In this marketing tips podcast, Richard Jacobs, the founder, and president of Speakeasy Marketing, Inc., continues his detailed discussion regarding customer segmentation.
Richard Jacobs has over ten years of rigorous, specific experience in attorney marketing strategies that get results, and his company, Speakeasy Marketing, Inc., has assisted hundreds of attorney firms to implement creative marketing strategies that consistently bring in new, and better, clients.
Jacobs provides a quick overview of his previous customer segmentation discussions, such as segmentation by age and circumstance (considering the age and income level of potential clients), and segmentation by ethnicity and type of community (opening up your marketing to segments of the community that are not being serviced by other firms). Jacobs states that now that your firm is making the smartest choices of clients (considering age and circumstances and which clients are willing to pay more for quality legal representation) and you’re marketing to underserved communities (perhaps the Asian and Latino communities, as well as the LGBTQ community), it’s time to consider your first contact with clients.
The first contact with a potential client often comes via the initial phone call. If you’re a two or more attorney firm with an admin person and a call comes in, this is a perfect opportunity to have your admin person gather some basic information to get things moving in the right direction. Jacobs underscores the importance of having your admin people trained in dealing with incoming calls and utilizing prepared scripts with questions that home in on the specifics. He cites examples from a script for a potential DUI client, asking them questions about their situation and charges (BAC level, was a field sobriety test done, do you have a commercial license, are you in the military, etc.) and then informing them about the attorneys that would be ideal to work with them on their case. By offering information on the attorneys who are available (discussing experience in years and in the courts, etc.), the client now can segment on their own, meaning they will now be armed with the information to self-select and make their choice of attorney based on the information that has been provided to them.
As the admin has laid out valuable information about the attorneys in the firm, relating to the new client the ways in which the attorneys are different (such as very experienced attorney/higher rates) and (younger attorney with less experience/lower rates), and their expertise in general, the senior attorney can now charge more—easily. This is because the information has all been laid out up front and the new client is self-selecting. It’s a great way to introduce the attorneys, discuss fees and areas of expertise/track record, and keep rates at a level that can really boost your profits.
This very brief preliminary intake interview allows your firm to filter clients, and it gives you command of the information so when you get on the phone with them you will already know who you are dealing with as they are already segmented. You will not be wasting your time with tire kickers, you’ll be able to focus and get into the meat of the case right away, because your time is valuable and you need to be billing for it, not wasting time selling yourself.
If you’re a solo attorney, you can still emulate this process. You can ask the basic questions up front yourself and drill down to the important information that will help you discern who is a good client, and help you to easily convert a call into a client. Jacobs provides multiple examples of the kinds of information you can ask to receive as well as the kinds of information you can deliver, and thereby make your calls productive.
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