Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Lawyer Marketer Ethic: Don't Bad Mouth, Let Me Do That - UPDATED

Got a call yesterday from one of the few (the only) lawyer marketer I respect. I've said before that failed or former lawyers are the worst people to talk to or pay for marketing services. The guy I respect is a marketer. Period. Not a former lawyer who claims to have the secrets of private practice, when they never had a successful private practice. On the internet, anyone can have a successful law practice, just start typing.

My friend has taken his expertise to lawyers, and he's excellent. I don't use his services, but know plenty of lawyers who do. That lawyers would even talk to a marketer who claims they were successful as a lawyer and are now making a living not practicing, but teaching you to "double your income," is a sad commentary on the desperation of our profession.

The guy I know, asked me if I knew fellow Miami resident Rjon Robins. I said I knew of him, but I never spoke to him, nor heard a single lawyer ever mention his name. And just to be clear, after 13 years in private practice, a lot of marketer's names come across my desk from young lawyers seeking advice.

Then came the shocker: "He badmouthed me."

Well I literally fell out of my chair. No, actually I didn't. Lawyer marketers want one thing, you, as a lawyer, to pay them money based on the promise that they are the secret to your pathetic and failing practice.

They're not, but that's besides the point.

Let's talk about badmouthing.

It's like negative campaigning, it works, for the most part.

There is a small group of clients who will say "I didn't like him because he badmouthed his competition." These are the same type of clients who "would never hire a lawyer who sent a solicitation in the mail. These are the few, the educated, the principled clients who are truly looking for a professional.

For most people, hearing that "I wouldn't hire him," or "I've never heard of him," (the best type of badmouthing), strikes fear, and fear, works.

So last night I was looking around twitter, and like finding cheerleaders holding pom poms, found the following typical ass kissing tweet from lawyer marketer to lawyer marketer:

@AlexisNeely <-- Someone who is NOT full of bullshit! Here's what I mean: http://bit.ly/cXxVFz (via @rjonrobins) lol, thanks RJon. :)

I love reading the communications between lawyer marketers, the rah rah rah that is their world, the "oh, you're so supery dupery wonderful," syrupy stuff. They're great because they tell each other how great they are.

Here's what Alexis is talking about.

Rjon wanted everyone to know he thinks Alexis is pretty cool. So he takes the marketing tact, and starts off talking about himself:

So I have to say, there are ALOT of people going around talking alot of bullshit about what they "think" would, could or should work when it comes to marketing & managing a solo or small law firm. And I'm talking about REALLY marketing & managing it. As in doubling your revenues and totally transforming your business and your life. (Did you read "double your revenues?" Mastercard and Visa accepted).

And for the most part, I keep my mouth shut. (For the most part. Keep reading)

Just the other day for example I spoke with a lawyer at-length, who wanted to get into one of my programs. But he was also considering another option with someone else who will remain nameless. Because I have learned that the best way for that lawyer to learn the difference between working with someone who knows what they're talking about with legitimately 15,000 hours + real world experience vs. a johnny-come-lately import from an entirely different industry is to just keep my mouth shut.

Then, the hypocritical lesson:

Seriously, you should NEVER badmouth another lawyer. Just like I'm not badmouthing anyone here.

Just like I'm not badmouthing anyone here.

He's badmouthing the guy I know. He knows it, my friend knows it, and most importantly, I know it.

By the way, the reason he thinks Alexis is so great?

SO IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO THANK ALEXIS for sending this email to all the thousands of lawyers she knows to help them by sharing my FREE video training series "A Simple System For Managing A Law Firm Client Property Trust Account That WON'T Make You Feel Like A Schmuck."

Yeah, she sent an email about him and his business. Yipee! Quick, someone send an email about me!

I commented on the post last night, I told Alexis on twitter her "thank you" to Rjon should have been rather a condemnation of his hypocrisy, but no response.

Lawyer marketers hate me. I ruin their twitterstreams, their internet "graduation pictures." Alexis just keeps tweeting as if I never said anything, and there are no further comments on the post. This is their tact - "ignore him, he's mean, he doesn't buy into our 'product.'" "He'll go away, and then we can continue pumping each other...."

No, I won't. Either will any of you.

UPDATE: Robins claims he thinks he knows who I'm talking about, but....um....it's not that person.

Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.Share/Save/Bookmark

7 comments:

RJON ROBINS said...

Brian,

With all respect, the only person in any of the blog posts you cite who is badmouthing anyone, is you.

I do not find any evidence whatsoever in your analysis of my post where I "badmouthed" anyone.

What I DID was observe an objective fact: That there are alot of hacks out there taking lawyers' money but not delivering results.

I actually went out of my way in my post to NOT identify the person whom the potential client was considering hiring.

My client base is worldwide and I get calls from lawyers OUTSIDE of our City all the time. In point of fact, the person that lawyer was considering hiring is not even located in this State.

Furthermore, even a cursory review of my website reveals that I have no objection to non-lawyers helping lawyers with marketing and management of a law firm. Two of the most knowledgeable experts who I regularly pay public respects to for their expertise in these areas are NOT lawyers. And I've referred business to BOTH of them over the years.

It's the "Johnny Come Lately" that I object to.

Sorta' like a guy graduating from law school yesterday and then telling a criminal defense client accused of a capital crime that he'll be in good hands. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer you don't think that's a problem the market should be educated about? So tell me, how exactly do you educate the market about that sort of problem without naming the problem?

Alexis has helped alot of lawyers. And she's been very generous to me too.

So why shouldn't I thank her for that?

RJON ROBINS

p.s. Have I done something to offend you personally? You say you've never spoken to me nor ever head a single lawyer mention my name. And yet your blog post is full of such animosity. Hmmm?

Brian Tannebaum said...

Yes Rjon, you have done something to offend, but not me. You claim you don't bad mouth, but you do. I heard the entire story of your incident with the other lawyer marketer, so let's not pretend I don't know the story.

Just stop the hypocrisy.

Brian Tannebaum said...

And Rjon, are you simply thanking Alexis, or can you explain to my readers here the concept of "affiliate links?"

RJON ROBINS said...

Respectfully, you REALLY don't know not even a little bit of the story. Talk about being misleading to your readers!

Alexis was very up-front about the fact that she's an affiliate of mine. You on the other hand talk in riddles and then post gratuitously hurtful comments on my blog about a good guy who has nothing to do with what we're talking about. So Grant apparently made some mistakes. Do you have anyone else's dirty laundry you'd like to air for your own amusement?

Talk about missing the point of not badmouthing other people!

At this point, I have to trust that lawyers reading this know I'm a straight-shooter and that you're an irresponsible bully who jumps to unfounded conclusions.

So I have nothing more to add.

Brian Tannebaum said...

Oh Rjon, you're doing so well writing from the lawyer marketer script-calling anyone who sees the "double your income" bullshit you peddle for what it is a "bully.". All of you need to go find something productive to do.

And my readers see you exactly for who you are, a failed lawyer defending a disbarred lawyer who, among other things, took money from a trust fund for children. I'm glad to know you are teaching trust accounting and calling theft from a trust fund a "mistake."

I think the last sentence of your comment sums up your entire thought process.

John Martin said...

Keep up the good work Brian.

Anonymous said...

I've been on the RJon Robbins mailing list for about 2 years now. I am still waiting to receive one solid piece of helpful information. I even spent time taking his survey where he promised solid info at the end but all there was was more direct marketing hype. Is there anything of failure here? I sent a polite email to RJon Robbins and got a response that I hadn't opened an email. Well, I've opened plently and I am still waiting for something useful other than I shold accept credit cards, not a bad idea, but not exactly original or earthshaking.