Our Rainmaker Retreat in Las Vegas last weekend yielded many interesting questions from the attorneys who attended, including one that furnished the subject matter for today’s post:
How does someone who needs legal services make a decision to hire me?
Our experience in law firm marketing over the past decade has taught us that most people take a four-step approach when choosing an attorney:
- The person gathers general information to determine what type of lawyer they need and if they actually have a need for a lawyer;
- The person begins to search and look at several law firms (those they have heard of or find on the Internet);
- The person begins to validate specific attorneys (performs a credibility search to ensure the attorneys he/she is considering are good, qualified attorneys);
- The person then makes an attorney selection (perhaps engaging in a free consult, calling the attorney, etc.).
Savvy attorneys know they need to be accessible at each step in the decision process; here’s how:
Step 1: Information Gathering. Most people turn to the Internet to gather information and you need to be there to answer their questions via a blog or your website. You should have content that specifically addresses the type of situation that would lead someone to hire you and/or why they need legal counsel for their particular problem.
Step 2: Search. An active presence on social networking sites as well as your blog and website can help lead prospects to your door. Many may ask their Facebook friends for recommendations or turn to other social media sites for information about specific firms, so you need to be there.
Step 3: Validation. Having good reviews and posting testimonials (if your state bar allows it) on your website and blog will help put you front and center during the validation process. Don’t forget to beef up your profiles on Avvo, Lawyers.com and other directories as well as LinkedIn.
Step 4: Selection. Offer free consultations at every opportunity and when someone calls your office, return the call immediately. One attorney at the Vegas Rainmaker Retreat asked if two days was too long to return a call from a prospect – the answer is, definitely! Research shows that a hot lead can turn cold in as little as five minutes, so if you can’t get to them quickly, make sure someone else in your office can or that you have an automated system to follow up immediately.© The Rainmaker Institute, All Rights Reserved