By Paul A. Samakow, Esq.
Counselors, the truth is, others have more clients. You can now do something to change that. You can dominate.
Many are growing, getting more clients and making more money. Here is how you can jump past them, and quickly.
Here you will learn several of the things I have done that have resulted in me a very successful attorney in the Washington, D.C. area Hispanic community. I have four “nuggets” for you here.
You do not need to speak Spanish. Obviously, though, you will need to have someone who does in your employ
Additionally, you need to have your administrative house in order. You need forms, contracts and other documents in Spanish. You need a system of communication to be able to timely and actively reach out to potential new clients, and, to be able to contact your existing clients when you need to do so.
The communication issue is your first learning nugget. Hispanic individuals, I have found, more than some others, do not answer their telephones. They are suspicious. If they don't recognize the caller-ID number on their screen, they don't answer. So, get a systematic way to send text messages.
This is critically important when you are trying to follow up on a lead for a potential new client. Text them. Tell them you are the attorney they were just trying to reach.
Note the words “just trying.” Again, more than some others, Hispanics want instant response. Amazing that they make a call and you call back within five minutes and they don't answer, but, that is the experience. Text them. Otherwise, they make another call to another attorney and you lose the opportunity.
Here are several things that have worked for me. With these, you will do well. I am sure you also appreciate, however, that there is more.
Telephone contacts, first time, then immediately send a text. Ongoing contact, call but send a text if there is no answer. Email is unreliable with many Hispanics because either they don't have an email, or, they don't regularly check it.
When meeting face to face, be real. Be completely honest. For some reason still unknown to me, Hispanics smell BS a mile away. The moment you shade or omit anything, you have lost them.
Hispanics are a trusting group of people. They are generally more loyal, and they will refer more people to you than anyone else, if you are honest, and if they trust and like you. Notice I didn't say anything about the result you get for them. Results matter, of course, but not in the “relationship” world most Hispanics occupy.
Which leads me to that word: relationships. Other clients typically do not invite you to dinner or give you gifts or send you a letter thanking you, or ask you to be in a photo with them. With Hispanics, any and all of the above will be common. I routinely get gifts, food, a hand-made ornament, an invitation to their church to watch the confirmation of their child, a wedding invitation, etc. This is because I show them they really matter to me.
When they come in, I don't just shake their hand. I hug them -- even the men. The phrase in Spanish for “a hug” is “un abrazo.” Do it. If you don't or are not willing, stop here and don't go any further. You are not Howie Mandell.
You gain trust by being real and being involved. That is what you want.
Television and/or Radio Advertising and Marketing.
Just like (I hope you are) in person, your ads must be real. No “I care” or “I fight hard” or yammering on about your accomplishments.
Make your ads answer this question (and in doing those ads, talk to and not at your audience) –
What's in it for me? Think like someone who was just in an accident and is looking for help… what about your ad will pull them in? I guarantee it isn't bragging about your settlements or verdicts, or some catchy slogan.
Hispanic festivals are a main social gathering during the year. These events can attract anywhere from 3,000 to 20-30,000 people. You must go to them and have something to give them. You must shake hands. You must offer free advice at these events. You must be “all in” with this community and this is one of the, if not the best way to show that involvement.
Giveaways must be something needed that will not be tossed. I have used key tags for over 30 years. My name and telephone number on the front side, and a safety message on the back. Don't Text and Drive. Drive Carefully, Your Family is Waiting. Something short and sweet.
4th and Final Nugget
Go where the people are. Put up small satellite offices in Hispanic communities, where they shop, where they walk around. Make it easy for them to find and hire you. Staff the office late afternoons into the evening hours and on weekends. Hire a legal assistant who is bilingual (obviously) and train that person to screen and do intakes.
I have many satellite offices. The number of cases I get from all of them combined exceeds the number of cases I retain in my two headquarter offices.
Okay, Bonus 5th Nugget
Develop something unique to share with the community. I am using a safety campaign that touts “Don't Text and Drive” with a character I created – “Textarudo™” and actually run television spots featuring him telling the audience to be safe. The word is a play on the Spanish word “Testarudo,” which means someone who is hard-headed or stubborn. Textarudo™ is the guy who is stubborn about texting but knows he shouldn't. At festivals we go to, people line up to take a picture with him as if he was Mickey Mouse and they were in Disneyland.
For information about licensing the Textarudo character, please call me at 520.577.9759 or email me via the contact form on this page.