Building a B2B case: 8 tips from criminal lawyers

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Doug Kessler

16. 01. 2008 | 2 min read

Building a B2B case: 8 tips from criminal lawyers

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We B2B marketers are in the business of building cases. We’re advocates. So it pays to look at how other professional persuaders ply their trades. I started with a little research into how criminal lawyers do what they do, focusing in on the summation to the jury, where the whole case comes together into one clear argument…

Here are eight tips, harvested from Jury Arguments and Texan DUI specialists Trichter & Murphy (there’s a lot of DUI in Texas), plus my notes for applying them to B2B tech marketing:

  • “Your credibility with the jury depends on how they perceive your competence, your likeability, and your character.” In B2B, this is about brand, attitude, style and credibility.
  • “Your passionate belief and enthusiasm about your case shows that you care.” Enough of the bloodless, jargon-packed techno-speak.
  • “Appeal to all the senses: use persuasive visual aids or exhibits in your argument and opening.” At Velocity, we’re big on guerrilla video and Pecha Kucha (20 slides, 20 seconds each = rock & roll).
  • “Present your argument in a way that caters to the juror’s world view, not yours. To do this, you must consider the juror’s values, wants, and needs.” The most obvious thing in marketing is still the least practised.
  • “Tell the jury not only what the evidence is but what the evidence means. Your job is not simply to bring the facts to life. You must also interpret the evidence for the jury.” A benefit for every feature…
  • “Reduce your theory to a short, one-paragraph explanation, clear of obstacles, that can be understood by a group of bright twelve-year olds.” The art of the elevator pitch.
  • “Admit at the outset the weak points in your argument . You can expose your weaknesses in a better light than your opponent, who will expose them in the darkest possible way. An honest admission, having come from you, not only endows you with credibility, it also leaves your opponent with nothing to say except what you have already admitted.” We’re big believers in sharing Pros and Cons — admitting real issues that can’t be ignored and showing how trivial they really are. Ask me for an example from a recent piece.
  • “Don’t misquote evidence or try to twist or interpret it into a form that doesn’t have legs.” At Velocity, we’re a tough jury. If you can convince us, we can convince anyone.

Who needs copywriters? Get yourself a good lawyer.

Published in:

  • b2b

  • content

  • marketing

  • persuasion

  • selling

  • writing

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