When you think of law firms, you probably think of the lawyers, right? And while we’re eminently proud of our attorneys, we have an amazing support team. In fact, did you know we have a bit of a superhero on our team?

His name is Marty Ruda, aka “The Martygator,” and according to Jesse Bernheim: “Simply, I and the firm would not be where we are without him. I am eternally grateful to Marty for the literal blood, sweat, and tears that he has put into the growth of our law firm.”

As you can probably tell from his title, Marty is an investigator for the firm. He’s also Jesse’s father-in-law. Marty owned a custom furniture business for more than 25 years. When he sold it and was looking for something to do in the meantime, Jesse asked him to help with BK’s new clients. Marty said yes without hesitation and hasn’t looked back. He’s not a big one for hobbies or even relaxing. He doesn’t boat, doesn’t golf, doesn’t fish. He works six days per week (at least), he enjoys what he does, and he’s very good at it.

In fact, in the 17 years Marty has been with BK, he has signed up over 5,400 clients! And that’s not even counting the ones signed via electronic signing.

Recently, we sat down with Marty to talk a little about what he does for BK, and why he loves what he does.

What do you do for BK?

When I first started, my involvement was primarily going out and meeting clients—qualifying the cases of personal injury clients who call us. Until the pandemic, we were very big on signing up people in person. During the pandemic and following, however, electronic signing became more popular. People felt more comfortable with it. We’re now sort of in a hybrid situation. I help with getting the calls when they come in. I also help those who aren’t comfortable with or can’t navigate electronic signing. But I still also get to go out and sign potential clients in person. That happens to 2 or 3 per week out of 10. When you try to sign them electronically, it’s hard. You need to be aware of your tone and how you talk to them and how you sound on the phone. You need to help make them feel less anxious while convincing them why they should allow us to represent them. And the sincerity is sometimes hard to express over the phone. To me, seeing someone in person is a lot easier. I feel much more relaxed meeting them face-to-face. It’s easier to tell our story. Easier to gain their trust. It’s also easier for me to learn about them because they are more comfortable, in that environment, telling me their story as well. They can see me, and it’s no longer as scary.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I’m a people person. I enjoy the job because I get to meet many people and make them feel secure that we are the right law firm to represent them. Most of the people we talk to—it is probably the first time they’ve been involved in an accident, or it has at least been a while. So they are not familiar with the process, or they’re nervous, a lot of times both. I’m very good at communicating with them in layman’s language, not legal language. I also let them know that if they have any difficulties in communicating with the firm, then let me know.

But after it’s all said and done, it’s actually a sales job—not selling a product, but convincing potential clients of the capabilities of our firm and obtaining them as a client. I like being in front of them and promoting the law firm. Some cases are more competitive than others. Some law firms are aggressive in the way they try to acquire clients. When I come in, I could sometimes be the 5th or 6th firm representative they’ve spoken to. When they ultimately decide they want to sign up for BK to represent them, I consider that a victory. I am helping BK and helping the people. It’s very satisfying. My closing ratio is 95%.

This is actually the first part of a “Tales from the Martygator” series. Look for more stories—including the best advice he has given Jesse about the business and some of his most interesting sign-ups—in future issues.

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