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  • Forget About Marketing You . . . Instead Market Solutions
Forget About Marketing You . . . Instead Market Solutions June 4, 2014

Success lies in understanding people, understanding their need, and understanding how best to relate to them. Potential criminal clients frantically searching for legal services don’t shop like they’re shopping for a newBryan-College Station Criminal Defense Attorneys Marketing Solutions to Client Problems car or refrigerator. Instead, they are in crisis, they have an embarrassing problem, and they desperately want someone to solve it. Often being a smart, competent, and skilled criminal defense attorney is not enough to land this potential client in crisis. Sure they want to know you’re smart, but more importantly they want to know you understand their problem and have an affordable solution.


That’s the best way to market criminal defense legal services. To identify problems that people have for which they are already seeking a solution. Since most good criminal defense attorneys also have big egos (like me), we often make the mistake of focusing on ourselves rather than on a solution to the potential client’s problem. In other words, the client is seeking a problem solver . . . their problem solver. Not necessarily the “best criminal defense attorney in town.” Our first objective, then, is to develop effective communication with the prospect. Communication will lead to relationship. Relationship then leads to trust. Once the potential client trusts you, you’re as good as hired.


Before the client calls they’ve probably completed important research on the Internet. They scoured your website, client reviews, and have developed an opinion about your competence. They’ve also formed initial feelings about whether they like you. It’s all “trust in the making.” However, your first genuine opportunity to prove your worth is the office telephone call. The first call is when the client begins to decide whether they were right about you. Importantly, it doesn’t matter who answers the telephone . . . your trusted assistant, a new intern, the answering service, or the lawyer. From the answering service on down, everyone in the chain must communicate understanding to the prospect. Upon the first hint of pretense, trust is lost, and the client moves on to the next potential problem solver on their list.


Once the potential client presents for the initial consultation, it’s all up to you. Be a good listener and engage them at a deep level. Remember, it’s all about them . . . not you. Identify their problems and discuss solutions. Always under-promise. That keeps the door open for over-delivery. Quote your fee with confidence and remain willing to negotiate on payment terms. Market solutions rather than marketing you. You’ll have more fun, land more clients, and enjoy your law practice much more.


Stephen Gustitis is a criminal defense lawyer in Bryan-College Station. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also a husband, father, and retired amateur bicycle racer.


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2 thoughts on “Forget About Marketing You . . . Instead Market Solutions

  1. I found your article refreshing, I wish I’d known how things worked prior to meeting with our current attorney. He has done nothing since paying him $12,500 in advance prior to ever seeing any type of contract. This unjust act was committed during the initial interview. His intent was for self gain. Total manipulation promising to speak on my husband’s behalf to his boss that day to try and salvage his job, which we had talked about in depth with him earlier. My husbands career on was on the line from this arrest. Time was of the essence. That’s when this Houston attorney put his brilliant plan into action. He intentionally did this to secure his fee. To date he has never consulted with us, it has been a year plus we’ve had court dates we were never told about. I just recently got them to send us a copy of our case file which has continuances amoung other things we that we didn’t even know existed. An indictment we knew nothing about. This attorney laughs and hangs up on me the 2 times I’ve actually spoke to him. Recently found out at last moment he hired a local attorney to stand in for him at husband’s first appearance while he was in San Antonio in court on another case. Again, had no knowledge of this. Never seen any discovery, never even went over the police report, we didnt even know what the charges were until court, where a plea was offered with no time given to see or discuss options. We knew nothing about criminal law, transferred from Phoenix, civil project manager same career for over 35 yrs. This alleged charge could ruin his career at 58 yrs old. Attorney has switched contracts on us. We will not sign new one. Trying to trick us with new ” services rendered” in terms when “services to be rendered”. Is what we agreed to previously. He doesnt even have the correct charges for which he is suppose to be defending listed, proving he hasn’t even looked at the offense report. Where do we go for help? I’ve spent the last 2 months all day every day trying to learn the law. I knew we had been had. I just needed to know how to take action against him. He has been disciplined twice previouly 07-09- lawyer misconduct- ethics violations reprimanded ordered to pay 30k in restitution to 3 different clients. I can prove that he lied to me in order to get me to write him that check, when he didn’t deliver as he had promised, I sent him an email asking why, whats going on? We are concerned about your actions after the fact … to please contact us. Confused on how to move forward.
    He has never called back. We had no idea what to do. In shock that he actually had the balls to do such a thing. During that conversation he told us that he could not go and speak with my husband’s boss until we paid him up front because it was against the law but if we did, however, pay him right then he would go immediately to my husband’s workplace and try to save his job he said he could do this. He said he was skilled that he handled cases like this many times and not to worry he’s got this!

    Theres much more to add. Sorry for such a long comment. Any feedback would be appreciated so much…

    • Ms. Johnson: I recommend you file a grievance with the State Bar of Texas. They will investigate this matter and determine whether this attorney has acted unethically. I regret this has happened to you and your family.

Stephen Gustitis