Groupon

If you're running your law firm like Groupon, you're dead.  Groupon is dying.  There is good reason it's dying: It's not useful to either the business that is "selling" the Groupons, nor the end user.  You don't want to take private helicopter lessons.  You don't want to save 43% on dinner for four on a Monday night in December. You do (did) it because it saved money.  Theoretically. The business did it because they received a fresh infusion of much needed cash (otherwise they wouldn't have done it in the first place). Like finding love at last call at the bar, you're going to regret it very, very quickly.  Helicopter business, which is accustomed to 5 lessons a day on the weekends now has requests for 45.  They don't have the personnel for it.  There are tons of transaction costs involved, including fuel, maintenance, manpower, etc., that they haven't prepared for.  You, consumer, get super pissed about this, because you bought a Groupon and you want your private helicopter lesson and you want it now!  You leave a bad review on Yelp or whatever other BS site you use to whine when your ice cream isn't as cold as you like it.  Now helicopter business, that took a 50% haircut by selling these stupid coupons in the first place, is pissed and you're pissed and they're never going to use Groupon again so they're pissed.  Everyone is pissed.  No shit it's closing down.

 

What the hell does this have to do with your law practice?  

I don't really know, but here's what I can tell you: First, if you're offering your services on Groupon or Yelp with coupons, you're beyond saving.  There's nothing anyone can do for you.  You're schilling yourself and you're saying your stuff is so bad that you're willing to take a price cut because you need some cash. What the hell does that look like to your current clients?  They paid full price and these other people are paying 1/2?  Why?  Do you feel comfortable buying 1/2 price sushi?  Why should someone feel comfortable putting their confidence in someone who is essentially saying "I AM ON SALE"?  They shouldn't.  And for what?  A few hundred bucks?  Stop. 

Are you hawking your stuff online only like Groupon is?  If you are, you're screwed.  The internet is the next big thing that's going to make you rich, right?  It's not. Tell me something-how do you expect Joe and Rachel to select an attorney on Yelp/Avvo/Google/Yellowpages/Superpages/Citysearch/Angieslist when every other attorney is rated a perfect 5?  Going to get involved in an SEO arms race?  Going to run some local ads?  Be my guest.  The only thing the internet has done is muddy the waters.  The internet has been one of the worst things to happen to the business side of the practice of law in ages. If you think cutting the price of your service is going to keep you alive long term, you, my friend are sorely mistaken.  There is too much noise and there is no way you are going to break through that on your own.  You're screwed.  Even if you're on top of the local rankings, you're still screwed.  I promise you.

How do I not become Groupon??

Call your clients once a week.  Send them thank you cards.  Take them to dinner.  Work your ass off.  Find an industry you like (small business law) and go eat at every single place in the neighborhood and strike up a conversation with every bartender/server you can.  Find a business that's going to take off (marijuana) and learn every goddamn thing you can about that industry and start making contacts (double entendre!)  Stop selling and start talking.  Start fixing problems. Join the Chamber of Commerce.  Organize a golf outing.  Organize a gym class with people.  Be a human and stop selling all the time.  No one cares about your free consultations.  You're not selling timeshares in Orlando. Stop using price as the conversation starter.  Have 5 good clients instead of 50 shitty ones.  Make sure you're their go to call no matter what.  Refer stuff out to people who know what they're doing and stop asking about referral fees.  If you keep talking price all the time it should be no surprise that you keep getting treated like a prostitute.