If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that people are adaptable to technology and can adjust to doing many of the things that were previously “in person” events, virtually. This is a massive opportunity for law firms, and in particular for personal injury and workers comp attorneys, who often don’t need to appear in court in order to settle cases on their clients behalf. By embracing the virtual signing process with your personal injury, workers compensation leads, and auto accident leads, you can rapidly expand your law firm’s geographic footprint and start taking cases statewide (or even in other states) rather than just in your local market, and start signing personal injury cases in new cities and even states.
Long before Covid turned the world upside down, some of the most successful personal injury firms (from a marketing/signing personal injury clients standpoint anyway) have been signing personal injury cases without face to face meetings. But there were always a few old school people that they’d miss out on because they decided to sign with another firm because they had a local presence.
And ultimately, there will still be a few people who may prefer to do business with someone locally, and that’s ok. The benefits of expanding your universe to new cities and states, getting the additional volume, referrals, and better advertising/lead prices due to taking more geographic area will more than make up for a few lost conversions in the long run.
The key is in the conversion. So let’s look at a few ways to close business more efficiently without in person meetings.
Tips For Signing Personal Injury Clients Virtually:
Refine your phone skills:
When on the phone, act as though signing up electronically and communicating via email, phone, and zoom meeting, is not only a very normal practice, but it’s the responsible thing to do! The PI lawyers who have trouble with this tend to be the ones who are convinced in their own mind that they NEED to be in person, or wow a prospective client with their office, degrees on the wall, etc. But the reality is that in this day and age, people are more interested in convenience and safety than they are with a handshake and a fancy office. Adapting to and embracing this paradigm shift can be a quick way to jump start your firm’s growth, even in a trying time.
If you’re going to make it the norm to sign personal injury clients electronically, you need to make it easy and meet prospective new clients where they are. Make sure you setup accounts with a video conference/screen sharing service like zoom or webex in case you need to walk through documents, see damages, or just have clients that want to see your face when chatting. An electronic document signing service like docusign is also a must for getting retainers, medical disclosures, and other documents signed easily.
Reach out to potential referral partners in far off areas:
If you’re signing up clients hundreds of miles away, there may be times when a case gets complicated or requires more heavy lifting than you’re willing or able to do from afar. When this happens, it’s helpful to have one or more local firms lined up who you can refer the overly complicated or specialized cases to.
Ways This Can Grow Your Practice:
The obvious way this can benefit your firm is that by expanding into more cities or states, you’re exponentially increasing the amount of cases you have. You also get to see where certain ads or lead generation companies perform better than others, and start managing your marketing dollars more efficiently.For example, let’s say you’re in New York City, and recently started buying personal injury leads or running TV ads on a statewide level, whereas before you were just in the 5 boroughs of NYC and Long Island. After a couple of months, you notice that your cost per lead is 40% lower in Albany & Syracuse than it is in the NYC metro area, and your cost per signed case is $700 less. Or you may find that TV works great in the city but digital works better upstate. Knowing this, you may want to pull some of your ad spend from cities or platforms where it’s not performing as well, and divert those funds to places where you’re seeing good volume at low costs per case. This allows you to spend more to bring in more cases, more attorneys to work those cases, more potential referrals down the road, etc etc etc. But without expanding, you’d never know where to make these adjustments to start that upward spiral. .
Expand Your Practice By Signing Personal Injury Clients in Neighboring States:
Another great opportunity is to expand into other states as a referral based firm. Here’s how that works:
- Speak with your legal lead generation companies, in house marketing team or whatever agency manages your ad spend and SEO, and get some idea where there may be good opportunities outside of your local market. Using analytics, competitive analysis tools, and historical traffic numbers, they should be able to give you some ideas for new states or metro areas where there is a fair amount of potential traffic at a reasonable cost.
- Find a local law firm who wants to work the cases you sign and split the fees with you. Obviously you want to negotiate the best deal for you while making sure you’re working with a quality lawyer on the other end. If possible, try to make sure you can use their name on calls so that the potential client knows who will be working their case, and can feel comfortable it’s someone local.
- Buy leads, run ads, do whatever you’re doing to do to get the phone ringing, and sign some cases!
Like a lot of things, the Coronavirus took a trend that was moving along slowly, and accelerated it drastically. When it comes to marketing your firm and signing new personal injury cases, it’s taken a trend that was already in motion and supercharged it. People are now more willing to do business online and over the phone than ever, and it’s the healthy thing to do. By embracing and adapting to these changes with a few simple tools and a change in thinking, you can use this to help build your firm’s client base for years to come.