Legal Marketing – Lessons from my doctor

legal marketing doctor lessonsLegal marketing and doctors don’t typically mix. Put another way, you wouldn’t think that your doctor would be the one to give you legal marketing advice, and you would be correct. I went to see my doctor this morning for my annual physical (I’m very healthy, thank you very much!), and I learned quite a bit that I could take back to my law practice and implement into my legal marketing right away. It’s not what the doctor told me that I learned… it’s what he didn’t tell me. Here’s what I mean.

First off, let me say that this was the first time I had been to this doctor. If you read my introduction, you know that my wife and I only moved to North Carolina a few years ago, and I’ve been searching for a family doctor that I liked ever since. To find him, I went where everyone goes – to Google.

Lesson #1 I read the reviews of several doctors, and this one got lots of great reviews. The reason I decided to call him, in fact, was the sheer volume of positive reviews I found online. He had his competition beat by a landslide. So if you take nothing away from this post, remember that getting good, solid reviews from your clients and prospects is an absolute must.

Lesson #2 Next I called the office. I actually got a real person. How often can you say that about a doctor’s office? The woman I spoke to was nice, and explained that my doc was booked up for a couple weeks (lesson #2b – being scarce is good), and besides, scheduling it out a couple weeks would allow me to get my bloodwork done ahead of time (lesson #2c – being proactive to make sure the doctor can get the whole exam done on the day I come in. Most doctor’s I’ve dealt with previously won’t send me out for bloodwork until after I’ve met with them. Then I have to come back for them to explain it to me. What a pain). I really like that this doctor was proactive – you should take note for your own legal marketing.

Lesson #3 The paperwork and questionnaire came in the mail ahead of time. This would have been a golden opportunity for the doctor to send me a “shock and awe” package (more on those later) and give me more great information about his practice and further reinforce the idea that I made an excellent choice in scheduling my physical with his office. He could have sent a map with directions at least… but I got nothing but a bunch of forms to fill out. Not even a welcome letter. So I guess this is where the doc really dropped the ball.

Lesson #4 The office environment. Oh. My. God. The office was messy, dirty, and they weighed me in the break room (not kidding). They asked me to pee in a cup, but there was no little door thingy to put the canister in when I was done – I actually had to walk out of the bathroom and look for someone to give the “specimen” to. Papers everywhere. Patient charts lying on the receptionist desk. Big problems here. Remember to try and view your office from your client’s perspective.

Lesson #5 His “nurse” was actually a non-practicing doctor. Not sure why she wasn’t practicing, but based on our interactions, I have some ideas. She was condescending, critical of pretty much everything I told her (I’m a vegetarian and she actually told me that a vegetarian diet is “unsafe”). I almost lost it and walked out in the middle of her taking my vitals… but I did want to give this doctor a chance – don’t forget about all those positive reviews…

Lesson #6 The exam with the doctor. He couldn’t have made me feel any better that I had chosen him. He was kind, listened to everything I said, shared personal stories about him and his kids (one of his sons went to Ohio State, as did I). He spent over an hour in the exam room with me. Most doctors take less than 10 minutes. So all in all, he made me feel very comfortable. Almost so much that I would go back, not-withstanding all the problems with his practice.

So even though my doctor didn’t directly talk to me about legal marketing, there are a lot of parallels. Here’s a short recap:

  1. Get reviews from clients
  2. Train your receptionists on how to answer the phone
  3. Send a “shock and awe” package if possible
  4. Create a client-centric office
  5. Train your paralegal on how to be empathetic with the clients and not talk down to them (or better yet, just hire staff that have these qualities naturally)
  6. Listen to your clients and don’t rush them out the door

I’ll be going through each of these topics in greater detail in future posts.

Once again, if you have comments or experiences to share, please do so in the comments section below.