Cars, Not Candy: Taking Your Customers Through the Legal Shopping Process

Think about the last time you bought a car. Did you turn on the television, see an ad for a car, then leave the house and go straight to that particular dealership?

Probably not. In fact, you probably took anywhere from a few weeks to even months to make a decision on which car to buy—and who to buy it from. That’s exactly what’s happening right not in the minds of your law firm’s customers.

To get the most out of your legal marketing, you must consider the three “R”s that are going through your customer’s minds:

  • Risk. Suggestive ads, such as a candy bar wrapper or picture of a fast food hamburger, work extremely well for spur-of-the-moment purchases. This is not just because the items being sold are tasty, it’s because they are a low-risk purchase. They are cheap (no financial regret), and they are uniform (you know exactly what you’re getting). However, when you hire an attorney, you may easily retain that same person to handle all of your legal problems for the rest of your life—and it’s going to cost a lot more than a cheeseburger.
  • Do you know your client's buying process?Research. Your clients start shopping for big purchases the same way you do: by doing their homework. They are on the lookout for an attorney, so they’re going to go through a lot of them to find just the right one—and with all the options out there, they can afford to be choosy.
  • Reward. What would your customer achieve by choosing you as an attorney? If his case were won, would he consider you a “good” lawyer? Would he choose to recommend you to a friend, or call you again in the future? What can he hope to gain besides the successful outcome of his case?

This may be a slow and frustrating process for an attorney, but your patience will pay off. You can stay in contact in a low-key manner, making sure your customer knows that you are there at his disposal and giving the impression that you are in no hurry to take his case. By taking the pressure off of your customer, you are allowing him to make an informed decision and making him comfortable, building your attorney-client relationship before it has even begun.

Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.