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Sometimes, you have to compete against larger law firms.
The kind that won’t even blink at blowing $70,000 on a few television spots, or $50,000 to put their smug little faces on billboards and buses.
Whenever a new potential comes into your office for a case review or consultation, you know the inevitable moment is coming when they drop this larger firm’s name, point out that their fees are the same as yours, and try to play you off — as the “little” guy/gal — so you’ll lower your fees.
What happens when you relent?
They still opt to retain the larger firm anyway, and you’re left slamming the phone down in frustration, wondering how you’re going to obtain enough new cases to keep the lights on and the wolf from the door for another month.
(And then, when you drive home that night, down in the dumps, you get to look up at those smug, smiling faces plastered over billboards.)
Sure, if you had $100,000 a month to
spend burn on advertising, you could play the TV game and probably take them on in a fair fight.
But you don’t, and can’t.
Paul Samakow, a PI attorney who practices in the DC metro area, used to be in this very same situation. As you will probably appreciate, his metro/practice area has some of the most cutthroat competition in the country.
There are dozens of other PI lawyers and firms, and many of them spend at least $50k every month on TV advertising. Paul just couldn’t compete with that, at least not directly. So, do you want to know what he did?
He fought smart.
Instead of marching to the beat of these other big law firms, and trying to market PI representation to the masses — a game that was rigged against him, since his adversaries had deeper pockets — he took a different tack.
His best cases came from Hispanic speakers.
After about 10-15 minutes of desk research, he discovered that “Hispanic speakers in the DC metro area” didn’t yet have a go-to PI attorney.
So, Paul decided to build his castle on this hill.
He repositioned himself as the go-to personal injury attorney for Hispanic speakers in the DC area who had got into an accident. Not just “a” attorney, but “the” attorney. As he put it: “If you were Hispanic and you got into an accident, you’re calling Paul Samakow!”
All of a sudden, conversations with potentials changed.
He was no longer the “little guy”. He was no longer the underdog. In the hearts and minds of potentials, he now had something to offer that all the larger firms didn’t. He was their man. Word got about, and pretty soon Paul had all the business he could handle. Hispanic speakers almost always chose him, even though other, larger firms kept running their ads on TV. Why? Because he was positioned as the authority for their kind of cases.
In competitive metro/practice areas, this shift in perception can be the difference between having to turn off the lights and hide behind the couch every time the rent man knocks, or having a bank stuffed full of cash.
You can do the same thing.
Position yourself as “the” attorney for a certain type of person with a certain type of legal problem. Because when potentials believe that you are the authority on cases like theirs, you have an advantage over larger firms who advertise on TV to the masses. You’re no longer the underdog.
How can you create this kind of positioning?
The fastest and most direct way is to author a book. One that calls out to a certain type of person with a certain type of case, and explains in simple words why you can represent them better than a McLawyer.
That’s what our Speak-a-Book service is about.