In the legal industry, selling is viewed with disdain, yet rainmakers are treated with reverence and care. They’re the golden goose their firm fights to protect. This situation is a common problem for firms.
Rainmaking without selling seems impossible. It looks like the kind of thing a snake oil salesman would peddle to their clients. Not only is it possible to win new clients without selling, but it’s also more effective than attempting to persuade prospects forcefully.
Why your law firm reviews matter
Research from Northwestern University’s Spiegel Research Center analyzed 57,000 reviews from anonymous consumers and 65,000 reviews from verified buyers of more than 13,500 unique products and services across a large variety of categories. Their findings demonstrated that reviews could increase conversion rates by 270 percent. On the conservative end, businesses that display ratings and reviews experience average revenue uplifts of around 18%.
It’s more than just having reviews. Your law firm should focus on the quality of the reviews rather than the quantity. Especially, if you’re just starting your strategy to increase reviews and have very few reviews currently. Even 1 or 2 bad reviews can severely impact how prospective clients view your firm. In fact, bad reviews put businesses at risk of losing:
- 21.9 percent of customers if you have just one negative review listed on page one of Google
- 44.1 percent of customers if you have two negative results
- 59.2 percent of customers with 3 negative results
- 69.9 percent of customers with 4 negative results
If your law firm has four negative (aggregate) results listed in Google, you will lose 69.9 percent of your customers, three reviews 59.2 percent, and so on.
Let’s look at Mackenzie and Milford, a fictitious law firm, to see how this would affect their firm:
- Average order value (per customer): $6,500
- The average number of transactions per year: 2
- How long customers stay with the business: 3 years
- Total number of new website/offline visitors per month: 2,633
- A conversion rate of 2%
$6,500 * 2 transactions per yr * 3 years = $26,000 lifetime value (per client)
52.65 clients * $16,000 = $1,368,900 in projected revenue.
These numbers are impressive.
How do they change once we begin attracting more four and five-star reviews? Let’s plug in the numbers we received from our research above to get a better idea.
- Firm revenue jumps to $1,615,302 if we use Reevoo’s 18 percent estimate.
- Firm revenue jumps to $5,064,930 if we use Northwestern University’s 270 percent estimate.
That’s an enormous increase.
This doesn’t require a whole lot of work either. The steps you follow are simple, repeatable, and precise:
- Ask your existing clients (via a third party, i.e., your administrator) for reviews.
- Collect reviews for major platforms (Google, Yelp, Avvo) then pursue smaller niche platforms (e.g., Martindale, Lawyers.com, etc.).
- Use remarketing/retargeting to advertise your reviews to prospects who have visited your website or viewed your ads (online or offline).
- Present these prospects with an irresistible offer to entice them to schedule a meeting with you.
It’s a straightforward process you can use to grow your business. Wait a minute. What if clients in your practice area (i.e., B2B) don’t rely on online reviews as much? This strategy is still incredibly effective. Work to create case studies; provide prospects with as much specificity in your case studies as you’re able to (e.g., names, dates, contacts, outcomes, etc.). Then repeat steps one through four.
Why reviews produce exceptional returns
Clients don’t know what they don’t know. Especially, about the complexities within the legal industry and how they operate. For this reason, you have to meet them where there are and tap into what they care about most:
Your reviews provide prospects with an inside look at all four areas. This is good news because it lets prospects know you’re a safe bet, a reliable option they can trust to handle their legal matter. You don’t need to do any selling, and your clients just need to tell the truth about the incredible results you consistently provide.
How to get started:
- Create a list of passionate clients who love your firm and would happily advocate for your work
- Create a template your support teams or virtual assistant can send feedback requests to clients on your behalf.
- Have a trustworthy person in your office interview your client about their experience with you or your firm. Be sure to record the conversation (with their permission, of course).
- Transcribe your conversation, then send a snippet to your clients
- Include links to websites where your clients can share their reviews, add it to your email signature, and your website.
- Once posted, create remarketing display ads that are targeted to prospects who’ve already visited your website or clicked on your ads. Use these ads to attract new clients and request reviews from existing clients.
What makes this strategy so significant?
- Only tagged and segmented prospects who have visited your site will see your ads
- Most attorneys aren’t using this strategy to win new clients, so there’s less saturation
- Prospects see that you’re able to generate huge wins for your existing clients
- Your business development costs go down, while revenue shoots up
It’s a simple strategy that produces exponential returns over time.
Law firm reviews are important to your business development
This is how rainmaking without selling is done. You create and mobilize a group of passionate clients who are grateful for the outstanding results you’ve achieved for them. It’s a clear path to consistent growth.
Business development is often a paradox in the legal industry. Selling is viewed with disdain, yet rainmaking is the expected path partners, and top performers must follow. You can achieve incredible results if you create the right framework for your law firm.
Get your clients to vouch for you, and you’ll find business development is stronger than ever.