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S2 E34: Vanity Numbers


ICP Logo

S2 E34: Vanity Numbers





When there is no shortage of software and artificial intelligence-powered solutions for your law firm to be smarter and more efficient, it is easy to forget about the most valuable asset your law firm has: you and your voice.

Paul Faust, from RingBoost, joins Grace and Liel to discuss the importance of personal, compassionate, and authentic conversations that have always been critical factors for building relationships that lead to business success.

Paul explains why law firms often make the mistake of not paying attention to the digits in their telephone number and making it part of their brand. This conversation explores why vanity (branded) telephone numbers and advanced digital technology can work harmoniously to get you better results. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Please send us your questions at ask@incamerapodcast.com.

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Liel: [00:00:00] Some lawyers see their telephone number. Well, just like any other number, others see it as part of their brand. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and this is In Camera podcast. And you can find us at one, two, three, four, win more.

Liel: [00:00:46] Welcome to In Camera podcast, Private Legal Marketing Conversation. Grace, how are you? Welcome back another week.

Grace: [00:00:53] Great. How are you, Liel?

Liel: [00:00:54] Good, Grace. I’m not going to lie. This has been a very, very, very busy week, but a good one. And I’m excited to get right on the conversation for today because I know you have something special.

Liel: [00:01:04] So Grace. Why don’t you two be on or introduce our guest for today and the topic.

Grace: [00:01:09] Fantastic. So I have somebody with us today who is pretty amazing. I think he’s a wonderful person and not that anybody else on our calls have not been, but Paul is a good friend of mine.

Grace: [00:01:21] So I’m going to give you a little fun introduction here. So today we are thrilled to be joined by Paul Faust from RingBoost for a conversation on the power of voice in the digital age. Paul is the president and co-founder of RingBoost, the nation’s largest marketplace for custom phone numbers, helping companies use voice connections to build their businesses in addition to RingBoost, Paul also runs one 800 Prepared Outcome, a preparedness company, and he is a partner in primary wave media. Paul, welcome to the camera podcast.

Paul: [00:01:51] Hey, hey, hey. How are you? Great. Great to see and hear you guys. Excited to be here.

Liel: [00:01:56] Thank you so much for joining us, Paul, again. Paul, first question, where is this podcast finding you?

Paul: [00:02:01] I am in New York outside of New York City, in Westchester County, where I both live. And our offices are. 

Liel: [00:02:08] Excellent. Well, thank you so much again for creating the time, Paul. So, you know, just the title of the conversation, right at the power of Voice in the digital age. And I think it’s fair to say that a lot of us and attorneys that are listening to this podcast or marketing managers at law firms. Their minds, when they see this title automatically potentially goes to voice assistants. Right. And AI and other tech promises that we’ve been made that we hope one day will make us more efficient and better connected. But you see it from a different perspective. And I’d like you to share with us a little bit. What is it that you referred to when we talk about the power of voice in the digital age?

Paul: [00:02:48] Yes, thank you. So, first of all, thanks for having me excited to be here. I want to be clear that I am a big proponent of all things digital, all technologies, all of the new tools we are given as business owners to run our businesses better. I think that they’re, they make us more efficient. They allow us to scale better. There’s so many positives. But I just find that over the past, let’s say, five, six, maybe 10 years, there has been such a push to all things digital that we forgot about the human connection, that we forgot that the one thing that makes us different is us. It’s who we are, how we got to where we are, what drives us, what makes us passionate. And while technology is a great democratizer, I could start a law firm tomorrow. Well, I can’t because I am not a lawyer. But you can start a law firm and you could pay to have a gorgeous looking site. It looks, you know, looks as nice as someone who’s been around a long time. You could have the same chat bot. You could have the same social media conversations, but you’re not going to ever get me. I am unique and my voice and my experience is what connects me with people, intonation, emotion, immediacy. And I just I think that the firms that have used it learn to use that in combination with technological advantages have a distinct advantage in the marketplace because at the end of the day, we all lawyers can say, I’ve won this amount of money. I went to law school. I do I fight for you. I do this. But OK, let’s get beyond that, who am I hiring and I just think it’s a tool that needs to be used more, which is a human connection. I’m not just saying, by the way, just the phone call. It could be active in your community, networking with people, human to human touch. So I just believe it’s a tool that is often overlooked, especially as we’re given more technology at our fingertips.

Liel: [00:05:01] I think that’s something great and you can jump right in it because we’ve had so many conversations here where we talk about how in general technology is helping us keep track of things, make us more efficient. But at the end of the day, Paul, and I think we both Grace and I would agree with these is technology is there to take care of the things that we as humans may have a greater chance of error. Right. But at the same time, it opens up an opportunity and a window for us to do what humans do best, which is interact and engage and be personal with others. So I think that’s a very, very big differentiation. And I think it is a mistake. And I agree with you that if you try to replace the human touch and the human connection with technology, you’re not going to get too far, particularly in an industry like law, right. Where you need to build trust. You need to be able to make a connection with people, fast in order to really be able to create a partnership that it takes to take things to the next stage, represent them as clients and so forth and so on. Would you agree with that?

Paul: [00:06:05] Yes, look, I agree completely. And again, I want to be clear that I’m not just talking about a phone call inventory numbers. I happen to be in the business of memorable local numbers, toll-free numbers. But it’s not just about that. We’ve seen a massive rise in our industry. There’s a company that does videos for lawyers for their websites and social media. And the whole point of those videos that they do is to connect you to the lawyer through their voice and through their story. So that’s why that company in the industry has exploded is because that’s the differentiator is who I am or who you are as an attorney, not just the amount of settlement you got that you went to law school because every attorney can say that. So, yes, I believe that there’s, we just can’t let those tools take over. We have to use them to scale more efficiently and to take over certain functions, whether it be general outreach, whether it be paperwork, whether it be communicating with our teams. But. I could tell you, look, I’ve asked thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands, whatever it was of attorneys, and said, OK, you have to choices, and two choices only somebody was hurt in an accident or took a dangerous drug or device.

Paul: [00:07:22] You have two choices only. You can get them on the phone or they can go to your website and fill out a form which would you rather. Almost every attorney said, I’d rather get them on the phone. I’m like, of course, because if you get them on the phone, you will quickly convince them that you are the right attorney for them, the right firm, and you will get them signed up. Correct, because most of the attorneys I talked to are very good at what they do and they believe they’re passionate. So if they get someone on the phone, they will convince them that I’m here, I’m the right one to help you. So if that’s true, why are we making it so difficult for people to connect with us on the phone or in a voice call? We’re driving them all to a website or a social media or this. So I just want firms out there to recognize the tool of voice, to understand how to use it. And then once you use it to drive the call that, well, there’s a lot more behind it. We can help you drive more calls, but then there’s a lot more behind after that phone rings, what do we do?

Grace: [00:08:19] I mean, so not to take it backwards a little bit, but OK, I’m going to take it a little backwards with so many communication methods. You know, you got chatbots, you’ve got this you’ve got that right. Why do you think vanity phone numbers? Because you referred to that and that’s kind of what you do in addition to a million other things. But I know that’s one of your primary businesses. Why do they remain valuable assets for law firms? Why are they still important and or are they?

Paul: [00:08:46] Yeah, look, it’s a great question. And I don’t like to just say a vanity phone number because it’s an interesting term. I like to just say memorable phone numbers because vanity people tend to think of a word like one 800 hurt now or, you know, so I just think of memorable because it could be a vanity or it could be just an easy set of digits. And I think it’s pretty simple.

Paul: [00:09:07] We are bombarded with thousands of ad messages a day, thousands, whether it be radio, Facebook, and as we all know of a lot of people’s watch, a new documentary, Social Dilemma, they are forcing us to spend more and more time online. We’re seeing ads, hearing ads, driving by, ads, you name it. How do we stand out? How do we make it easier? Like, you know, it’s I joked once. It’s like it’s like trying the perfect case and having no closing argument, like you did everything right. But now they don’t know how to reach you. If I see a billboard, if I if I’m driving in a car, I’m not actively listen to the radio. I’m watching the road. I have my passengers in the car. I might have the radio on. If I hear something that jogs me, how am I going to connect with it? So. I can talk and I’m happy to have the conversation to go forward, some of the benefits of using a memorable number, right. But let’s go to the other side of the conversation, because it’s much easier to have. Why not? Like, why not? You’ve picked your name, your logo, your tagline, your social media page. My guess is that every attorney is going to listen to this podcast, probably looked at a bunch of different paint swatch options for their office. Right. And they pick the one they like to paint their office in. But then they went to the phone company, just said, yeah, just give me the next seven digits off the pile. I don’t care whatever that random is. And to me, it’s baffling. Like, you choose all these things about who you are, your ethos, your tagline, your color schemes, and then you let someone at the phone company give you seven random digits so we could talk over here five, 10, 15 reasons why it’s great to have a good number. Let’s go to the other side of the equation. Why not? And I’ll give you two Why not. Because I know most of them. One is I can’t afford it. OK, that’s a legitimate. Why not? Except that I have good numbers. It can cost you a couple hundred bucks right. We have one to go into the many thousands. But I can work with, I have numbers that you can license for 15, 20 bucks a month. I have ones you can license for a thousand a month. So don’t tell me you can’t afford it. We take that off the table. There’s only one other option Why not. You don’t believe that a memorable set of digits or a word is going to make it easier for someone to reach you, make it better on the billboard, better on the radio, better as a referral than seven random digits. And if you believe that they’re equal, seven random digits versus my cell phone number nine one seven two million two zero zero zero zero zero zero or three zero five hurt now. If you believe that that is as memorable and will get the same response as seven random digits, then either I’m wrong or I haven’t done my job.

Paul: [00:11:45] So it’s I wish I could. And I don’t say this to insult any of my friends in digital marketing. I wish I could baffle people with algorithms and codes and pigeon and Panda and meta tags, I wish I could, but I can’t it’s just pretty simple. You’re flying by a billboard 50 miles an hour. Or if as I drive 70 miles an hour and something resonates, you and the number is, you know, three or five two two two hurt versus three or five Eight, seven, six, nine, One, eight three. Which do you think captures the eye and increases the likelihood they’re going to call you? So that’s all it is. It’s just simple human. Again, I wish I could baffle people with more in-depth science, but it’s pretty obvious. Right. So here’s the deal. If I’m wrong and it’s exactly the same. OK, so you spend a few hundred, maybe a few thousand dollars and you just have a cool number. And Paul is wrong and it didn’t really help. But OK, you got a cool number. But if I’m right, God forbid I’m right and I only bump the response rates two three four percent. I’m not saying, you know, I’m an increase your calls. Five hundred percent, five percent, six percent. Could that be, you know, a case or a new client that changes the year of the practice? That’s it. I just want to give my clients attorneys a better swing of the bat. I’ll give you another simple one. I’m walking in the street and I had an accident or something. I call my friends and I say, I need an attorney. And I go, OK, you got to call my friend Grace. She’s a great attorney. OK, what’s her number? I don’t know. This is her firm. They go look it up. Do you think there’s a chance they might find someone who out optimizes you or out pay per clicks you? And maybe let’s say it was a motorcycle accident. They told me to call Grace, and I go to look it up and right above you in the Google listing says. You know, John Smith, motorcycle attorney, never lost the case, Florida’s best. Do you think maybe I’d say, you know what, I’m a check out that guy, too. So why do we want to drive everybody to where our competition is? So if somebody finds you online and in the digital environment, social awesome. I spend a lot of money in that environment. But don’t forget, simply getting them on a call, simply get them on a call, because I think when you use intonation emotion, real caring and immediacy, you’ll sign up more clients. All right, let me get off my soapbox, but I’m passionate about it because I’ve seen it work and I believe it.

Liel: [00:14:17] I love a lot of what you say there and coming from the digital world here. Here is what I would say with regards to it. You’re absolutely right. Wouldn’t you say that the telephone number can become part of the brand. And I’ll tell you what, Grace, I don’t know if you guys if you’ve seen this ever, but whenever you have a big enough law firm, right. That has OK not to call it vanity number, but a branded number associated with a brand, it actually comes on the search terms that drive traffic. So you can actually run a SEMrush report, for instance, us to see which keywords make them wrong. And you can actually find the telephone numbers amongst the search terms that get them a significant amount of clicks to the website. Right. So without any hesitation, these numbers can actually be valuable to your brand as the name of your attorneys or your tagline or the brand name itself. We’ve seen that. Now, the other thing and I’m really interested Paul, interested in hearing, hearing, how is it that you find a client of yours or law firms that you work with navigate through the complexities of call tracking and the integration of a brand telephone number? And as you know very well, call tracking is primarily based on the principle of either assigning different telephone numbers for each marketing channel so that you can know where calls are coming from. But it can even get more complex when you go down to strategies such as keyword-level call tracking, where you have a big pool of numbers and then just numbers are rotated in order to allocate a telephone number to a particular visitor at a particular time to your website or landing page. So you can know where the caller came from. I already have an answer for it because we work with a lot of attorneys that do have telephone numbers that they want to remain visible on their websites or landing pages. But I’m really interested in first hearing both Grace and Paul. How do you recommend going about this kind of challenges?

Paul: [00:16:26] Grace, do you want to go first?

Grace: [00:16:27] You go first. I want to hear your perspective.

Paul: [00:16:29] A couple of points back up for one second because you said something from a digital marketing perspective. We’ve actually found in we did a small test once. It was our own test. So maybe it wasn’t perfect that we ran two identical ads and one had a memorable number. In this case, it was a vanity and one had seven random digits. And even from a purely digital standpoint, the one with the memorable number got more clicks because it just, something about it drew your eye to it. And maybe it was the memorable digits as opposed to seven randomized, someone’s eye caught it, so they clicked on it. I’m going to tell you let me ask you. I remember distinctly I was sitting in the back of the room at one of our conferences, I believe was Mass Tort Made perfect. I did a business of law day and they were having a panel discussion on some phone numbers. And yours truly was not on it. And it was a bunch of digital guys and maybe a call center guy having this talk about phone numbers. And I was sitting in the back with a gentleman who was an expert at intake and all that other stuff. And I said to him, I go, it’s weird that I’m not on the panel. But I could tell you the only correct answer to this question of what’s a better number, a local number, a toll free number, an easy dial, a tracking. And he goes, I’m like, I know. Have the only right answer in the business. And he goes, What is it? I go.

Paul: [00:17:43] It depends, there isn’t a perfect answer, there is a time and a place for all. So if I was talking to a digital marketing company and they said, look, we need to track each visitor specifically so we can follow the visitor through or a specific ad, I totally agree with and respect the use of tracking numbers. There was a time and a place to use a tracking number because I need to track each visitor through the process to know what worked. Great. So you can use tracking numbers if you want. If you’re in that situation where you need tens of thousands or thousands of them might be hard to use good ones. But if you don’t need that many, if you’re only going to need to track 20, 30, 50 numbers, you could also still, instead of just making them random, you can get all, if you’re using toll free, you can use all eight hundred versus eight three three or eight four fours. You know, we get your random eight hundred so you don’t have drop off. We can get you all numbers that may be ended up, you know, eleven hundred patterns so they at least look better.

Paul: [00:18:50] But yes, if you’re tracking a digital, you know, trying to follow someone through there, it might be the perfect opportunity to use a tracking number. That’s OK. But if you’re also testing some media and testing ads and then you find the one that works the best, maybe then you could switch it to a good number for the memorability. Or I’ve had the same conversation with radio. There was a time and a place when, yes, you need to track to figure out which stations are working the best for you at the right time. My answers if I’m doing that. I’m still going to track with better numbers, because if no one, you’re going to run radio ads and no one remembers a number, then what’s the point? You might as well make them better than random. And then once I know that the 10 a.m. day part on this radio station is a perfect spot for me to advertise, I don’t care about tracking anymore now. I just want to drive the most calls and so I’ll switch it to a good number. So, look, there’s a time and a place for tracking numbers. I’m all for it. I understand. And I used to not be, by the way, but I get it, especially in this digital age where we want to track individuals through a process. So I believe there’s a time and a place for tracking. I still recommend you make them a little better than random. Eight hundred versus eight, three threes. And we could work with clients on that. And there’s a time place where I’ll tell clients if that’s all you’re doing, then just go grab random numbers for free. I just don’t like it. And look, I also get that there’s media companies that they pay the stations only based on call volume, so they have to track each station. I get it. So let’s work on slightly better numbers to drive more interaction. So I believe in all of them.

Grace: [00:20:29] So I can tell you exactly what we’ve done, at Gacovino and Lake, and we’ve actually purchased numbers from Paul and we’ve done very similar in terms of buying a range of numbers like you were mentioning, Paul, because we do feel that for us, at least in our location. And as he said, it depends six three one is the area code that people are used to seeing. So those are the numbers that we use in six three, one six hundred. And then the last four digits may or may not change, but the general number for the law firm is six three one six hundred zero zero zero zero zero.

Grace: [00:21:06] And then the eight hundred number is eight hundred five five zero zero zero zero zero.

Grace: [00:21:10] So in both instances, what you’re saying, Paul, is exactly what we’re doing, because I agree with you, you do need tracking numbers and but it is a time and a place as to what you’re doing. But even the tracking numbers, everything, in my opinion, needs to be tracked. I use tracking numbers for everything, but the tracking numbers are nice numbers and or connected to another number that will track it for me. So I’ll give you an example, a billboard. You can have a tracking number, quote unquote, like it’s not click to call. It’s not going to know that you click to call it. But the number that’s on there is going to be a tracking number, but it’ll be a nice tracking number.

Paul: [00:21:47] That’s important, because I had this debate with someone, I don’t know, six, seven years ago, and they’re telling me, well, I got a track, every single piece of media. I said, OK, let’s, I get it. But let’s go through the scenario. You’ve got a billboard for Gacovino and Lake and I’m driving by that billboard and it’s got a tracking number on it. And I look at that board on you know what, I do need to talk to an attorney and I don’t remember that phone number that was on the board, but I remember Gacovino and Lake which is good. So I get home, I jump online, I Google Gacovino and Lake and I find the website and I call you just tracked me through the Internet. You just track me that he found us and called from our website. You didn’t give me any credit. You didn’t give yourself or me any credit for seeing you on that billboard.

Paul: [00:22:35] So maybe the billboard comes down in two months, because, hey, we’re not getting calls off the billboard. So you took the billboard down because you’re saying, look, everybody’s finding me online, but wait a minute. I found you on the billboard. The billboard did work. I just couldn’t remember that number. So tracking, no matter what anyone tells you, is not an exact science either, because in that situation, are data skewed. Now, the ultimate goal of our marketing is a number one goal, the track or the number one goal to get business.

Paul: [00:23:07] So there are sort of non technological ways to ultimately track media. They’re not perfect either. Right after I’ve gone through the important step of getting you a retainer and signed up, right now you’re a client of mine. I could always ask, hey, by the way, Grace, how did you hear about us? And some would say a friend referred me. Oh, I saw your billboard everyday. When I drive home now, you can make a little note in the file on that. Right. So I get it. It’s not perfect. I’ve heard stories of people saying, oh, I heard you on The Oprah Winfrey Show. And the firm says we don’t advertise there. So I know it’s not exact, but you have to be careful of what if I got a postcard and I dialed that number, but I got the postcard, but I only called it because I’d seen your television ads and your billboards and you and I go, OK, now I’m going to call you might only attribute me to a postcard, so we just have to be careful in how much we’re relying on the pure number. But again, want to be clear, as someone who specializes in memorable numbers, I believe the tracking numbers have their use and their time and their place. They’re a very important tool, a very important arrow in the quiver. I just want to see you have the others with you.

Liel: [00:24:18] Absolutely. I mean, you guys to completely this question and elevated it to a whole new place. I was like, I honestly was going to go with a very, very simple answer. But let me then share. Right. It’s not as deep as what you guys are saying here, but what we do many times when we are working with law firms that are very keen about having their branded telephone show up on the landing pages as well for consistency. And because they also understand that this telephone number is just part of the brand is like telling them, hey, run, let’s create a landing page, but let’s not have your logo. or your tagline or your picture, it wouldn’t be fine with it. So they wouldn’t. So it’s also important for them to have their telephone number there. And so what you do in those cases is you just make the clickable telephone number, a photo, a picture. Right. And when you click it, then it dials a tracking number. But the actual image, the actual element that the client’s going to absorb is going to be the branded telephone number. Very few users actually pay attention after you click on a call now sort of call to action. What is the actual telephone number that pops up on your phone dialer? Right. They’ll just click on that and then initiate a call automatically without paying much attention. Is it? Wait, wait a second. Do the telephone numbers match? Right.

Liel: [00:25:37] So that’s the thing, really. I mean, that’s user behavior and that’s the reality what it is now. I do agree, however, when you say, well, but what when the actual telephone number needs to be visible because you need to get the call to action there, call it television ads by billboard ads or radio ads. I do think I got to one hundred percent agree. Even if you were going to use different telephone numbers for each DMA or whatever is the case here. You’ve got good telephone numbers. Yes. Just use the good telephone numbers. Right. I mean, if you’re really because this is another thing that I say. I mean, guys, a lot of the experience now, users may be watching TV two screens at times they’re watching your ad, they’re going to go in search directly for you on your website and convert there. And so they’re actually getting to you at that point in time because they just saw your ad on TV. So check your analytics, check other places. Don’t just look at actually what comes from the telephone number itself. But if you really want to encourage telephone calls to come directly from the screen phone and have a conversation with a person, make it easy for them how? You give them a good telephone number. So just go for it, right. If you have seven digits on the screen that they’re all different, there is no way in hell they’re going to remember how to do that.

Paul: [00:26:50] I agree completely. Thank you for pointing that out. It’s funny because I said a trade shows all the time and I’m trying to, you know, Whiz-Bang people with my sales prowess and all this stuff. And then I say to them, let me, I’m going to ask you a question. Do you know the company or phone number One 800 flowers. Yeah. And where do you live? Austin, Texas. All right. So just give me the number of any other florist that Austin, Texas. Just draw out a few of them. Just give me the number of a Flower shop. And I don’t ironist exactly, and when I say that people smile because despite everything I say, that’s when they get it. You know, the number one 800 flowers, you don’t know the number of any other florist. And I bet you can’t remember the last one 800 flowers ad you saw specifically. You just sort of know it. Now I get it. That’s not the end all be all. But that’s why it works. And I also want to other points I wanted to make. One is it’s not always your name. A lot of people say, hey, you know, I want the number one 800 call Liel. And I’m like, no, you don’t, because you probably have a problem spelling Liel. Like we want to make law firms like I want to get one 800 Hackleburg and Gacovino, whatever. Like, no, it doesn’t have to be your name. It could be your name. If it’s simple, we want to keep it easy. It could be, you know, what you do. So it could be injured or hurt now. It could be pain, it could be whatever it ties into what you do, it could be easy digits. It could tie into your tag line. So I have a number that, you know, I did with somebody and his taglines was like, you ever wonder why some attorneys get more for their clients? Do you ever wonder why they get more? Call eight four four get more. So the tag line, you know, and the phrasing tied into the number. So we could be creative. It could be what you do. It could just be easy digits. It could be tagline, it could be something about you that you own. And the other thing, you know, I think because I don’t want to run out of time without getting to this, it’s not just about driving more calls. Yes. That’s what I’m here to help with, help getting a number to drive more calls.

Paul: [00:28:48] But that’s like getting to go in Monopoly, like at the start. What happens when the call comes in? It’s not just enough to have a good call. You better have the right people answering those calls who are trained to handle those calls, that know how to be empathetic, how to connect with the clients, how to understand what they’re going through and make a connection with them. It’s not just make the phone ring. You can make the phone ring. And if you have six people answering or one person answering the phone who’s terrible at that, so what, the phone rang. They’re not going to go past that person. So it’s all-important that we know who’s taking those calls, whether it’s a call center or your own people. Are they trained how to handle those? How do we immediately connect? I’ve heard horrible calls. Someone’s like, oh, my God, I’m in the hospital. My you know, my loved one was just in an accident. OK, what is the hospital? What were the injuries like? Not. Oh, my God, I’m so sorry. Are you OK? Are that so? We have to, a law firm needs to make sure that I know who is taking my calls. If it’s in-house people, they’re trained. If it’s out of if it’s a call center, who are they in? Are they trained? That’s number one. And it’s critical. And the second piece is, what is the CRM you’re using? I could be the best intake person in the world to capture all the great data, but if I don’t get that information to Liel, my attorney and Grace my paralegal, or Grace my attorney, unless I flipped it so no one thinks I’m well, why is the female paralegal, you know, if I don’t get that information and convey not only the words but the emotion and the tone to my team? Then I failed, I could have had the greatest call, they could love me and I learned a lot about them, but I don’t translate that to you or get it into my system. So everybody at the law firm knows what I talked about, what they told me, what their concerns are, what I promised you know, as my good friend Harlan Schillinger said, you only know what you know. You don’t know what you don’t know. So don’t think about I’m going to get a good number and throw it out there and everything will be great. Make sure you got the right people answering the calls, make sure they’re trained and make sure you have a system to capture and share the information. It’s really important, maybe more important, you know. 

Grace: [00:31:05] No, definitely. And so I want to make one more comment. And it’s kind of funny. I watch the Disney Channel with my niece, who is 11 years old. I love Disney Channel and s. On The Disney Channel, they were showing sixth-grader competition against the adults and their parents. And what kind of stood out to me with what we’re talking about when it comes to memorable numbers in part of the competition was how many numbers do you remember? And of course, the sixth graders were like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t remember anyone’s number. I don’t know my mother’s number. I don’t know anyone’s phone number. And of course, the parents, on the other hand, were saying, I remember this number, that number and all the numbers that they remember. So that’s honestly just came into my head when we were talking. And you were saying that memorable numbers are so important. I just think about myself and what you said about one 800 flowers. If I don’t remember the number, I’m going to go online and look. But if I’m in the middle of doing something and I’m not going to go online for whatever reason, I’m going to call one 800 flowers just because they’re the ones I remember.

Paul: [00:32:09] It’s a path of least resistance. And let me tell you something, for attorneys out there that say I get a lot of my business from referrals from chiropractors or this or whatever it is, as much as I you know, you think you’re the only person that ever gets referrals. The odds are most referral sources use a few different people. They have a couple different names. If your number is the easiest to remember, the odds are when they’re busy and someone needs a referral, they’re going to give out yours quicker. So, again, it’s just a weapon. It’s just a tool. It’s just, you know, that perfect case without a closing argument. The phone numbers just like that last three feet. It’s the connection point. And there’s a lot of different styles of numbers out there. And I want to make this also, you know, very open to your listeners. I’ve been doing this fifteen plus years. I am actively at ten to fifteen conferences a year in the space. I support the community with booths, at conferences, et cetera. If anybody has a question about a number, they can reach out to me even if they don’t want to get a number for me. If one of your listeners says, oh, somebody I’m looking over from somebody else, you can call me and say, Paul, I heard about you on the show. I just want to know, am I getting taken advantage of? Is this clean? Is it right? I will help anybody out. I’ve done blog posts about how to get a number without calling me like I am here as a resource to help. There are ways to get numbers without coming to a company like mine. I’m just an option. So I just think too many people look at a phone call as a utility. They look at it like the carpet, like the light switch. It just I have a phone. No, it can be one of your greatest marketing tools, one of your greatest connection pieces. Don’t just look at his utility. You know what, we got this. Oh do we get a phone system here or I get some phone numbers from whatever the phone company gives us. That’s it. Just look at it like the utility can be and let’s optimize it just like we do our social media presence and everything. And I only see. Our attention’s moving in more directions, used to just be Facebook and now it’s Facebook and YouTube and Tik Tok and Twitter and Snapchat. And who knows what the future holds. But I don’t want to be in a world and don’t think it’s competitive advantage for me where you go to my website and my bot talks to you and then back and forth and then maybe, you know, there’s a transact like now I like talking to people. I believe in human connection. I believe it’s a great differentiator. There’s a reason that people in this industry like Mark Lanier are the best at what they do. It’s not because of technology. He uses technology. It’s because of his voice and his storytelling and how you connect with him. I remember sitting at his first conference and I was a vendor sitting there and I literally sat there and said, I don’t care if I was ever in a courtroom. Whatever side that guy’s on, he wins because he just captured me with how he talked, the words he uses. And no website, no text on a page is going to do that for me. You know, they all tell you funny story, you might you know, I lost a good friend and client in another business over a text message because it was a lost in translation and it was actually to someone who is Israeli. And we were trying to connect over and over again and we couldn’t we kept missing each other. So I texted him, hey, man, I’ll just see you when I see you. Meaning like, hey, man, don’t worry about it, like we’ll just connect next time, I didn’t know to him that meant, hey, man, when I see you, I’m going to beat you up or when I see you, it’s going to be a fight.

Paul: [00:35:39] Like he took the words, I’ll see you when I see you. As I was angry and threatening him. We didn’t talk for three months. Had I said that in a voice call, he would have come back to me. So what do you mean, what’s wrong with you? And I was like, Whoa, whoa, I’m sorry. What do you mean? And we could have had the voice call an understanding that what I meant wasn’t insulting. I just it was flat words on a paper with no intonation. I didn’t know how he took it. But instead, we didn’t talk for three months over a bunch of words in a text that didn’t mean what he thought, that really opened my eyes up more to the power of my intention, my emotion, the immediacy, me being able to explain and clarify. You know, if you’re an attorney and someone types, I was in an accident. You can reply back minutes later, tell me more. Oh, my God, I’m so sorry. Are you OK? Was it just you are you there now? Did you? Are the police coming? Like I could further. You were to actually. Just now. Oh, no. Seven years ago. Like, I could ask probing questions and get data right away and shift what I want to say immediately based on what I’m hearing now.

Liel: [00:36:51] You’re absolutely right there Paul. I mean, two things there. First of all, culturalization elements like huge, massive, another conversation on its own there. Right. But the other thing is, is that thing and I’m starting to see it every time more and more and more. It’s the outsourcing of communications for the law firm. And I understand why law firms want to do that. They want to get super-efficient and they’re basically investing a lot of money on marketing and then enrolling contacts that are generating through digital platforms into sequences. Right. We’re automated messaging and all that stuff just until they can bring them to a place where they feel they are ready to start attempting for an actual phone conversation. And that mistake, I think that approach can potentially be leaving a lot on the table because you’re delaying something that it’s not meant to be that way. And in the sense that you should actually be aiming for actual personal conversation as soon as possible, rather than try to filter out the lead through vague questions over text messages or over sending them through more filtration steps until you can actually get to the point where you are OK. I’m fine. Yeah, this seems like more legitimate. Let’s invest and have a conversation with this person on the phone. I was just listening to a phone call yesterday of one of our clients, and the intake stuff, which was actually one of the best companies known for intake in the industry, was about to dismiss the caller just because he did not or she did not qualify for the answer that she was looking for on that first attempt of asking it. But then the caller actually said, you know what, let me just one second. Let me go back and check my documentation here. And she said, oh, no, you know what? It doesn’t say anything about it. And then she qualified back again immediately. And why did that happen? Because of a script. Because that person that was on the phone was just following a very rigorous script that was stripping away kind of everything that should be part of common sense and empathy and humanity and was more focused into actually qualifying the person through some strict questions rather than understanding the story and trying to see beyond just the facts but the complexity of things. Guys, this is, it’s hard to gauge, right? I mean, you’re talking about somebody who ran over a cyclist on the road, right? I mean, don’t try, I mean, courts take months to find out who’s to blame here. Don’t try to jump in that conclusion with one question.

Paul: [00:39:37] And you’re also could be talking to someone who is in a very heightened emotional state, especially if it’s immediate, like them or a family member is hurt. Their car is broken, they don’t know what to do when they’re looking for help. They don’t know how to answer these questions and they might not answer. Well, what if one of the qualifying questions, which we always hear from lawyers in the lead businesses is well, have they spoken to another attorney? Because, you know, and the answer is, you know, if the answer is yes, they don’t want to talk to those people because they assume they talk to all the attorneys and it wasn’t a good case. Well, maybe they talked to another attorney, but and that attorney dismissed it because that attorney didn’t ask the right questions. Maybe they talked to another attorney and the attorney missed something, maybe they talked to another attorney, what it says, have you talked to another attorney and they say, yes, maybe they talked to another attorney four years ago about another matter and they don’t know how to answer the question. So I’m not saying that we can’t use scripting and call centers to filter, but if I’m a call center agent, I need to be able to move off the script left and right a little bit when I sense something and I could probe. Let me tell you something, a bot isn’t probing the way a human is. So, you know, a chatbot or a quick text and maybe that person in your office handling text is doing two or three at a time and you can’t probe as quick as I said. Wait, let me just clarify that. So. You were driving the car, correct? Yes. OK. Have you talked to another attorney about this matter? OK, you know, there’s different probing questions that I can get to make sure the person understands the question that simple formulas can I understand the need for efficiency. People don’t want to talk to five hundred people who have. You know, who are. Oh, yeah. You know, I was in an action 12 years ago and I just hurt my pinky. But we have to be careful that we don’t over filter and we get somebody to that. You know, it used to be in the lead gen industry, which I’m not in. They used to have a term called speed to lead. How quickly do you get that digital lead on the phone? It didn’t say how quickly do you reply to that text message or, you know, have your. But it was how quickly do you get them on the phone? Because in almost every case with business owners, I know if they get you on the phone, they believe that they’re going to close you because they’re good at what they do and they could close you versus multiple.

Paul: [00:42:03] And while your multiple text messaging back and multiple chat botting back, I might be the one calling. And I’ll get you on the phone while you’re chatting with the other lawyer. I’ll close you. I’ll get you to sign my retainer. So again, exactly. Just one of the important tools. I’m not out there saying the digital is unimportant, a chatbot is unimportant, AI is not important. It is. And it’s only going to be more important. Don’t forget the tried and true. That doesn’t require a learning curve. You don’t need to have experts on staff to deploy a good phone number. You don’t need to you know, everyone knows how to dial a phone and will be new technologies come out, but everyone knows how to do it.

Liel: [00:42:41] Yeah, absolutely. Well, I have one more question for you before we wrap this up. And I know you’re potentially going to say, well, it depends. But in between an actual telephone number that has text in it or just numbers, which one?

Paul: [00:43:00] It depends. There is no exact answer, I can tell you. And that often when I speak to people, I ask, what is your target audience? And I have found that I don’t have a study to prove this out, that if your target is a Hispanic market or I have lawyers, a target, an Asian clientele, I tend to recommend digits more than words because there might be translation and spelling issues. If I said, you know. I don’t know. Call me at eight and eight, we fight with our translation issues, for a foreign primary language speakers foreign and so I might recommend digits if you’re talking about Asian markets, easy digits and eights because it’s a lucky number there versus fours, which is unlucky. But I think there’s a time and a place. Again, I hate I know you hate the answer for both. Some markets react better to a number like one 800 hurt now versus one hundred two to two nine nine nine nine. But you have to really know your market if you’re out your market and you’re seeing a lot of people using, you know, those great terms like one 800 Elko High, I want to get a Lundie law. You know, they’re not using them and spending the millions are because they don’t work. But I think there’s a lot that both work and and you could deploy both again often depending on who your target audience is.

Liel: [00:44:24] I actually love the answer. Know your audience, makes sense. 

Paul: [00:44:26] And also, by the way, I tend to come at it with even if you’re using words, let’s look at words that the average, you know, five-year-old, fifth-grader can spell. You know, let’s not use complicated words, whether it be a name like Liel that could be spelled a hundred ways or even a word like make it up bankrupt. You know that rpt bank. Like, you want to keep spelling simple, you know, hurt, you know, pain, loss. You don’t want to have complicated names or drug names, you know. Does everyone know how to spell the drug name? So just be careful that it’s very simple to remember and spell. Otherwise you’ll drive calls to some other place.

Grace: [00:45:08] So to bring it home, we normally ask, what are three takeaways that you feel we can take from this podcast and our listeners can actually act on today or over time?

Paul: [00:45:25] Three things. One is, don’t ever forget the power of your own voice and who you are because it is your number one differentiator. It makes you different from every other attorney out there practicing law, your own human voice and how you communicate. And again, that could be whether it be a phone call or a video. Social media are on your website talking. Your voice is unique and a differentiator. That’s one. Number two is don’t forget the tried and true voice call connecting with a client in this digital age that you just want to get somebody on the phone and talk to them and empathize and use emotion or all those things that you can use to build a connection. And let’s see, what’s the third? The third is when you think about it and you’re driving more calls, remember that who answers those calls? And what they do with the information is critical, critical, critical. You could do all the other things right. But if you’re not doing that right, you’re going to lose. You’re going to lose, because all the good stuff that the call, that the person who took of the call captured isn’t going to get to everybody else on the team. So those are three, I think three takeaways that that everyone can think about and use. And I am here to help anyone in the field if they want to talk about it, if they want to know what might be good for them, what’s available in their markets, maybe they have a number. They want to ask me my opinion. By all means, I’ll help anybody.

Paul: [00:46:46] I again, Paul, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate your time, your insights. And we’ll make sure that we leave your contact details in our episode note so everybody knows how can they connect with you.

Paul: [00:46:56] Thank you again and so much for having me. Appreciate you guys very much.

Liel: [00:47:05] Grace, I love this conversation. Honestly, I thought that really being able to see branded telephone numbers and their value, I was going to be more biased towards it. But I 100 percent understand why you wouldn’t want to oversee this, right.

Liel: [00:47:25] You don’t want to build your entire strategy around a telephone number, maybe as some law firms were doing back in the late 80s and early 90s. Right.

Grace: [00:47:34] Right.

Liel: [00:47:35] But that doesn’t mean that because today there are many different channels from where leads can get to you. You don’t want to make sure also that your telephone number is reflective of your brand, your message and all of those other things that matter so much to you. So that’s part of the message, Grace, for me was extremely powerful. And I really appreciate the way that Paul explains it very up front, really going back to the basics of how we as humans and persons interact with each other, remember things and go about consideration. So I really love that Grace. And I think we have some very good takeaways. I don’t know. What do you think?

Grace: [00:48:11] I think so, too. I mean, you know, he he’s he was talking about the whole time through consumer behavior, which is what you and I are constantly analyzing, splicing, doing this. But like you said, he brought it to himself and him individually and to people that he’s worked with over time. And to me, it makes sense. It’s consumer behavior.

Liel: [00:48:30] And also, I mean, before we go into the takeaways and probably this is going to be one of them is the attention of detail and the customization that goes into these. Right.

Grace: [00:48:39] Right.

Liel: [00:48:40] Because it’s not just like, hey, look, this is the least of the most sought after telephone numbers that I have here. Guys, go and choose which ones you want right there. There’s really a lot of thought and an understanding of the market and of the audience before you even start having the conversation as to what are the options. So you can tell it is a strategy on itself. And it’s very interesting to hear all of the thought that goes behind it.

Liel: [00:49:06] Grace, what is your first take away? 

Grace: [00:49:08] So that take away from your take away that you just said? It’s it needs to be part of your branding. You cannot make it so that it’s like a one off or just an afterthought because a phone number can and will be important depending on it depends. Right. As Paul said. But that’s the first takeaway part of your branding.

Liel: [00:49:28] Absolutely. Yeah, I agree. I totally agree with you. And it makes a lot of sense. Now, Grace, since we talked quite a bit about that already as we were introducing takeaways, let’s move on to our second takeaway.

Grace: [00:49:40] So for me, the second takeaway is use memorable numbers. Why? Well, use it when it’s important and use it when you need it. But for Liel and I know I feel like we do need tracking numbers and so you can use those when appropriate as well, but use memorable numbers when you need them, because that is, again, part of your branding strategy and part of everything. So in my opinion, you should use a memorable number when you need it and it can and most likely will assist you. And of course, this is kind of could be its own take away, but split AB test everything. I know that. I know I’m like that, Liel’s like that. So even your memorable numbers, like try to split AB, test them, if you can, to see what kind of gets you the best quote-unquote reactions. Just remember, though, you will not necessarily be able to get full attribution, meaning you don’t know exactly where they came in from or how they clicked or didn’t click.

Liel: [00:50:39] Yeah, split AB test telephone numbers, Grace, that’s quite ambitious on your behalf to take it to that extent I must say. But I do think one hundred percent that, you know, if you’re going to be running campaigns on radio, billboards and TV and you want to be able to see whether the billboards themselves or the TV commercials are actually bringing you calls based on that under pure impact. I mean, you need to make it easy for the users, right? I mean, don’t throw out random telephone numbers that they’re not going to be able to remember even if they wanted it. So particularly billboards, Grace particularly billboards.

Grace: [00:51:18] I mean I try to track everything, anything I can I try to track it.

Liel: [00:51:22] It’s, it’s a really pleats that kind of attention that you have from users. So make it easy for them. Grace, I agree with you now, Grace, what would you, what would be your last and third takeaway here?

Grace: [00:51:33] So it’s about the power of voice, right. And sort of the whole thing that we were talking about throughout the entire podcast. And that is it’s not just the call, it’s who is on the other end. Right. Who is picking up that call at the end of that memorable phone call number that they just dialed? Liel, you and I constantly talk about this, right. It’s the intake process, the person on the other end and before we even started this call. You and I were talking about how important intake is and what you need to do to make sure that your client feels that they’re taken care of but still continues forward. So I think that that should still be a takeaway. It’s about the power of voice. So it’s not just the actual phone call, the phone number, the memorable number. It’s about who’s on the other end, the power of the voice of the individual. Even on the other end, taking that call with somebody who’s hurt or some other unfortunate accident has happened to them. So it’s super important to remember it’s not just about the phone number, not just about your brand, not just about the strategy. It’s the power of voice and who is on the other end of to pick up that call.

Liel: [00:52:44] I agree. And you know what? The other thing here also attached to that is don’t pointlessly widen up the space between the potential client and the firm and fill it in with, unpersonalized communications. The faster that you can get your potential client to a personal conversation with whomever is representing your law firm that are capable to delivering your brand message and your customer care, that should be nothing below five star level customer experience. That’s what you should be aiming for.

Liel: [00:53:27] Get to that point as soon as possible. Right. I think we are assuming many times that the client knows as much as the law firm knows about evaluating rating and grading their cases. And they’re asking questions that clients may have not necessarily thought of the same way that the law firm is thinking of, right. So whether this is through web form submission or text messaging, follow-ups or whatever is that sometimes is the process before you’re actually getting to a phone call or some other personal communication with the client may be pushing away leads that are actually good, but they just haven’t developed that level of awareness about their situation and what has happened to them as you have. And so that’s what those personal conversations do, right? They help you see and guide that person towards that discovery process and help them really see where is it that they are and help you better understand whether you can help them or not, Grace right in that process by itself, and we’ve said it so many times, that’s my last thing here, that process itself. Whether are you end up signing that person or not your building trust at that point. And so whenever that person has another question or another incident that they feel you could help them with, they’ll come back because they’ve already have that trust that has been built with you, your law firm, your team, whomever.

Liel: [00:54:54] Grace, what a great conversation. I love that. I’m looking forward to our next one next week, right?

Grace: [00:54:59] That’s right. Let’s get ready.

Liel: [00:54:59] All right. Have a great rest of your day, Grace. Bye bye. 

Grace: [00:55:03] You too Liel. Bye bye.

Liel: [00:55:07] If you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your co-workers. Leave us a review and send us your questions at ask@incamerapodcast.com. We’ll see you next week.

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