In the classic feature film ‘Talladega Nights’, Ricky Bobby learned from his daddy that ‘if you ain’t first, you’re last’. And, that’s not just true in fictional depictions of NASCAR. It’s true for law firm lead conversion, too.
Studies have shown that nearly 90% of potential law firm clients will ultimately choose the law firm that first engages with them. That amounts to a lot of pressure for law firm business owners, and it means that, regardless of how much you spend to get a lead (and it can be a lot), you can lose that lead right at the goal line, if you don’t have an effective method (or methods) for providing a meaningful interaction when your new lead reaches out to your firm.
No law firm will have the exact same intake procedure; but, every law firm should build an intake procedure that highlights effective engagement.
Here are three tips to help you get started:
(1) Be Intentional About Constructing Your Lead Channels. You should not be foisting your law firm marketing upon the world with a limited idea of how and where it generates leads for your business. In the first instance, you should have an intimate understanding of your messaging, and how it should resonate with clients. Next, you should understand how you direct those leads to contact points at your website, and elsewhere. Even if the major landing spot for most law offices is the law firm website, depending on how sophisticated your marketing platform is, you may have additional places you’re pointing your clients. You may want your clients to call you, or text you. Whatever your preferred channels are, make it your business to fully understand the process of how leads are created and filtered.
(2) Get Engaged. And, therein lies the rub . . . even if you get all of that right, you still need to convert. It doesn’t matter how many leads you can generate if your conversion rate is poor. Remember, coffee is for closers. So, when someone lands on your website, or your preferred landing spot for leads . . . what happens next? Is there any level of engagement? Are those leads filling out a form and waiting for a contact back, or is there a messaging option? Are those leads leaving a message, and waiting for a callback? Are those leads texting you, but not receiving an autoresponse, as you try to figure to effectively manage SMS communications? The simple fact is that the vast majority of law firms don’t truly engage their leads, which is the first step of any conversion process. And, if you don’t engage your leads, they’re going to immediately find another law firm that will.
(3) Staff Up. Of course, running a small law firm -- or even a solo practice with staff -- is a team effort. If you’re practicing at the top of your law license, you’re not answering the phones. So, you’ve got to be sure to train your staff about how to engage leads effectively, regardless of the stage at which they do so. The more you can automate your intake process, the better. But, at some point, your staff is likely to talk with a potential client before that person becomes an actual client. Make sure they know what they’re doing.
. . .
Don’t leave your clients feeling like they’re ‘stuck in the middle with you’.
(Yes: one blog post, one Stealers Wheel reference.)