I was watching Monday Night Football and Bob Mongeluzzi’s ad shows up on TV. Bob is a legend in our business and likely one of the most successful personal injury lawyers in the City of Philadelphia if not the world. However, this is the first time I have ever seen them advertise on TV. Why now? Well, I think that things have changed post-covid and with the maturation of internet ads, internet lead generation, and new players coming into the area.
First, Morgan and Morgan has made a huge ad push into Philadelphia. Often, they suffer from the same troubles as the Cheesecake Factory does or Wal-Mart. If you want to be treated like a number and don’t know where else to go, you will likely end up with Morgan and Morgan. Their size matters campaign is picking off a certain number of potential clients and this must be affecting Mongeluzzi.
I recently received a case from a disgruntled Morgan and Morgan client. It was an amusing failure to properly understand the case. The police report got the responsible or negligent party wrong and Morgan rejected the case. The lawyer rejecting it had minimal experience and was listed as a pre-trial specialist. To me, that is a lawyer who is just cutting their teeth and not really trusted to do much but reject or accept cases. I am not complaining.
However, my business is a highly competitive one and more cases coming in means you will eventually get a few good ones despite your staff’s intake errors. Plus, if you get enough cases, nobody will notice if you screwed up and missed a $25,000 legal fee. As a result of your crappy intake, nobody will notice that there is a problem with the intake, nobody will properly train the new lawyers assigned to intake, and the rot will continue throughout the firm as the new lawyers are brought through the ranks.
This must really annoy Bob Mongeluzzi. He has the chops and experience and feels like he should be getting the volume that Morgan must be seeing. It appears that now he is turning his marketing budget to address Morgan and Morgan’s ad push. We shall see how that plays out.
Nobody likes to be a number. Nobody likes to only talk to a paralegal. I try to avoid that dynamic as much as possible. If you want to talk to me, you get me. End of story.
But, over the past five years, the lead generation business has changed dramatically. Google has entered the fray and crowded out smaller companies that were sending lawyers leads. In my business, you can pay for leads to be sent to you just like any other business. For example, if you are a roofer and want to get leads, google or facebook etc. will send you leads on prospective business clients. In personal injury, the business has morphed from using runners, who were illegally chasing ambulances to lead generation. Now, if some is searching for a personal injury lawyer, they may find me or any of my competitors.
There is still a need for a referral base of quality former clients and lawyers who know that you do good work and keep clients happy. But, there is also now a business of generating leads that is reliable and quantifiable. I expect AI will or is contributing to a growth in that business and that it will grow and change.
Want to be scared? If someone is within 30 yards of a hospital emergency room in Allentown and searches personal injury lawyer, I have a guy who will scoop up that lead and send it to my inbox. I have to pay for that lead, but still it’s pretty amazing that the internet can connect customer and professional with neither knowing each other before that moment.