For lawyers, the great thing about legal marketing is you can hire an expert to handle it for you. A team of professionals can give your firm’s branding and advertising the strategy, time, and attention it needs to generate results.
But there’s one thing your marketing team can’t quite do for you: turn those calls into cases.
In fact, legal marketing is mostly about attracting potential clients to your firm. We call it lead generation, and – with how competitive the legal marketing landscape is – that’s usually the hardest part.
So, why do so many of these leads get lost in the shuffle?
Sadly, the answer boils down to procedure. Law firms are so focused on the law part of their practice; they tend to neglect the central gear that keeps the whole business in motion: client intake and conversion.
Last month, we identified lacking intake procedures as one of the four most common mistakes in legal marketing. Today, we will take a closer look at how and why this happens… and what you can do to solve the problem in your firm.
You Need Well-Trained, Highly-Dedicated Intake Staff
So much of the breakdown in the intake process comes down to basic training issues.
Unless your practice is very new or very small, your lawyers probably don’t answer the phone themselves. Most mid-to-large-size law firms have a support staff responsible for screening calls, fielding online inquiries that come in through the website, and getting prospective clients set up for a consultation.
It’s easy to think of that as “administrative work” — the kind of task you’d find in any professional assistant’s job description. You might assume, then, that no training is required for anyone who has worked as a paralegal or legal assistant of any kind before.
But intake and conversion are sales and marketing disciplines, not administrative tasks.
Your firm needs to make expert intake a core part of training for every member of the law firm staff who might be involved in answering calls, arranging consultations, or following up on prospects.
We recommend recording all intake calls and listening back to analyze the conversation. How could you improve? At what point during those calls do you seem to “make the sale” or lose the lead?
Never Fail to Follow Up
If a prospective client calls you but doesn’t convert in that first call (or gets put on hold indefinitely), there’s a good chance they’ll never call again.
Are your intake professionals following up on leads? How often do they call back? Are they creating a dialogue?
Consider this statistic: only 10% of sales people make more than three contacts, but 80% of sales are made between the fifth and twelfth contacts.
Intake? There’s an App for That.
When it comes to intake and conversion, technology is your friend.
Software exists that will track each incoming lead, how they found the firm, how many times you’ve made contact (when and through which method), and how much time has passed since first/most recent contact.
With the right analytics tools in place, you can also monitor the cost per lead. After all, lead generation isn’t free, so you want to keep an eye on those costs and make sure you’re doing all you can to capitalize on each prospect.
Speaking of technology, we strongly urge law firms to install a text-to-contact feature on their websites (especially the mobile versions of sites). Research shows that Millennials, as well as the Hispanic population, prefer to communicate by text — especially in the early stages, when they aren’t yet sold on hiring you.
A Little More Conversion Goes a Long, Long Way
We aren’t even necessarily talking about huge gains in your conversion rate here. But even small gains in the rate can mean substantial gains in profit.
For example, if your average net fee is $10,000, converting just ten new cases a year translates to an additional $100,000 for the firm. Furthermore, 100 cases = $1 million! And that’s all without spending one extra dime on your marketing efforts, but making simple and efficient improvements to your existing intake process.
In fact, a few years ago, we put together a hypothetical scenario in which a law firm increased its conversions by just 2%, and then we did the math. Check out the astounding difference a tiny uptick can make.
Stop Letting Hard-Earned Leads Go to Waste! Talk to Our Experts Today.
At Network Affiliates, we specialize in evolving law firms’ marketing efforts so that they actually land bigger and better cases. Contact our legal marketing experts and simply ask how you can improve lead generation, intake, and client conversion. We have a lot of ideas, and we’re happy to chat. Just call 877.709.0633 or contact us online.