How Attorneys Get A 5-Star Reputation With Clients Personally Recommending You To Complete Strangers

“Your brand or your name is simply your reputation, you have to fight in life to protect it as it means everything. Nothing is more important.”

Richard Branson (1950) Billionaire founder of the Virgin Group.

A while ago I talked mentioned two attorneys from Colorado, who were often mistaken for brothers they were so similar.

However, one was highly successful and the other constantly flirted with being broke.

The successful attorney had a lot of free time and attracted high paying clients.

The broke attorney worked 10-12 hours per with ungrateful clients who never seemed to have the cash to pay him.

After leaving Law School and working for someone for a few years, the broke Colorado attorney set up his own firm.

It was just him and two other staffers.

He understood his area of law well.

He had helped several dozen clients at his previous firm and even scored some impressive victories against all odds.

He could be considered as one of the top in his field.

Yet, every time a potential client walked into his office, he got frustrated and annoyed.

Why? Well, they always wanted a discount. They couldn’t afford his fees. They were skeptical. They were shopping around for lawyers.

He blamed the potential clients. They simply ‘didn’t get it’.

The people in this little town outside of Denver simply weren’t budging.

So he cut his prices and extended terms. He was working like a dog, day and night, simply to follow his so called ‘dream’ of owning his own practice.

Had he known about financing it would have eased his pain. However, he made one huge mistake in the way that he positioned himself.

Even if you don’t have financing, this one change in his approach to running his law firm would have made all the difference. (I’ll go into more detail in a minute).

Instead of fixing things where was located, he finally gave up decided that he needed to move to the city. That’s where all of the rich people live and he’ll be able to charge higher prices.

However, his staffing costs were higher, his rent was higher, and he had to compete with ten times the number of attorneys.

Some of them were super attorneys, like his friend from law school.

He continued to struggle. Everything he tried seemed to fail.

The clients still demanded discounts. Some of them were still ungrateful. Nothing really changed except for the fact that now his costs had skyrocketed.

The other (successful) attorney seemingly took the same path, but with a few differences.

Difference #1: Raising his fees seemed “CRAZY!”

He worked for another firm for a few years after law school and then proceeded to open his own small office.

And again, he struggled to attract good paying clients.

However, instead of cutting his prices, he did something else.

He raised his prices. By a lot.

He then positioned himself as The Divorce Attorney You Probably Can’t Afford.

He even had a price comparison chart showing how much more expensive he was.

He then printed case studies of his prior successful cases.

He even interviewed his happiest clients and displayed their wonderful words about him around the office.

As soon as someone walked through that door they knew that HE was the authority. Even though he was expensive, they believed that he could solve their problem.

In fact, they believed he could solve their problem BECAUSE he was expensive.

You see, what the successful attorney realized was that all of these people who ‘couldn’t afford’ his fees, were driving $30,000-$50,000 cars, lived in their own homes, and lived decent lives.

Expense and price was never truly the REAL issue. It was only an excuse people were making. Sometimes people simply say they ‘can’t afford it’ to see if they could get favorable terms.

By increasing his fees, he almost automatically became the authority in his space.

(By the way. This attorney used financing to get people to afford his services. You can read more about that here.)

The case studies and leaflets sealed the deal. People genuinely believed he was the best because they were overwhelmed with social proof.

Social proof can come in the form of case studies, reviews, testimonials etc.

The increased fees also meant he could deliver a better service to each client.

Not only did business improve, but so did the outcome of his cases.

So, instead of blaming the clients, he simply positioned himself differently.

People treated him with more respect, as they showed up on time and paid on time.

The broke attorney had contempt for his clients because he believed they were ‘cheap’ and didn’t appreciate his worth.

Let’s take a look at how you can achieve what the successful attorney achieved, and avoid the path of the broke attorney.

Difference #2: Focusing on positioning and reputation (a quick guide)

He worked for another firm for a few years after law school and then proceeded

Some attorneys shudder at the thought of increasing their fees. Don’t worry. Even if you don’t increase your fees, this will help you immensely.

Put that to one side.

First, let’s focus on getting you a 5-star reputation so that you can be one of the most sought-after attorneys in your area, and perhaps even your entire state.

Imagine Jane Doe needs an attorney.

Her close friend, Gill, recommends Attorney A who got her an amazing outcome.

Then Jane’s brother recommends the same attorney, because he had a great experience.

And finally, 20 other people personally recommend the same incredible attorney.

Then there is Attorney B. Nobody recommends him, but himself.

Do you think Jane will use Attorney A or Attorney B?

Of course, she would use Attorney A. It is a no brainer.

The successful attorney from Colorado copied this approach. Over the past ten years it has become much easier to gain such a great reputation.

It is all because of this:

85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Lots of 5 star reviews essentially is the same as your friends and family recommending you an attorney.

Just like Jane Doe’s family and friends did in the hypothetical scenario above.

However, getting 5-star reviews often eludes many attorneys.

Only about 4% of all attorneys actively try to improve their reputation via reviews, even though it is by far the most effective and modern way to do so.

Relying on word of mouth is the equivalent of riding a horse and cart while everyone is driving a car.

You will fall behind, and quickly.

Not only is an online review the same as a personal recommendation in most cases. It works for you, like a tiny little salesperson, 24 hours per day 7 days per week.

You can have dozens, and even hundreds of reviews working as little referral partners around the clock.

Word of mouth doesn’t even come close.

So, you have a massive opportunity to get way ahead of the curve. By collecting reviews, the right way, you can join the top 4% of attorneys.

It is easier than you think with an effective reputation management system. We call is the Mass Referral System, because of the number of referral quality leads it generates.

Picture this. You’ve finished fixing a client’s legal problem and you did a great job. They are happy, and so are you.

Just before you guys shake hands on good terms, you do this one simple thing.
Ask them, “Hey, before you go, do you mind writing a little review about your experience with me?”

When they say “Yes, of course” simply hand them a tablet or your phone and ask them to rate you.

According to that same study I cited earlier, 68% of consumers left an online review if a business asked them.

The percentage is even higher when the process is easy and the client is happy.

Here’s an example.

If the review is positive, the client will get an email asking them to share that review on Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms.

If the review is negative you get an email and a chance to address it.

This process is very important and can make or break a law firm. I cannot stress this enough. Businesses up and down the country are losing out on customers and clients.

An author and entrepreneur, Kasio Martin, wrote about her experience.

She wanted to use a local business. She Googled them and found they had a few good reviews.

Her experience with the business didn’t go so well. She proceeded to write a bad review on five separate websites:

Insider Pages, City Search, Yahoo, Google Pages and Yellow Pages.

According to Kasio, had she wanted to, she could have:

“Tagged their Facebook page and talked about my negative experience. I could have posted a negative review directly onto their neglected Facebook wall and (judging by their twice per year updates) they probably wouldn’t notice for quite some time. What I am saying is that I can actually use their own Facebook page to divert their potential customers! Meanwhile I can also use 4Square to leave a helpful tip to do business elsewhere. Or even to advertise another business that treated me better.”

The next time someone Googles that business, they would see Kasio’s negative reviews 5 times before coming across one positive one.

And this brings me to my point. On average, a happy client will thank you, and then go about their day.

An unhappy client will go out of their way to say bad things about you and your law firm.

One single unhappy person can turn away hundreds of new clients over the next few years.

So you need 20-25 happy clients for every one unhappy client.

It isn’t fair. One angry client does not reflect the way that you do business. The super attorneys know this, and they use it to their advantage.

By controlling the review process, you can address the unhappy clients. You can finally balance the scale.

That’s why it is so important to capture the negative review before it gets spread.

The Mass Referral System will notify you of the negative review so that you can contact the client.

(Schedule an appointment here if you want this for your law firm)

This will reduce the chances of a bad reviewer getting out of control. Super attorneys don’t like leaving things to chance.

The successful attorney from Colorado took action, and the broke attorney ignored it.

By simply using an easy review system and asking your happy clients for reviews, you could be pulling ahead of the pack in a major way.

Once you accumulate reviews it becomes incredible powerful.

Have a look at my company’s review website:

That is almost 400 reviews with an average rating of 4.97 out of 5.

As an attorney, when you are contemplating hiring a marketing company, would you look at these reviews?

The price of hiring an attorney is roughly the same as hiring a marketing company. If you see dozens, and in our case hundreds, of reviews, would that sway your decision?

My guess is that it’ll play a big factor in whether or not you bite the bullet.

And it doesn’t just end at our own review website. Have a look at what’s on Google:

That is 67 reviews with an average rating of 4.9 out of 5. These reviews work for me day and night to get new consulting clients. Each one is like a tiny little sales person telling others how they should hire my team and I.

By taking your reputation seriously it becomes difficult to say no to your services.

Charging higher prices becomes easier. (And again, as an attorney you can offer financing so clients can afford those fees.)

You can post these reviews on landing pages, social media, and your website.

You can print them out and have a review booklet that you hand to clients who walk into your law office.

When you get an objection from a potential client you can simply say, “Don’t take my word for it, simply read what other clients have experienced”.

It’ll quickly become one of the most useful weapons in your arsenal. Other attorneys will look at you and wonder how on earth you are getting such high paying clients all the time.

Here’s a quick scenario that will happen week in and week out if you do this right.

Dave, a potential client, searches for an attorney in your area. Five or six results pop up.

You come out at the top with dozens of five star reviews.

Dave picks up the phone and gives you a call. When he comes into your office he gets handed a little booklet with all of your reviews and case studies inside.

He’s ready to hire you now before you’ve even spoken a word.

However, you are taking it one step further.

When you sit down and explain Dave’s options to him, he asks about the price.

You explain that the best attorneys, who get the best results, are usually more expensive than other attorneys.

Dave agrees with you. He understands that you will cost more, and he believes that you are the best.

Then you hit him with an affordable financing option. It is well within his budget to pay monthly.

What are the chances of Dave becoming a client?

What do you think happens when you combine all of these elements?

He believes that you are the best, he knows he can afford you, and he knows that you will do a good job because you aren’t cheap.

It is a powerful combination that’ll catapult you to the top of the legal food chain.

Not only that, you’ll save time by not needing to ‘convince’ them of your worth. The reviews do that for you.

Instead of needing to be a salesman yourself, you’ll have lots of tiny reviews working as salespeople for you 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

You are more desirable and more affordable than your competition. You’ll soon find yourself hoovering up more clients while getting paid more for your time.

All while your competition are scratching their heads trying to figure stuff out.

While interviewing with Ken Hardison he had this to say about reviews for attorneys.

“The last study I looked said 87% of people that go online to buy services or products, look at the reviews. And those Millennials are becoming a bigger market, and probably 95%, 98% of them look at reviews. So yeah, I think it’s of utmost importance. You’ve got to have good reviews and that means you got to give a good service. And I’ve seen some lawyers get some of the bad reviews, you know, and it hurts their business, there’s no doubt about it.

There’s some middle of the line lawyers doing it, but we preach that at PILMMA. We started preaching that a couple of years ago. And we teach them how to do it in an ethical matter. We’ve got some PILMAA members who have 300 or 400 reviews. Loads of them got 100 to 200 reviews. And they’re seeing the benefit of it.”

Do you see now how simple tweaks can make all the difference?

And how just doing a few things differently can turn you into a super attorney, with more time and money than regular attorneys?

Recently, just one conversation lead to the following review being posted on Google by Alfredo Bonilla:

“Big Mouth Marketing through its founder and owner, Gary Musler, has set the bar when it comes to helping attorneys grow their practice. Reading Gary’s material, whether through his website or via his helpful emails, empowers the reader with the knowledge needed to succeed today and into the future. He and I spent about an hour discussing my specific needs and Gary was very approachable and engaged the whole time. I highly recommend his services!”

If you are ready to grow your law firm please schedule a 1-1 appointment here.

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