Whether you are fresh out of law school or an experienced lawyer looking to level up your career, finding new clients can be challenging. You might not know this, but according to the National Law Review, more than 1.3 million attorneys are currently active and working in the United States. With a market this rich, lawyers no longer have the upper hand, and clients seeking legal advice have a huge pool of options. In other words, attorneys don’t get to choose clients anymore in 2022. Clients choose who they want to present them.
When the market is this competitive and the clients are more law-educated every day, it gets harder to find clients you can assist. Although the competition might not be the only thing holding you back. There are different reasons why a lawyer fails to collect a huge book of business. There are also different ways, tips, and tricks to find more clients. In this blog post, I want to review the major possibilities that prevent lawyers from attracting new clients and also share with you ways to find more clients.
What Challenges Lawyers Face When Finding Clients?
As I mentioned earlier, there are different setbacks that cause difficulties when approaching a new client or trying to find more clients. If you, as a lawyer, recognize these mistakes and try to avoid them, your career life would be much, much easier. Let’s take a look at the biggest challenges lawyers face when trying to expand their client circle:
1. Slow response time
Lawyers spend big money and resources on getting the phone to call without knowing what really happens after that. Let’s have a reality check; attorneys are incredibly slow at responding to potential clients. Yes, I know this is unbelievable, but it is the hard truth. Let me throw in some statistics. According to Law Technology Today:
- Less than 10% of potential clients get to actually speak to an attorney.
- 42% of the time, lawyers take three to five days to respond to a potential client’s voicemail or online form application.
- 11% of calls last less than ten seconds, and 3% of clients give up even before the call is answered. These are probably because the client is frustrated with failed attempts to contact a lawyer.
There are two types of law firms when approaching the problem here. The first group fails to recognize that their lack of responsibility towards responding to a potential client is the reason why they do not get new clients. The second group recognizes this problem and accepts it but approaches it with excuses like lack of firm staff. At the same time, even a freelance lawyer can get back to a client almost immediately if they use the right tools.
Response time is one of the most crucial factors in a client’s choice about doing business with you. Slow response times usually come off as a lack of responsibility. As a client, if a lawyer seems to be too busy to answer my call, how can they handle my legal problem?
2. Poor marketing strategy
Marketing is not just for selling products. Any business needs marketing to thrive. People need to know you in order to do business with you. You need a solid personal brand and marketing strategy. You can be the best lawyer out there, but if the clients who need your help don’t hear about you, they will turn to marketed and reputable attorneys.
3. Lack of positive reviews
We live in a digital era. Sure, word-of-mouth marketing is important, but people mostly Google what they need instead of asking around. That’s why having a high-rated online reputation is vital for your law firm. Online reviews help people decide if you are a suitable solution to their problem. The more stars you have next to your searched name, the higher the chance of having new clients. If you have a weak reputation and bad reviews, you have to address the problem your previous clients had in order to increase the quality of your work. This way, the clients who are pleased with working with you will leave you good reviews. Lacking positive reviews is not the only thing that will harm your business. Zero reviews also have to be avoided. Having no reviews comes off as if no one has ever worked with you. So don’t hesitate to ask old clients to share their thoughts about you.
4. Lack of lead tracking
The same law firms that take three to five days to get back to a potential client surely do not track their leads at all. Okay, speaking statistically, out of every four law firms, one does not have a sales funnel. Not owning a sales funnel means you have no idea how close a lead is to converting into a client. That’s not the only problem. You also will not understand what’s working and what’s not. Tracking your leads not only will help increase clients, but it will also help improve your marketing strategy. You can use tools like RunSensible to keep track of your leads and find the strengths and weaknesses in your sales funnel.
5. Not collecting contact information
Okay, let me tell you something unbelievable again. 90% of the time, law firms fail to collect necessary case information from a call. Half of that time, even basic contact information like phone numbers and emails are not collected! I mean, it doesn’t sound too unexpected. When lawyers fail to get back at clients or track leads, the next disaster probably is not having the client’s contact information. Now, the question is, when only one-tenth of potential clients get through a firm’s lead funnel, how can lawyers expect to expand their client count?
Law schools don’t teach the business aspect of a legal career. Most of the time, lawyers who just graduated have no idea how to gather clients. These are only some of the challenges a lawyer struggles with. The demand for lawyers doesn’t match up to the number of lawyers and law firms. It’s not that people do not need legal advice. The average American goes through at least one legal issue in two years that would need an attorney. They don’t end up hiring one because they simply cannot afford it. It’s not that people don’t need lawyers. They can’t afford them.
The whole demand and expense situation and all the challenges can be solved if lawyers get creative. I will give you some tips to overcome the situation and gather more clients.
How Do Lawyers Find Clients?
In order to overcome the struggles mentioned earlier and look for clients, you first have to understand where clients look for you. With a clear idea of how clients look for lawyers, you can come up with a marketing strategy to increase awareness of your business.
Google, the search engine we all love and adore. We use Google for our most basic needs, so it makes sense to search for lawyers on Google when a legal issue arises. When buying a service or a product through Google, users usually go with the highly-rated business with the most positive reviews. The same goes for legal businesses. Almost every time a client searches for lawyers, they choose the lawyer who ranks the highest in the Google search results.
2. Friends and family
After online reviews, word-of-mouth is one of the most used strategies for clients to find a lawyer. Clients don’t usually rely on online searches. They ask for recommendations from their social circle. Recommendation from friends and family, whether they come through face-to-face or from social media, is the most trusted type of social proof. When you work with a client, make sure you leave them with a good impression. This way, they will always remember you when a friend or family member asks them about a legal matter.
3. Referrals from other lawyers
Give, and you shall receive. The key to gathering clients, well, at least 70% of the time, is to form a referral agreement with other law firms. Try to build a good and high-quality relationship with your past clients and other lawyers. Most of the time, lawyers who refer clients to you expect the same thing from you. If you form this quid pro quo agreement with other law firms and also offer your clients a high-quality experience, you will have referrals coming your way all the time.
4. Lawyer directories
Lawyer directories are the channel between clients and lawyers. Usually, different directories focus on a specific practice. Having a clear knowledge of lawyer directories ensures that you show up on all the right ones. Being present on the most famous directories and confirming that you are added raises the chance of a client finding you and actually picking the phone up to call you. There are lots of different lawyer directories. But, if I was to recommend some, I’d go with the most famous ones:
To Wrap It Up
As I mentioned before, finding new clients might feel overwhelming because the market makes you feel like there are too few clients for too many lawyers. Although, that’s not entirely true. The fact is, there are clients out there who desperately need your help. You just have to know where to look for them. You also have to ensure you dodge certain mistakes to give your clients a satisfying experience of doing business with you. Don’t forget to lead your tracks and immediately respond to your clients. RunSensible is a lead management and business phone call tool that can automate the process of keeping up with your clients. RunSensible can ensure you never lose a potential client!