As a solo practitioner or a partner in a firm, the bottom-line of your business simply comes down to attracting the best clients possible. Whether that amounts to generating more clients, or targeting better clients, maximizing your time in order to ensure the best return on it is the ultimate goal.
However, the key to achieving this outcome is to first start with the basics, and do them well.
So, what are the basics?
Generating leads + Converting Them into Paying Clients.
Now as an attorney, there’s a variety of ways to find and attract clients (networking, referrals, print ads, billboards, etc.), but in the ultra-competitive space of the legal field, this task can be both difficult and expensive. Add the fact that attracting clients is only the first half of the battle, and that closing them is another beast entirely, and this two-step approach can present a sizeable learning curve.
Understanding the scope of this challenge, the goal of getting the clients you deserve is more than possible; it may just take a little internal restructuring to hit the landing with the right ones.
With that said, here's The 4-Step Method to Turning Your Law Firm Leads into Paying Clients.
Step 1: Have Intake Staff
Let’s be real here:
When a potential client contacts your office, they’re looking for someone that can answer specific questions about their case, and to do so as quickly as possible.
Which means time is a serious factor.
Whether you’re researching a case, filing paperwork, or simply out of office, having the appropriate intake staff is vital to contacting new leads and securing them as new clients before they move on to a competitor.
In this sense, intake staff can provide any curious individuals with the information they need to make a strong decision. Intake staff is also great at weeding out the calls that may not be the best fit, those that can be immediately rejected. In effect, having an intake staff gives you the ability to qualify your leads (calls) without you ever having to be around. And when it comes to maximizing your time to focus on what’s most important, outsourcing this duty to a trusted assistant can really make the difference in your practice’s growth.
Key Tips for Intake:
Your staff should act as a salesperson and customer service representative for your firm.
They should have key points prepared as to why you’re better than your competition and what you can provide clients that they can’t find anywhere else.
They should also be extremely empathetic and supportive to handle the emotions of individuals calling your firm.
Your intake staff should have a proper procedure for securing information from potential clients that call or contact the office; this will usually take the form of a name and contact information for future follow-up.
Step 2: Build a Strategy for Lead Follow-Up
When a potential client contacts your firm, there is a good chance they’re also contacting a few of your competitors. It is not enough to talk to them once and hope they make the decision to come back to you. Whenever you’re dealing with a prospective client, you want to show how much you care about their case.
Again, timing is everything.
So, be sure to follow up with your leads as quickly as possible. Ideally, you are taking every potential call (once qualified as a viable lead) live. If you are unable to take the call live then you should strive to return their phone call or email within 5 to 10 minutes of them initially reaching out to you. Doing this can increase your chances of securing them as a customer exponentially. Also, make sure you have enough intake staff members so you can call each potential customer back within 5 minutes. If you aren’t able to reach the individual the first time you call them, continue to reach out to them throughout the day or week until you’re able to connect.
Step 3: Don’t Cross Job Descriptions
If you’re looking to save some money in the payroll department, you may be tempted to have associates or paralegals do their own outreach. While this may save you the money of another employee, it can actually prevent your growth.
When people have too many items on their plate, they’re going to push what they feel is the least important to the side. When your associates or paralegals have a lot of work for active cases to complete, they’re going to allow outreach to fall on the back burner. This could mean your prospects won’t be contacted for days after their initial outreach, leaving room for your competitors to step in and make contact.
Instead, your intake team should focus on making all the calls or emails to potential leads. By allowing them to focus on bringing new clients to the firm, associates and paralegals can focus on the work they do best.
Step 4: Use a CRM
A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management Program, is pretty common for businesses, but your firm should take advantage of one as well. This program will allow your intake team to see where each individual is in the intake process and keep a running tab of each lead that has been secured. If you have many different intake staffers securing different leads, this can ensure they don't cross over one another when talking to a potential client.
A CRM will allow your intake staff to keep a list of all leads and prospects.
This will allow them to easily refer to the CRM to see the last point
of contact for the individual, as well as what steps should be taken next,
and who has been in contact with the lead. CRM programs also allow you
to check analytics and conversion rates, letting you know how many leads
are not converting into paying clients. This can give you better insights
as to how strong your advertising strategy is and whether or not you need
to make some serious changes.
If you’re unable to secure paying customers from the leads your advertising plan generates, you’ll likely need to make some serious changes. The better leads you can attract through your advertising efforts, the easier it will be to convert them into paying customers. With the right plan, preparation and conversion strategy, you can secure all the leads you need to have a steady stream of paying clients for your law firm.
As an attorney, there is a responsibility to not only be an expert in your
field of practice but to understand the intricacies of running and marketing
your business. And with that responsibility, you can often find yourself
stretched pretty thin. And you deserve a life that’s free from the
daily distractions of learning new marketing practices. With Scorpion,
you’ll gain a marketing team you can depend on, and the time required
to focus on your clients and grow your practice.
For a marketing team dedicated to bringing you the clients you want, Give Us a Call Today.
Thomas Wallin is an attorney, as well as a legal marketing consultant for Scorpion. He helps guide strategy for Scorpion’s legal clients, working to bring them more exposure and high-value cases from the Internet. He also speaks at numerous conferences, teaching attorneys best practices in legal digital marketing.
Thomas has a successful personal injury law firm and has been recognized as one of the most respected litigators in Southern California. He has been named among the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by The National Trial Lawyers, as well as the “Best Attorneys in the County” by Orange County Magazine. When he is not working, Thomas enjoys mountain biking, hiking, and traveling.