Lead management best practices to successfully convert leads
Here is our list of six lead management best practices to help your firm sign up more clients.
1. Use a virtual receptionist so no call goes unanswered
A study on law firm client intake showed that on average, 35% of calls from prospective clients go unanswered. You shouldn’t assume these people will wait around and try calling you back later. When they can’t reach you, they probably just move on to the next firm.
You may not be able to pay a full time receptionist to answer every single call for you, and that is completely understandable. But neglecting 35% of your potential clients will surely hamper your efforts to grow your practice.
That’s why one of our lead management best practices is to use a 24/7 virtual receptionist service. When no call goes unanswered, you will show your prospects that you are always available, build their trust, and maximize the likelihood of a lead converting into a paying client.
2. Urgency: Respond to every lead within 15 minutes
Studies have shown that lead response time is a key factor in whether or not a sale closes – the faster the response time, the better the conversion rate. Not only that, but the first responder to a lead is also far more likely to win the person’s business.
Lawyers face a lot of competition in the market these days. You should not assume that potential clients who contact you will not also contact another attorney. And you should do everything in your power to have someone call every single lead within the first 15 minutes.
Responsiveness is a key indicator to a client that you care about them and this will help you establish their trust, and maximize the likelihood of a conversion.
3. Persistence: Make a minimum of 3-5 attempts to contact every lead everyday
Time and time again, studies have shown that persistence pays when it comes to sales. There are a million reasons why a prospect may not reply when you first contact them. But you should never just assume it’s a lost cause.
You should contact every prospect at least 3-5 times, or until you hear back from them. You should try multiple contact methods as well, including both phone, email, and SMS messaging.
The more follow up attempts you make, the more likely you will be to get through, and the more likely that the person will hire you. It’s that simple.
4. If you don’t receive a response after 3-5 attempts, use email marketing to keep leads engaged
Even after 3-5 failed attempts to contact a lead, you still shouldn’t give up hope completely. You just never know when the person might change their mind and reach back out to you, ready to hire.
It’s all about timing. You want to ensure that you stay top of mind so that your previous potential clients don’t go looking for another attorney when the timing is right.
The best way to keep nurturing these types of leads and maintain some level of engagement with them is to use email marketing. You can send out newsletters with general updates from your firm, or better yet, send along some FAQs, articles, or blog posts that are relevant to the person’s legal matter.
The more targeted these types of communications are, the more effective they will be at converting a cold lead into a hot one.
5. Pre-qualify your engaged leads with a simple online intake form
Depending on your area of practice, it often doesn’t make sense to schedule every single potential client for a consultation right away because you may just end up wasting your valuable time meeting with the wrong clients.
So, once you do have an engaged prospect, the next step is to pre-qualify them to ensure that they are a good fit for your firm and that you can help them with their legal needs.
A great way to pre-qualify your leads is to use a simple online intake form to capture some basic information before you meet with them. You can explain to your clients that filling out this short form is the first step of the process, and that it will help you assess their legal needs so you can properly advise them.
Using an online intake form will not only allow you to screen out bad clients, but also save you a bunch of time during the consultation because you’ll already have a better idea about the important issues which need to be discussed.
Since the form is fillable online, it’s much less of a burden on your clients than printing a form to fill out by hand would be.
6. Track all of your efforts in a CRM so nothing slips through the cracks
According to a study, 26% of law firms do not track their leads at all. Not in a spreadsheet. Not even on a notebook or a Post-it note.
Lead management is virtually impossible without a system for tracking your activities. For example, how will you know if you’ve made your 3-5 attempts to reach a lead if you don’t keep track of it somewhere? That’s what a CRM will do for you.
A CRM functions as your lead management database. It’s where you store each lead, including their contact info, their upcoming appointments, notes about interactions with them, emails you have sent them, and any tasks or reminders you set for you or your staff.
If you use a law firm specific CRM, you can even do things like trigger automatic email follow ups or appointment reminders, send online intake forms to complete, or send out an e-signable fee agreement. Many CRM tools enable you to monitor the current status of every single potential client.
By using a legal CRM tool, you’ll know which leads you haven’t been able to reach yet, which leads you have made contact with, which leads have a consultation scheduled, which leads had a consultation but have not hired you yet, etc.
As you should now see, lead management is fundamentally different from case management, but equally, if not more important to growing your firm. Paying for marketing without proper lead management is basically just throwing away your hard earned money.
In order to yield a positive ROI from marketing, you’ve got to have a system for managing, and converting your leads. By utilizing our six lead management best practices for law firms, you will be ahead of the curve when it comes to landing more business for your practice.