The power of perception plays a vital role in our society, both personally and professionally.
Just think, in the first few seconds of meeting someone, you've already formulated an opinion about them. Crazy, right? And no, it's not based on empirical evidence. But on factors like how he or she dresses, walks, talks, and even how they pronounce their "R's."
Really? How they pronounce their "R's."
Whether this systemic human trait is "good or bad," is a conversation for another day. The fact is, we all do it, to varying degrees.
The same rules of perception are true in Corporate America. How we come across via letter, telephone, or email, all contributes to the perception people have of us.
Allow me to illustrate:
Picture for a second the all-too-familiar scene of a guy representing himself in a courtroom. Sweaty and rambling, he does his best to convince a panel of incredulous jurors that they should believe him. The problem is, that even before he started speaking, the jury's perception was already hijacked with one, big, nauseating question:
"WHY IN THE HELL IS THIS GUY REPRESENTING HIMSELF?"
The antithesis of what you would call an auspicious start. How, at the outset, has this colored the jury's perception? Is it logically reasonable that because this man declined representation, that the men and women on the jury might in-turn see him as a pretentious, arrogant, prick? Secondly, what is their perception going to be moving forward? Will it be positive? And lastly, how is the jury's perception going to affect their decision?
Does the man die on impact or does he weather the storm? Statistically, the former has been true more times than not.
PERCEPTION MATTERS- just ask all the men sitting in jail, who if given the chance to do it again, would have went with the public defender.
Demand letters alone, like the man that chooses to represent himself, draws the same negative connotations. The perception is that if they were serious about their claim, they would have had an attorney write it out for them.
This brings me to the topic of discussion: Attorney Letterheads and why they matter.
With the illustration above fresh in our minds, let's read on and compare Attorney Demand Letters versus Lame Duck Demand Letters and the perception the two seemingly invoke.
First off, you're going to be hard-pressed to find many cases where a person flat-out dismisses an Attorney Demand Letter. It just doesn't happen that often. And why not? It's because the perception that there will be consequences, legal consequences, has been hammered into us. It doesn't take a legal scholar for you to know that ignoring an Attorney Demand Letter is never a good idea.
The difference between a Demand Letter on an Attorney Letterhead and one without is like the guy who shows up to court with a lawyer versus the one that does not.
The Attorney Letterhead in all seriousness is the high-powered attorney in the ten thousand dollar suit. Sleek, yet elegant, he uses his legal prowess and infinite charm to ingratiate himself into the juror's hearts.
A real Casanova of the tribunal!
In the world of demand letters, Attorney Demand Letters are the creme de la creme. The perfect balance of authority and professionalism, these finely tuned documents are guaranteed to shape perceptions.
Now, what about the REST: the wanna-be's, the loners, the non-attorney demand letters?
NON-ATTORNEY DEMAND LETTER = LAME DUCK DEMAND LETTER
Let me preface by saying that there are a myriad of amazing, absolutely stupendous, demand letters that run circles around anything that I could ever hope to write. But what good does even the best choreographed letter do, if there is no one willing read it?
Demand letters without the seal of an attorney letterhead are like lame duck presidents. Technically, they have all the power of a first-term president, but we all know that in the realm of perception there is a MATERIAL difference between a first and second-term president.
The same holds true for Lame Duck Demand Letters versus Attorney Demand Letters.
One lets the reader know you mean business, the other does not. One has the stamp of the law, that by its very nature commands attention, the other does not. And so on and so on.
The corollary is, a Demand Letter on an Attorney Letterhead is positioned to get results, a Lame Duck letter, simply is not.
Thus, next time you find yourself in a rut with someone who has reneged on their promise, has or is presently engaging in illegal action, or you just want to put the kibosh on what they're doing because it violates your rights, REMEMBER- Attorney Letterheads Matter.
So don't find yourself with the short end of the stick! Call RJM Law and let's get started on a shape-shifting, perception-gaining, home-run-hitting, custom/targeted demand letter today.