Trying to find a needle in a haystack?

On 06.04.10, In Legal Marketing, by Blake Houser

Certain law firms are increasing profits in a down economy by mastering the client acquisition process, while others continue to search for a needle in a haystack.

The old saying “trying to find a needle in a haystack” has never rung so true. You often hear this term when someone is trying to find something very difficult to locate. In this case, we are referring to law firms networking for new clients, because it’s literally like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Let me clarify…

The most common tool attorneys use for acquiring new clients is networking at events or joining a chamber of commerce or some type of business association. Countless hours are spent networking in hopes that one day someone in their group may have a legal issue the attorney can solve, or they know someone who may need their services. While there are benefits to this strategy, there are also pitfalls. Let’s take a look at this strategy and pinpoint the weaknesses.

The biggest challenge in this strategy is lack of control. It’s impossible to control the growth of your firm by relying on networking as your primary client acquisition tool. If you cannot effectively control client acquisition, you cannot control the direction of the firm. Although joining a chamber of commerce for networking purposes may not be a bad idea, networking as your primary vehicle to acquire new clients has proved inadequate.

You cannot base the success or growth of a law firm on hope or luck.

Let’s first look at the main reason a client needs a lawyer’s services. As in any type of business, it starts with a need; a need the client has, which in the legal industry is always a serious one. That is what truly separates the prospecting process of lawyers from any other type of business. Prospective clients come to lawyers because they have a serious need. That’s why the image or brand you project as a lawyer should be one of trust, confidence, and experience. But “image” and brand creation is another topic in itself. Let’s move on.

The real question is how do you effectively acquire new clients who have an immediate need for your services. Networking is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. We want to turn the tide as much as possible and create a way for prospective clients to find your services before your competitors do.

Let’s talk facts…

More than 70% of people use a search engine to find a service or product they need, and this number will only grow. We know most of those people do not look past the first page of Google. Obviously, a search for a New York litigation lawyer or Miami criminal attorney will come from prospective clients who have an immediate need in these areas and are looking for a lawyer to address this need or solve their problem.

It only makes sense to use this to your advantage and optimize your search engine to bring your Websites to the top of the search engines. This way you won’t be trying to find a needle in a haystack. Prospects who search for your services will actually find you! Now this is a priceless tool. Can you imagine spending more time working billable hours, than networking? Think of what this could do to your annual profits. Once client acquisition is effectively developed, you can then plan and direct the growth of your firm.

As of this writing, March 22, 2010, there has never been a more effective and profitable client acquisition tool for lawyers than search engine optimization.

That’s why Wells & Drew hired the smartest SEO team available to offer this tool to the legal industry. For us it’s critical to offer this to our clients, and has proved to be just as effective for them as originally expected. Unlike many SEO companies, we do not require contracts, primarily because we want our results to speak for themselves.

If done properly, this service should not need a contract, because the client will want to pay for it if it’s doing its job and generating a high ROI.

Additionally, we are the only company I know of that offers SEO, Web design, fine stationery, law firm logo design and legal supplies all in-house. That means you can use one vendor for all your services, which results in savings and simplifies your office management.

For more information on this services call 800-342-8636 or email service@wellsdrew.com. You also have the option of using the form below.

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Blake Houser

Client Relations Manager at The Wells & Drew Companies
About the author:
Blake Houser is Client Relations Manager at Wells & Drew. In addition, he is the third generation in this family-owned speciality printing business.

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