Mixed Messages And New Client Calls

mixed messages

In the world of bankruptcy law, it’s common for new clients to dial one lawyer after another until someone picks up the phone.  That firm will usually get the client, or at least the first crack at the new business.

Each time the phone rings, there’s a prospective new client on the other end of the line.  Someone who needs help from you, and who has come to you for a solution to their problems.

Want to win the client’s heart and mind? Just pick up the phone when it rings.

If you don’t answer, you’re telling the world that you’re closed.  This, in spite of the fact that your marketing likely tells people to call you.

That mixed message can kill your practice.

It’s not always possible for someone to be on the other end of the line – bathroom breaks, lunch, evenings and weekends are just some of the times when picking up the phone may not be practicable – but that should be the exception rather than the rule.

Make sure all of your employees are trained in how to effectively deal with a new inquiry.  If need be, hire an assistant on Elance or oDesk to field overflow calls. Even an answering service is a viable, albeit secondary, option.

Think it’s expensive to hire and train an extra set of ears and hands to field new client calls?

It’s far more costly to go the other way.

Debunking The The Great Content Arms Race Myth

content arms race

When I was a kid, it was all about the United States and the dreaded USSR. Bombs on top of bombs, rhetoric and fist-shaking made for an uneasy future.

Now it seems as if the arms race is one of content, at least in terms of business. And it’s just as scary for lots of attorneys.

We’re urged to blog, do videos, tweet, post, plus, like, and on and on.

Spill your guts to the Internet, and the Internet will reward you richly.

The competition is coming up in the rearview mirror, and you’ve got to either move out of the way of get run over.

Better hurry up.

The problems with this line of logic are as follows:

  • most of the lawyers who are creating content of any sort are doing little more than regurgitating the basics of their field of law;
  • most legal content is so chillingly boring that I can’t imagine anyone wanting to read or watch it;
  • the few lawyers who are doing an awesome job of it are likely not practicing in your neck of the woods;
  • in spite of the best efforts of the online marketing squad, there’s nobody teaching lawyers the specifics on how to write online in such a way that makes people even a little interested in what they have to say.

Everyone worries about being found by Google, but more people are finding content by way of their social circles these days than ever before.

If you can’t write for your audience, nobody’s going to pass along your work. Doesn’t matter how lovely your blog looks, or how well lit your videos are.

So as you can see, it’s not such a big race after all. The hill isn’t too steep to climb, and you can topple the giants more readily than you may think.

All you need to do is start.

Shine A Light, Reflect It Back

Idée de génie
Solo lawyers and small practitioners are selfish when it comes to clients. Clients are finite, and hard to come by. So we horde them.

Online, we horde every bit of traffic we can get. Our blog posts reference our other posts, our videos talk solely about our firm. Social media is filled with our stuff or, sometimes, articles in newspapers and other mass-market resources.

We fail to recognize that there’s good work out there being done by others.  Information is being provided by other attorneys in our field, and it’s useful for our potential clients.

But rather than link to that other stuff, we choose to ignore it. Because we’re afraid that our clients will click the link and be taken to another lawyer’s site – and, therefore, to the other attorney’s office.

But consider this: people who find your website are likely searching for information in a variety of place.  If someone finds another lawyer’s information and you’re not referencing it as well, they may wonder why you’re not doing so.

Are you uninformed? Disconnected from the rest of the profession?

Those questions plague the visitor to your site, if not overtly then on a deeper level.

If you refer to good work done by others then that light will reflect back on you.  You look like a hero, well informed and willing to give good information to your potential client regardless of the source.

You become the benevolent stranger, providing assistance even if it provides you with no benefit. That makes people more likely to work with you; after all, people would rather deal with someone who has shown that they have the client’s best interests at heart rather than their own profit motives.

Why not?

To Raise Your Income, Raise Your Value

The day is capped at 24 hours. The best way to make more money is for clients to place a higher value on each one of those hours.

Golden Bars 3D render

A few weeks ago I needed to clear out my garage. I knew it would take me about 4 hours to get it done, and that the only way I could make it happen would be to take time away from client work.

Some quick calculations yielded the conclusion that I needed to hire someone to clean my garage.  $40 later, I had a clean garage. In the time it took for the work to be done, I picked up two new Chapter 7 bankruptcy clients.

Truly, the person I hired for $40 delivered an incredible amount of value to me. [Read more...]

A Client’s Value

man hands showing paper symbolsMost of our clients will need our help only once in a lifetime. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a future value.

This weekend I picked up a new Samsung Galaxy S4 as part of my move from Verizon to T-Mobile. I opted to pick up a new iPhone for my wife at the same time, and the folks at my local T-Mobile store were exceptionally accommodating.

Though the store had the proper screen protector for the Galaxy, they didn’t have a a ZAGG InvisibleSHIELD for the iPhone 5 in stock.  Rather than take a risk with my new investment, I hopped in the car and headed over to Best Buy.

Though the store was hopping, I got my ZAGG pretty quickly and headed to checkout.  There was no line (evidence of the prevalence of showrooming, perhaps), and I was pointed in the direction of the Geek Squad to get the protector put onto the iPhone (my DIY efforts have in the past yielded bubbled messes).


[Read more...]