that they “don’t want to take action.” Now, that may seem completely counter-intuitive AND may not seem to have anything to do with your bankruptcy practice, but hear me out here.

The guru shared that after people complete his course, given a choice between going out and starting to work the program or taking another course, most will simply buy another course. They won’t start putting what they’ve learned into practice. The same goes for your potential bankruptcy clients after they have a consultation with you. The majority simply won’t take any action moving forward toward filing bankruptcy. Some will jump from attorney to attorney, getting one free consultation after another, hoping the advice will be something different than what they’ve already heard. Others will seek out debt consolidation programs, or take the ostrich approach and avoid looking at their debt anymore. Why do they do this? Here are the top three reasons (and what you can do to help them overcome their inertia, and take a positive step toward a future of financial security:

1. Fear of Pain: If people see filing bankruptcy as something that will be painful, with long term consequences, or something that will cause them to lose face with their neighbors and colleagues, they’re not going to do so.

2. Laziness: We are programmed to be lazy. We want to get whatever we want with the least amount of effort possible. Filing bankruptcy and starting from scratch may seem like too much hard work. Better to stay with the known evil of the debt they have than to move forward toward the unknown life of being without credit.

3. Lack of Confidence: If people don’t feel like can successfully break the cycle of debt or the poverty mentality that got them into their current financial situation, they won’t truly feel like bankruptcy will have any lasting successful effect on their lives.

So, how do you overcome these objections and help people move into a place where they’re willing to take action toward getting out from under the burden of their debt? The best way to overcome these concerns with potential clients and turn them into new clients is by motivating them through positive reinforcement. By this I mean, repeatedly responding to their objections (those they voice and those you pick up through their body language) in a positive, motivational manner.

For instance, if people are afraid of what will happen or how they will be perceived, repeatedly share that many people in their demographic group these days are finding themselves in a position where bankruptcy is their best financial option.

For those who are lazy, giving them a “step-by-step” guide to getting back on their financial feet may be the only motivation they need. Most people love to be able to simply ask “what’s my next step?” Then they can take that step, before moving on to the next one. Once you’ve explained the process of filing bankruptcy with your firm, go back and focus only on the 1 next step the potential client will need to take. This will help keep them from getting so overwhelmed that they freeze and do nothing.

And if people lack confidence about how to handle their finances or rebuild their credit after bankruptcy, point them to valuable resources like local money management courses, debtors anonymous meetings, or the Do’s and Don’ts of Bouncing Back From Bankruptcy booklet (or the full Bounce Back From Bankruptcy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Back on Your Financial Feet). You can either direct clients to our website (www.paulalangguthryan.com), give them a flyer (download it at www.paulalangguthryan.com/bankruptcytools/attorneys/) about the book, or buy The Do’s and Don’ts of Bouncing Back or Bounce Back From Bankruptcy in bulk and give a copy to your clients after their creditor’s meeting.

Practice incorporating these tips into your consultations with potential clients this week and pay particular attention to which phrases you use seem to make a difference and which don’t. If you find any that really seem to turn people off, send them to me and we’ll “rework” them to help you supercharge their effectiveness.

*Michael Masterson is the author of numerous books and founder of the Internet’s most popular health, wealth, and success e-zine, www.EarlyToRise.com.

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