What Clients Think When You Don’t Have A Website

Close your eyes and picture this:

It’s 5:30 in the morning, January 1st, 2035.

You’ve retired to a beautiful 12-acre stretch of land in northern Wyoming. Snow blankets the ground outside your home and you’re the first one awake. You committed to running a marathon this spring, so you head down to the kitchen for a healthy breakfast. Might as well start the year off strong, right?

As you’re adding a mix of ingredients that you’re sure you’ll learn to like into your blender, you happen to see something out of the corner of your eye. It’s a stain on the ceiling that wasn’t there before.

Well now you’re off to a great start. You tell yourself that you’re too old and too successful to be climbing up on the kitchen countertops, yet here you are. And there’s the mushy, ruined drywall you were dreading you’d find.

Well, friend, life happens. And it’s happening to you right now. You’ve got a water leak somewhere in that ceiling and it’s not going away on its own. Making matters worse, this needs to be addressed immediately. The forecast this week calls for a burst of freezing temperatures that could make a big problem into a huge one.

Stay with me on this, your next move is to find a plumber. You visit an online directory like Angie’s List and find six local listings to choose from. Four of them have a basic profile and very little additional information. The two most enticing have complete profiles, strong reviews and very similar special offers. But only one has a website that provides more information.

To borrow a phrase from pop culture, Who you gonna call?

Snap back to reality and you’ll see the parallels between legal consumers and our little retirement dream nightmare above.

Even a small case is big money to most people, and folks want to feel good about the attorney they choose. With the internet literally in everyone’s pocket these days, it’s common knowledge that consumers will eventually turn to the web to research or validate their hiring decision.

Despite this, 45 percent of solo attorneys still do not have a website. If that includes you, it’s time to think about the message you’re sending when a prospect asks if you have a website.

When you say, “Yes…”

You share your web address and mention the valuable information there. Soon the conversation turns back to the prospective client’s issue. Making them feel good about speaking to you.

When you answer, “No…”

Imagine it. The conversation just … stops. The prospect wonders, “Why not?” and you’re left explaining your decision to opt out of a marketing tactic that has been a standard for over a decade.

The former conversation shows that you “get it” and stays focused on the prospective client. The latter places you on the defensive and forces you to discuss your business instead of their case. Which conversation do you think your clients want to have?

Look, I know websites aren’t the only way to get clients, but put yourself in their shoes. If someone is facing the legal equivalent of a water leak in the ceiling or a rapidly flooding basement, they’re not interested in hearing you rationalize your marketing decisions. They want to know who can help solve their problem.

A great website shows them that you can, but only if it exists.


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