I was getting a haircut today.
That's an oxymoron.
It's because I don't have much hair.
There's not much to cut.
But, I definitely need a trim every three to four weeks.
I go to a haircutting place here in town.
No appointment needed.
Just walk in and wait your turn.
Most of the time there's no wait.
Today I went before lunch.
There was no waiting.
She always has the TV on.
She's always watching daytime TV.
From the time I sat down in the chair to the time I was halfway done, I'd heard three different lawyer commercials.
She knew I was a lawyer.
I had told her a long time ago.
I don't know if she remembered.
Casually, I asked her what she thought of those lawyer commercials.
She let out a groan.
"There are so many of them. They interrupt my shows," she said.
Shows like Ellen DeGeneres.
All the morning shows with women only as hosts and women only in the audience.
Even cooking shows.
"Those lawyers on TV? They lie," she said matter-of-factly.
"Why do you say that?" I asked.
"All those lawyers say they got so much money for accident victims, but they lie. One said they got $700,000 then they said they got one million dollars. That's a lie. They don't tell you what kind of injury the person had to get that kind of money. Nor do they tell you that most of accidents that happen have very little insurance coverage. If the careless driver had only the minimum amount of insurance coverage of $25,000, you couldn't get one million dollars in a settlement."
What she said made sense.
What she said made perfect sense.
It's not what the attorneys said in their TV commercial, it's what they didn't say.
I asked her "Would you ever choose a lawyer from a TV commercial?"
"Me? Never. I don't believe them on TV," she said.
"Are you able to distinguish one lawyer from another in just the three TV commercials we saw in the last five minutes?" I asked.
"No," came the simple reply.
What can you learn from this simple interaction?
For starters, your credibility matters.
Always has, always will.
Second, if you don't address your viewers' concerns, they won't trust you.
How could these lawyers have addressed her concerns?
Describe the injury in which you obtained $700,000 settlement.
Describe the facts and tell a story in which you were able to obtain a one million dollar settlement.
Explain that not every case has that type of insurance coverage.
Don't bait and switch by telling your viewers that you can get them that kind of money even if they have small minor accidents.
You know you can't.
So don't make it seem like you can.
Want to stand out from the crowd?
Want to distinguish your firm from all the others who advertise on TV?
Of course you do.
Then don't say the same boring crap that they all do.
"We get results! No fee unless we win! We work hard for you! Experience matters! We're serious attorneys!"
Yeah...so what. Every attorney says that.
As you try to convey your message to your reader or viewer, ask yourself what makes you different from all the other lawyers who handle the same type of cases as you.
Want to see how I'm different from all the rest?