One-way ticket to Coma-ville

Paul writes:

I’m looking for some advice about how to help a client “famous” with regards to an issue that is complex.

She is involved in litigation that could effectively change the foreclosure industry.

Part of the challenge is being able to translate legalese into language the average person can comprehend.

Trying to “sell” this from the legal angle is a quick way to put your prospects into a coma.

In fact, I’d turn this problem around and ask, “What’s the absolute least amount of time you can spend talking about her new legal strategy?”

Here’s the problem:

Even if you can simplify this down so a 5th grader can understand it, you’ll still have to get that 5th grader to sit still long enough to listen.

And that means showing him how he benefits.

In this case, homeowners facing foreclosure are in a lot of immediate pain, and the benefits are simple and easy to understand:

Your family won’t end up on the street.

You’ll be able to sleep at night again.

Your credit score won’t be ruined.


You’re going to face a lot of skepticism. These people have had their hopes raised and dashed time and time again.

Stories and testimonials are your best ally. If her legal approach works, she can probably get video of happy-sobbing clients. Find stories that her best prospects will identify with, and lead with them in your marketing.

Only after you’ve planted the hook with benefits and powerful testimonials will you introduce her litigation approach.

But only briefly. In copywriting, this is called the “mechanism.”

You need to show juuusst enough of the “secret sauce” to make your benefits believable.

How much to show depends on your target audience.

Keep the explanation fast and interesting—and especially show why it works when other approaches fail.

Save the complexity for later, when the client is emotionally committed.