Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Getting to "Yes", Part 1

Getting to 'yes' in a proposal requires more than clarifying the client’s situation and objectives, offering solutions and providing evidence of the value of your recommendations. While this basic structure for a presentation can be successful, often it is not enough to get the client to say 'yes'. Getting to 'yes' is a conversational art which uses the principles of leverage to facilitate a path toward a positive outcome for the pitch.

Before we begin, let’s quickly qualify what is meant by ‘leverage’.Leverage in this instance means the principle of gaining power and effectiveness in negotiations. Gaining leverage is simply a matter of leading the dialogue and lowering the barriers for the client to be able to say yes.

Here are several examples of ways to lower the barriers to 'yes'. This is the first in a three part series.

1. ‘Good, Better, Best’ Options:

There’s a concept in marketing called ‘Good, Better, Best’that is proven quite effective in a number of different marketing uses. Offering three viable options enables the buyer to engage the firm at different levels of commitment, depending upon their tolerance for risk and their comfort level with the attorney. Structured well, the technique can steer the client to the best value and comfortably suspend what the client feels are the riskier decisions until the client has more experience and comfort with the attorney. Very often, in well-structured proposals, clients will opt for the ‘better’ scope of services, leaving the ‘best’ scope of services as an option for later on.

Clients rarely abruptly stop using the services of an attorney. Instead, they more frequently ease out of the relationship slowly. The same is true of how clients prefer to get into a relationship. Pitching too much too quickly demands too much trust too early in the relationship. It is better to offer a way to become familiar with the attorney’s work and grow the relationship from there into more practice areas as trust and comfort builds.

Each of these three principles of leverage, as well as numerous others, can help facilitate a positive decision by lowering the risk associated with the decision and making it easier for the client to say yes. Try these in your next pitch and let me know how it works for you.
As always, if I can help you get to 'yes', call Eric at 502.693.4731. You'll find that I am an eager resource and that it costs nothing to talk. 

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