Time for some Monday morning quarterbacking and dissecting of the game around the water cooler. For the Sports Dude, it will be about the game (and I will never live it down, but his prediction was 27-24 Patriots); for me, it’s about the commercials … and legal marketing.
Let’s just do it. Nationwide. What were you thinking???
Dead kids and the Super Bowl? Who thought that was a good combination?
In their defense/press release, well …
The sole purpose of this message was to start a conversation, not sell insurance. We want to build awareness of an issue that is near and dear to all of us—the safety and well being of our children.
And here’s where they failed: the viewing public did not want to have this conversation. It was thrust upon us. It didn’t feel right. After watching heart-warming, after heart-warming kids and dads and puppies we got sucked in … and slapped down.
It’s not that the viewers (up to 50% of American households had the game on) were not willing to have deep conversations. At my house we discussed the Like A Girl commercial, and repeated it so everyone could see it, especially all the girls.
We also discussed domestic violence and how powerful this message was:
We just didn’t expect, nor did we want, to discuss dead kids at a Super Bowl party where we were watching it with our kids.
So what does this have to do with lawyers and legal marketing? It has everything to do with it.
Lawyers have a message. It’s an important message. But that message needs to be presented at the right time and the right place; deliver it at the wrong time, and not only will it fall on deaf ears, you can completely ruin a relationship and tarnish your brand.
In coaching a lawyer for a meeting we walk through it all: location, who will be there, where are you in the sales cycle, what to say, what not to say, and what materials, if any, to bring, and the all important follow up.
Introduce a packet or pitch too early, and you will lose the ability to move that prospect to a client. Wait too long and you’ll never stop the random acts of lunch and baseball games.
Pitch the wrong person, and you’ll never get the work, wondering why your competitor always seems to win the new business over you.
Never pitch and you’ll never make partner.
And this is where a good rainmaker succeeds. For many it is instintive, but I will argue that it is just as easy to make this an intention. You just need the perpective. Pause. Get outside yourself. Place yourself into the shoes of your client. Speak with your legal marketer, or a successful rainmaker in your firm.
It’s not rocket science, but it is nuanced. Some attorneys get it instinctively, most do not. This isn’t taught in law school, or any where else. It’s about the human connection. And that’s why all those puppy and dad commercials work.