What does it take to get more legal clients?
Any successful law firm marketing strategy includes a plan for encouraging prospective legal clients to contact you to learn about your solutions to their legal problems. It simply isn’t cost-effective to chase “anyone who might need your service” and try to convince them to hire you.
The more you chase potential legal clients, the less interested they will be.
Whenever you run an ad, send a mailing or call someone up to solicit business, you do so with the intention of interrupting whatever they are doing so they pay attention to you for a few moments. You hope that within those 2-3 seconds, they will suddenly realize all the benefits and advantages of doing business with you and will call you up for a consultation.
Rarely will one ad answer all of their questions sufficiently so they feel comfortable contacting you.
What Potential Legal Clients Want To Know
Instead, your prospect will be thinking a jumbled mess of questions that tie into his key problems and are often linked with his confusion, frustration and worry. He’s thinking:
- Do I want or need this service? For prospects who have just been arrested or sued, there’s a good chance the answer is YES. But for lawyers offering ongoing, consulting, or preventative services, prospects may procrastinate because they don’t see all the benefits and advantages you can provide them. In other words, your services may not seem like a top concern or priority. They may not think they need or want what you offer – even if it would be for their own good to hire you right now.
- Is this the right service for me? Even if your prospect recognizes he has a legal problem and categorizes it as a priority, he will research what types of solutions are available. Does he really need to hire an attorney, or can he hire another specialist, a paralegal, or even solve the problem himself? If he does decide to hire an attorney, you have plenty of competition from other lawyers who offer similar services.
- Are you the right lawyer to hire? If your prospect decides to hire an attorney, why should he hire you instead of another lawyer? What makes you the best option? What success stories do you share? How well do you educate prospects on what makes you unique or special?
- Can I afford this service? Price will always be a top concern for prospects. Lawyers have a reputation for charging high rates per hour, so prospects will wonder if they are getting a good value – and if they can get a better rate elsewhere. They will want to know all about your pricing options. What payment options do you accept? Do you charge in installments? Are there hidden charges to be aware of?
- Is this the right time to hire an attorney? If your prospect doesn’t have an immediate need, he will wonder what might happen if he puts off his hiring decision for a month, six months, or longer. What are the pros and cons of taking action now vs. waiting?
- What issues should I be aware of? Your prospect may fear he might make a mistake that makes him lose money or appear foolish, so educate him on the top mistakes people in his situation make and how he can avoid them. What can you do to put your prospect at ease that his case is in good hands with you?
- What if I don’t get the results I want? While it is impossible to guarantee legal results, your prospect may worry about what if he doesn’t like working with you or if he doesn’t agree with the way you approach his case. What if you don’t come through or he thinks you dropped the ball? Managing your client’s expectations is a big part of providing superior client service – especially in complicated legal proceedings with a high rate of uncertainty.
Keep these questions in mind when you create your marketing materials. By understanding what problems and issues your prospect is most concerned with, you can craft marketing messages he might respond to.
7 Reasons Why Your Prospect Might Not Respond To Your Marketing Materials
Before you create your law firm’s marketing materials, take a few moments to put yourself in the head of your prospective legal client. Think about these 7 questions he is asking himself. The most effective marketing materials clearly explain:
- your prospect’s problem in his own words
- what benefits he will experience by solving his problem
- what might happen if he doesn’t take action
- what he should do next to solve his problem
If your marketing materials do this, but you still aren’t getting the results you are looking for, consider:
- Have you adequately described your prospect’s problem or fear? Always start your marketing materials with an appeal to “What’s In It For Me?” If you don’t capture your prospect’s attention in the first 2-3 seconds, they don’t continue reading… but if you can explain their specific problem, what they’re going through, and how you can help them solve that problem, they will be interested.
- Have you given your prospect a clear reason why they should solve their problem now? Most people are creatures of habit and don’t like change. Calling an attorney to solve a pressing legal problem can be a big step outside their comfort zone – especially when it means confronting an embarrassing or upsetting issue instead of continuing to avoid it. Your marketing message should clearly explain why your prospect should take action now rather than waiting – and what might happen if he continues to avoid the issue.
- Have you educated your prospect about the benefits of working with you? Prospects are far more likely to contact you if they already know something about you, such as your reputation, what you’ve written, who else you work with, what you’ve done that is similar to their problems. They want to know how you can help them before they talk to you. The more they understand the way you do business, the more comfortable they will feel contacting you.
- Have you built a case for why your prospect should contact you? Your marketing message should explain why you are the best lawyer to help him handle his legal problem. That you aren’t like the greedy “lawyer” stereotype he might be thinking of. That you are friendly, trustworthy, and happy to help. What will prospects receive from you that is above and beyond what other lawyers provide?
- Does your prospect understand what the next step is? It may sound silly to explain the next step – shouldn’t they just know they should call? But people are busy. They don’t read your marketing materials with their full attention, so they may not think about what you are implying. Tell them directly.
- Have you made it easy to take action? Give prospect several ways to contact you if they have questions such as connecting with you on social media, joining your newsletter, calling for a consultation, or emailing you specific questions. Make it as convenient and risk-free as possible so they feel comfortable contacting you.
- Have you explained what will happen when your prospect takes action? Be clear about what, exactly, will happen once your prospect contacts you, including what information you will ask, what they can expect, and how you will use their information. Assure them they won’t receive a sales pitch and welcome any questions they might have.
If your marketing isn’t generating calls, you aren’t giving prospects a clear reason why they should contact you now. Either you aren’t addressing their current problem adequately or you aren’t overcoming their fears of taking action. Use your marketing materials to build a complete case for your legal services – so they know what to expect before they talk with you one-on-one.