How 'the cyclist and the phone zombie' can help you get more clients

This week cyclist Robert Hazeldean was told he faces a £100,000 legal bill after crashing into a pedestrian whom the judge described as a ‘phone zombie’ for using her phone whilst crossing the road.

Mr Hazeldean’s unfortunate story could be your opportunity to help more of your ideal clients understand the value of getting your help, and getting it sooner rather than later.

Here’s why…

The pedestrian sued Mr Hazeldean for damages. The judge decided – despite the fact she wasn’t looking – that he shared equal responsibility for the collision and must pay half the cost of her treatment. According to a report in The Times, by representing himself initially, Mr Hazeldean made tactical errors that increased his legal bill:

  1. he incurred additional legal costs through ‘accidentally breaching court procedure’.
  2. he didn’t lodge a counter-claim against the pedestrian for his own injuries, meaning ‘he wasn’t protected against a large costs order’.

Underlying this, the biggest error was that Mr Hazeldean did not understand the value of getting the right legal representation from the outset.

As his lawyer (instructed later) said: “If he’d have come to us earlier, we would have advised him to enter a counter-claim…he would then have had protection against a large costs order.”

How much of your marketing and communication about your practice actually helps your ideal clients understand the value of getting your expert help early on?

As a lawyer (or any other kind of professional adviser) if you use mainly ‘here I am’ marketing (where you just say who you are and what you do) then you aren’t helping potential clients like Mr Hazeldean to understand why they need your specialist help.

So, instead of ‘here I am’ marketing you need to use ‘Education-Based’ marketing that shows your ideal clients the benefits of getting your expert help or the pitfalls and consequences of not getting the right kind of help (or not getting it soon enough). This applies regardless of which kind of legal or professional service you offer.

Take action

Set time aside to consider how you can provide this education in your website articles, social media posts, and in ‘Client Magnet’ style guides or reports.

If you’re not sure what you should put in your ‘Education-Based’ marketing, then try this: think back to the last time you said to a client “If only you’d come to me sooner, I would have told you to…..”. That’s a good starting point.

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