Model-T Ford. Source: Wikipedia

Times have really changed since Henry Ford launched the Model-T on the American market almost 110 years ago.

Whereas Model-T buyers had only one choice – it only came in black – today, car buyers are inundated with choices.

Whether it’s the brand, the body-style, the number of driven wheels or the trim level, car buyers are spoiled for choice.

That’s how I felt when I had to decide on the right trim level and extras when I bought my Chevrolet Yukon last year. After 30 years of driving sedans, it really was refreshing to step up into an SUV and enjoy better visibility.

But with my lawyer hat on, I started to think about my buying experience.

And I thought about how there really isn’t anybody who has your back when you’re buying a car.

Sure, the car comes with a warranty, and your local franchise dealer is there to help you.

But who is going to tell you about all the other things you should also be considering?

I mean stuff like choosing appropriate insurance coverage, or how to really look after your new car so that it retains its value, or the important accessories you should buy that could one day save your life?

And I realized, because nobody is doing that, it’s the perfect opportunity for personal injury lawyers.

First Time New Car Buyers

I know that for some people, after a lifetime of driving used cars, they finally decide to buy a new vehicle for the very first time. It might be that they treat themselves on reaching retirement. Or it could be that they’ve simply had enough of repair bills on older vehicles.

So if someone’s experience of car insurance has always been insuring an old vehicle, do they really know about all the important things to consider when insuring a new vehicle?

For example, you can get coverage that will replace your vehicle with a brand new one if you total your new wagon within the first twelve months of ownership. “So what?” you may ask.

Well, if I’ve just bought a new vehicle, I’d want that extra coverage. It would be a shame to total my new vehicle and find out that I’m only going to receive book value for it. How much extra is that better insurance coverage? It’s a lot less than the difference between book value and the price of a brand new car.

But if the buyer just doesn’t know that’s the coverage they should be seeking, it’s more likely they’ll end up under-insured. And that’s just one aspect of looking after your new vehicle and yourself as the owner/driver.

The Opportunity

I don’t know of a single franchise dealer that offers that kind of sage advice, or the other suggestions I’ll share below.

So the opportunity is wide open for you, as a trustworthy personal injury lawyer in your market, to fill in the void.

Here’s how you do it:

You approach all of your local franchise dealers, and offer to give them a free welcome pack that they can give to every buyer of a new car.

And in that pack, whether it’s a book, a booklet, a series of information cards and coupons or something else – you provide all the information and special offers that the dealership itself is not offering.

You can even co-brand your pack with each dealership, so that they feel you’re really customizing it for them and their customers.

Recommended Gadgets, Supplies, Tips and Tricks

Besides appropriate insurance coverage, there are plenty of other things that are good ideas for a new car owner to do. For example buying a dash-camera, a first aid kit, an emergency hammer and spare light bulbs. You could add emergency blankets to the list, if you’re going on a long drive, along with bags of trail mix and bottles of water. Stuff happens and you could be stuck somewhere for hours. Being prepared makes sense. You can explain that to the new car buyer, in case they don’t know.

Then there’s the lesson that some new car owners only learn from experience, like buying a robust trunk liner if you’ve got a dog or frequently pursue messy leisure activities.

And what about things like maintaining the condition of your car’s interior and immaculate paintwork with a regular detailing appointment?

I’m sure you could think of a few more examples of smart things to do, tips and suggestions for new car buyers. For example, you could explain the benefits of using Rain-X, when to use snow chains and how to drive your car out of a snowdrift.

You could even find a way to partner up with a detailing company, a dash-camera provider or a custom car-mat company to offer a special deal, or you could actually put your hand in your pocket and offer that yourself as part of a package.

Lawyers get a bad press and they’re always looking for ways to be seen as honest and trustworthy.

Well, if your law firm educates and equips new car buyers with everything they need to be safe and secure – and they know it’s your law firm that did that – who are they going to call first if they DO have an accident?

Now remember this – you’re the firm that recommended they get great coverage and that they took reasonable precautions to protect themselves, their family and their investment.

So, not only will they automatically trust you, they might also have great insurance coverage AND know how to provide everything you need – quickly – to settle their case, fast and to their satisfaction. That’s a client you want.

Personal Injury lawyers usually spend most of their time looking for people who need their services RIGHT NOW. And finding those people can cost $400-$500 for a single Pay-Per-Click ad, which may not even result in a case.

So how much would it cost you to make new car buyers love your law firm BEFORE they get in a car accident? If you bulk buy dash-cameras, you can really make a difference for under $50.

Think about that – for less than $50 a pop you could make the buyer of a new car love your law firm and program your number into their cellphone speed-dial. And they’ll tell their family about you too.

Just think about the Social Media potential when those new car buyers talk about their unexpected “Welcome Pack” and the goodies inside it – and who gave it to them.

Think also about the publicity opportunities. If the franchise dealer advertises on the local affiliate, you could get yourselves booked on your local morning show. “Today we’re joined by local attorney, Ken Hardison, who has teamed up with Ourtown Chevy to give every new car buyer a free dash-camera, an emergency kit and an advice booklet on how to protect their family and their new vehicle.”

This may not be the lowest cost example of grassroots marketing but it is definitely an example of really clever grassroots marketing for law firms.

So, if you want more personal injury clients, do what none of the other law firms are doing. Start building a connection with car buyers by filling a big gap and giving them the other stuff they really need.


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