Retaining new clients has become really hard and it becomes even harder when you go about it without a proper plan. There’s a whole process involved in turning a potential client into a paying client and if you skip the steps along the way, your potentials will disappear.

Most attorneys overlook the decision making process of a potential client. When people get into trouble they don’t immediately decide on hiring a lawyer – obvious! So, they go & search Google asking questions about their situation like “Will my wife get custody of my kids in divorce” or “Divorce laws in New York” etc. Now, you need to provide the answers people are looking for. You need to make them feel better about their situation when they talk to you. If you do this, your retention rate will definitely go up and you’re going to have less price resistance.

If you’re having trouble retaining enough clients, listen to the podcast, implement the strategies and convert potential clients into paying clients more often.


Today, I have got a really important podcast. I realized that most attorneys and the way they sell, the way they attract clients, it’s skipping steps and is causing them to miss out on getting as many clients as they could get and get them without price aggravation, commoditization and those kinds of things. There are steps in the decision-making process of your prospects that you are very likely missing out on and what’s said on your website, what’s said by you on the phone, what’s assumed by you and the keywords that you target, all these areas are missing a few steps and I am going to go into them now and tell you why it’s so important. So when someone has a legal problem, it could be divorce, it could be financial strain leading to bankruptcy, it could be immigration, it could be a DUI, drug crime, it could be estate plan, any of these things, okay. Any practice area, does not matter. People have a legal problem.

Their first response is not “Oh I got to get a lawyer for this and I want the best one”, it’s rare that that’s the response unless they are a sophisticated person that maybe has the business dealing. Their first response is, “Damn, I just want this problem to go away, I don’t want to deal with this”. That’s people’s first response. And it’s a very natural response because legal problems, by their very nature, are ugly and no one wants to deal with them. You as an attorney, would you like to have a legal problem? Hell no, and you would have the same response. Damn it, I just wish this would all go away. So that’s people’s first response. The next response is, “All right, I have got to deal with this. What do I do? Well, I have got questions, I need to know this, I need to know that. I don’t even know what I need to know”. That’s the situation for many people. So they go searching.

They’ll go searching on Google, they’ll type in all kinds of stuff like “Got pulled over in West Covina, blew at 0.24, will I go to jail”. They’ll Google things like “Long term marriage, is there such a thing as perpetual alimony”, or, “Father recently passed, how can avoid probate”. These are the things that people will Google because the stage they’re in mentally is they are asking questions. They are not going to be Googling “Los Angeles personal injury lawyer”, they’re going to be asking what’s called question keywords. So first of all, do you show up for these keywords? And how you show up is you have articles, they answer people’s questions on your website and in your other marketing, YouTube, Facebook etc.

Do you have that contents? If you don’t, you are likely to be passed over and never noticed at this point. And that’s the problem because the lawyers that are noticed at this point and are starting to answer people’s questions, they have a chance to get back client before they ever get to the final keywords or before they ever make a decision that they truly need a lawyer. All right, so getting back to this path. So the first is “I want to buy my head in the sand and make it go away”, the second is “I have got questions, so I look, I research, maybe I even get to the point where I want to call an attorney and do a consult, so I do that. What happens when you get calls. You get questions. People don’t just say right off-the-bat, “Hi, I need a lawyer, I want to hire you”, they almost never say that. What they do ask is they ask questions. So here is a mistake that a lot of attorneys do at this point, they say, “Well, every situation is different. You just got to come into the office and then we can figure it out from there”. You are stopping the person from getting the answers they want so it’s very unlikely that they’re going to hire you. They want their questions answered now, they don’t want them answered two days from now when they come into the office, which is a scary experience. They want answers right now because they can’t stand it. It’s bugging them so badly their situation, they’ve got to know now.

Remember that night, they’ve got to go to sleep and don’t you think that this is going to be going on in their head all day, all night, in the shower, they’re going to be hanging out with their kids and they are going to be distracted worrying about this legal issue, whatever it is. Don’t you think that happens? I mean I know sadly, from experience, that’s what legal problems do. Thank God, I haven’t had serious ones but I couldn’t imagine having a serious legal problem. It must consume you mentally all day, all night everywhere you go. So that’s what’s going on in your prospect’s heads. So if you don’t answer their questions and you are not a helpful resource at this point, they’ll never even get to the point of wanting to have a lawyer or wanting to have you. How can they make that decision if this stuff is burning a hole in their brain? They can’t do it. So this is the next stage.

So if you answer people’s questions and you give them an understanding and you give them a semblance of what might happen, now they start to feel a better sense of control, they relax a bit. You can hear on the phone, I know you can when you spoke to the potential clients, you can hear when they go “(A sigh of relief)” mentally and they start to feel better about it. And guess who they attribute that feeling to, to you? If you are real slick and you are real smart, you can do this with your website and start to build that feeling before they ever call you. But if not, and you actually get them to call you, which is a feed in itself, you can do it over the phone. And the best attorneys I know are very good at that. They spend the time to answer questions, they don’t just try to usher them into their office. So that’s what you want. You want that, Aaah, that relaxation.

You want to hear it or experience it from your potential client because now, they are a lot closer to making that decision. So here is where they’re at now. You have answered their questions, they feel some more measure of control about their situation, they’re starting to feel a bit better, there is hope, maybe this will come out okay. Maybe in the divorce, I will be able to see my kids 3 times a week. Maybe with the estate plan, I’ll be able to get a third of my mom’s estate and I won’t have a taken by the in-laws. So now that questions are being answered, the person is feeling better, they’re attributing that feeling to you, now they come to the realization, “You know what, this person can help me, this lawyer can help me. I like them, I like what they had to say, I am believing in them, I am feeling better after having my questions answered”, now you can retain them.

Now is the point but not up until this point. And guess what, a lot of lawyers focus on why should you choose me, why we’re better, why we are this, why we are that. So you see how if this is done right that won’t even come up in the conversation, do you see how if you answer people’s questions, this is just an after fact or it could be a very minor thing at the end. Maybe at the end, it’s time to talk about your credentials, maybe not but if you do it the right way, they won’t even be an issue. I hope this helps, I hope this helps you understand the mind of your customer and change how you do your marketing and your sales approach. If you need help with this in your firm, call 888 225 8594 or email Richard.Jacobs@speakeasymarketinginc.com


Richard Jacobs

About Richard Jacobs

My name is Richard Jacobs, and I've discovered quite a bit about the plight of solo practitioners and small, 2-5 attorney firms like yours these past 12 years.

I've come to understand the unique challenges in marketing ethically and effectively that attorneys face because I have:

  • Helped over 180 attorneys author their own practice area book and become the 'implied expert' in their practice area
  • Helped hundreds of attorneys successfully navigate Google's search algorithm changes, growing their websites from 2 potential clients calling a month to 4+ calls per DAY for some clients.
  • Interviewed and promoted over 507 attorneys nationwide, in practice areas such as:
  • DUI / DWI
  • Family Law
  • Criminal Defense
  • Bankruptcy
  • Auto Accidents
  • Social Security Disability
  • Slip & Falls (Premises Liability)
  • Real Estate
  • Estate Planning / Probate
  • Wage and Hour Claims
  • Expungements / Post Conviction Relief

Before you decide to invest in your marketing, it makes sense to first request your complimentary, custom, no obligation video website review.

Richard is the author of 6 books published on Amazon, Kindle and Audible.com

Richard is available for speaking engagements on direct marketing for attorneys and has recently spoken at the following legal conferences:

  • PILMMA (Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing & Management Association)
  • Las Vegas DUI Summit – Private event for DUI attorneys
  • New York Boutique Lawyers Association
  • Perry Marshall & Associates Marketing Academy (Marina Del Rey, CA)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)