Should a Lawyer Buy Leads?
February 4, 2013 | LPM
By Preston Clark
A number of
companies out there will sell leads to lawyers. Total Attorneys and Nolo are two of the most well known.
What’s a lead, you ask? A lead is a potential client. Buying a lead means you’re buying information about a person who has requested to be contacted by an attorney in a particular geographic area for a particular type of legal matter (e.g. DUI, bankruptcy, etc.). The seller of the lead is in the business of generating leads through proprietary and partner websites (For example, I generate leads for lawyers on this page. Scroll down the page and you’ll see the offer.).
Unlike the typical referral model which is premised on the concept that IF a referral becomes a client there will be an opportunity for revenue sharing– the business of buying leads is a cash-up-front game.
And that means exactly what you think it does. You may buy ten leads and not a single one of them converts into a client. That means you’re out 10(x) lead cost and wondering if you shouldn’t have just picked ten random phone numbers out of the phone book.
If you know what you’re doing, buying leads can be a great way to drive business. The problem is that most attorneys don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to converting leads.
So let me give you 3 pointers, should you decide to test out the lead game for your law practice:
Trust the source and test the source
If you’re going to buy leads, it’s important that you know where you’re getting them from. Do your Google homework and find out what people are saying. Keep in mind that most attorneys are awful at converting leads, so there’s a lot of negative even for the best providers. My personal preference is the two I mentioned above: TotalAttorneys and Nolo.
Even after you’ve done your homework, you’ll want to walk into this lead game. Total Attorneys will give you the first ten leads for free– and I recommend if you go with them or another company, that you buy no more than 30 leads to start.
Find Out How and Where the Lead Was Generated
This means, you’ll want to know what data points the lead filled cheapest viagra out to become a lead and what type of sites are generating the leads. In the lead game, quality is influenced by a number of variables. For example, you’d want to know if the lead was generated through TheLawInsider.com or through FreeLegalAdvice.com. The latter could be a lesser valued lead if the expectation is that they’ll be getting free advice from an attorney. They may not disclose the exact place the lead was generated, but the lead seller should give you examples of both sites they use to generate leads and examples of the forms that are filled out to create a lead. (Getting confused yet? I’m happy to answer questions on this subject. Just send me an email).
Make a Spreadsheet and Start Dialing
Remember the movie Glengarry Glen Ross? Well, if you don’t, I’d recommend that you watch this clip before you start buying leads. Not because you’re about to turn into a hardcore salesmen, but because you need to be aggressive and methodical to make this work. And that right there folks is the reason that lawyers don’t succeed at converting leads. You’ll want to create a spreadsheet for each lead, when it came in and when you first made contact. You’ll want to track every phone call, email, message and conversation on the spreadsheet. Confucius says: calling once and leaving a message does not a conversion make.
In addition to tracking your contact points with the leads, you’ll need to understand lead math. It’s pretty simple, but it’s important to understand it and to manage your own expectations . If I give you 10 leads– you’re going to call 10. 5 are going to ignore you forever, and 5 are going to talk to you. Of the 5, 2 aren’t going to be interested, and the remaining 3 will come to your office. Of the 3 who come to your office, 2 will become clients. What does that mean? It means you’re going to work your butt off for a 20% conversion.
Will your conversion be 20%? Will it be 10%? What does it need to be to cover lead cost and turn a profit? Those are the numbers you’ll need work out for yourself. Just remember: Know the source, test the source, understand the lead, make a spreadsheet and start dialing. You don’t need to spend much to prove concept. But it’s going to take work to get there.