I’m in the process of hiring a lawyer for my ex-husband. He’s a beneficiary of a trust being litigated in Cincinnati, Ohio and we live in Boulder, Colorado, so we’ve had to do all of our searching for a lawyer on the internet.
At first I was annoyed that I needed to help him find a lawyer and he couldn’t just do it himself, but then as I began to get into the process, I realized why it’s so hard for him.
Most lawyers are doing such a horrible job of marketing themselves online that it’s actually really hard to find good counsel.
And, you may be the best lawyer in town (and if you are a great litigator in Ohio, please message me!), but boy, you are sure making it hard for me to find you, hire you, and give you money.
Here’s what I saw after going through the process of trying to find a lawyer myself:
1. Your Directory Listing Sucks
I did a search on Lawyers.com for Trusts & Estates Lawyers in Cincinnati, Ohio. This was the first firm that came up in the search.
They’ve been in business a long time. Maybe they don’t need business from the internet, but then why even be listed on Lawyers.com?
Their directory listing simply says “Attorney at Law” with no indication of why I should call their office among all of the other 67 law firms that showed up in the search.
The second firm looks a bit better with a pretty screenshot of their website that at least indicates they tried, but their directory description is simply “A highly rated Law Firm established in 1965 practicing Trusts And Estates law.”
This is only one step above the description of “Attorney at Law.” Your prospects are not looking for a highly rated Law Firm, don’t care when you were established, and have no idea what it means that you practice Trusts and Estates Law.
In fact, the first four listings on the site all say variations of the same thing. Here, you can see for yourself (click to enlarge):
They are all equally bad.
These profiles were written for lawyers, by lawyers.
You need to write your directory listing for the people looking to find you — prospects.
The only guy who has even a decent directory listing is the one at the top of this page, Jay Brinker:
Jay’s had me intrigued. His description is written in the first person. It has his picture in it. I can feel his care.
But then I clicked through to his website.
2. Your Website is Even Worse
Let’s take a look at Jay’s website first:
Before I critique his site, let me say this. Jay looks like a very nice man. He has good credentials and I’m sure he does a great job for his clients. But, just from looking at his website, I’d say his practice isn’t doing that well.
I could be wrong, but …
The first thing I notice when I come to Jay’s website is that if I land on it and I’m not immediately ready to hire him, there is no way for him to build a relationship with me so that when I am ready to hire someone, he’s the lawyer I will hire.
I get to his website and if I bounce without calling him, he never even knows I was interested. Poor Jay.
He (and you) has to create a site that’s a lead generating machine!
The second thing I notice is that Jay has a link at the top of his site that says fees, so of course I’m going to click on that because everyone always wants to know “what’s it going to cost?”
Big mistake Jay… When I click on that page, all I see is a listing of prices for documents. Hmm, I’m beginning to think Jay is not the lawyer for me because I have a matter that isn’t listed there.
And, why would I pay Jay $1,800 for a Will & Trust anyway, when I could go online and just get those done myself for a couple hundred bucks at most?
What if I’m a business owner coming to Jay’s site? Jay says he represents business owners, but there’s no indication of that on his fees page. In fact, from his fee page I’d think that all Jay does is create a few sets of estate planning documents.
So what can Jay (and you) do?
Create a site like this. This is a site we created for one of our Family Business Lawyer members.
Here’s where you can see the breakdown of what went into that lawyer’s website and why it’s setup the way it is.
3. How Your Phones are Answered is Even Worse than That
Next, I called some of these firms.
The first firm I called was a multi-lawyer firm with a voicemail that made it impossible to know whether I was wasting my time even leaving them a message.
“You’ve reached the law offices of… Press 1 for attorney #1, press 2 for attorney #2, press 3 for attorney #3, press 4 for staff member #1, etc.”
I have no idea from listening to this message whether their firm handles the kind of matter I have, when I will get a call back, or who I should even be leaving a message for.
Same thing when I called one of the solos. Voicemail. And no information about the firm, how they can help me and what I can expect at all.
The third firm I called (which happened to be the first one in the directory listing I referred to above) was the worst of all. The phone just rang and rang and rang and rang. No one ever answered!
4. You’re Trying to Be Too Many Things to Too Many People
One of the other things I saw quite frequently on my tour around the internet looking for a Cincinnati trust litigation attorney was that you are very likely trying to be too many things to too many people.
I want to find THE go to guy in Cinci who represents trust beneficiaries and is a genius at getting their money released by the mean old trust company. But, that guy doesn’t seem to exist.
Everyone is too busy trying to be all things to all people and doing real estate, title closings, business transactions and the like.
Even this gal who specifically says she has limited her legal practice so she can provide better service has limited it to estate planning, bankruptcy and family law. These are three huge practice areas for one solo practitioner to try and be the best in all of them. (Not to mention that I can’t even figure out what her name is from her directory listing.)
Why would I trust that she would be THE best estate planning lawyer, bankruptcy lawyer or family attorney if she is trying to cover them all?
5. You Have No Sales Process
While I haven’t yet gotten to experience the sales process of the lawyers I’ve inquired with about handling this matter for our family, it’s my experience that most lawyers have no sales process at all.
That means you really have no idea what to say to a prospect to ensure they choose you, rather than the guy down the street.
And, if they do say yes, you have no clear way to set your fees beyond the billable hour or picking a flat fee out of the air that feels right.
And if your prospects say no, you typically don’t ever follow up.
Having a well-scripted and planned out sales process is absolutely the key for you to stop losing money and start seeing more clients, once and for all.
Here’s where you can learn to create a sales process so that you never feel as if you are selling again, have clear pricing packages that allow your clients to choose their own fees…
And ensures you get seen as the go to lawyer in your community for the work you do. Plus, you’ll get to see and learn how to use the fee schedule I invested more than $12,000 to create.
So, my friends, this is why you are losing clients and money, plain and simple.
Put just a bit of attention on your directory listings, your website, how your phones are answered, how you represent yourself and your sales process and your law practice will sing. I promise.
Today, take 15 minutes and pretend you are a prospect looking for you. Go online and do a search. See what things look like from your prospect’s perspective. It’ll be eye-opening.