Before the Internet, Martindale-Hubbell (M-H) had a corner on the market in referral generation for lawyers. When a lawyer in one part of the country needed to make a referral to a lawyer somewhere else, he or she looked in the appropriate volume of M-H’s massive tombs. Today, consumers get access to M-H at Lawyers.com.
Nolo (formerly Nolo Press) describes itself as a “Publisher of self-help legal books and software, providing a significant amount of free information, a legal dictionary, and research guide.” M-H and Nolo are now Martindale Nolo.
One of the new organization’s services is to sell leads to lawyers from Nolo’s website. Visitors to Nolo’s site may decide they would like a lawyer to contact them, so they complete an online form. Nolo packages up that info and sells it by practice area and location, 25 leads per package. The cost per lead varies by state and by practice area and may range from $20 per to lead to $50 per lead. Refunds are provided for bad leads.
For most firms, dealing with a leads list represents a change and challenge. Instead of fielding incoming calls, the firm just have someone call the prospects, screen them and determine which ones to schedule an appointment with. For many firms, this approach is unthinkable. For others, Martindale-Nolo’s leads sales may be worth trying.
There’s a huge difference, however, between handling an incoming call from a prospective client who has chosen to contact you and your firm and making an outgoing call to a prospect who may have never heard of you. If you’re going to buy leads from Martindale-Nolo, you must have a plan and a person in place who is ready to make those calls effectively. Otherwise, you must be ready to plead nolo contendere to bad marketing.