Every lead is a business opportunity for your firm, so it’s essential to have a system in place that adequately manages your leads and maximizes the potential for new firm business. Lead management provides the fuel for your firm’s marketing needs and without it, the firm could cease to grow. That’s why law firm leaders must recognize the importance of lead management and view its value as comparable to case management. They both create greater efficiency, encourage firm growth, and increase profitability.
If attracting more clientele and business is a priority for your legal practice, as it should be, then you must prioritize investment in lead management practices to turn prospects into clients. With the implementation of the following practices, you can set your firm on the path to doing just that:
Improve your response times
The faster the response time, the better the outcome when it comes to lead conversions. That’s because a quick response demonstrates a strong commitment to client relationship building, along with time management. Leads generally contact law firms in times of duress, so they feel reassured when a potential legal service provider quickly responds in their time of need. It establishes the sense of trust that increases the possibility of converting leads into paying clients.
Far too many calls from prospective clients go unanswered within a law firm environment. This is a risk that often does not pay off. There’s no guarantee that these leads will reach out again or ultimately give your firm their legal business.
A virtual receptionist service can go a long way towards helping law firms increase their response times. Firms can ensure that prospect calls will never go unanswered, but without the costs associated with employing a full-time receptionist to handle these inquiries during business hours. With a 24/7 virtual receptionist service, law practices will have the potential to acquire a 100% lead response rate. Prospective clients will see your firm as reliable, trustworthy, and caring, which increases the probability of converting them into paying clients.
In the crowded legal marketplace, lawyers cannot afford to take potential leads for granted. Aim to consistently provide some form of lead follow up quickly – before your competition gets there first.
Make at least 3 attempts to contact leads
Effective lead management requires a level of persistence. One unsuccessful attempt at contact does not necessarily mean that the lead is disinterested in engaging your firm. In fact, there could be a variety of circumstances surrounding their lack of communication, so firms should not assume it to be an invaluable effort.
Prospects should be contacted at least three times, or until a response is received. Maintaining moderate to high rates of contact highly increases the probability of securing prospects’ business.
Contact attempts should involve more than just word of mouth and referrals. Email marketing can also be a useful option for keeping law firm leads engaged when other contact methods have failed. Whether you are pursuing brand new prospects or previous clients for future services, consistent email communications can help your firm stand out in their minds when they are ready to go forward with representation.
Some email marketing strategies include:
- Periodic firm updates
- Articles and blogs on current events
- Firm successes
- Common legal concern discussions
The more targeted your strategy, the more effective the campaign will be at turning leads into paying clients.
Pre-qualify leads for a productive first meeting
The first law firm lead meeting can be a make it or break it moment for turning leads into clients. But getting the most out of them requires some level of preparation, including the pre-qualification of prospects. Not doing so can result in wasted time and effort, not only for you but also for the prospective client.
A pre-screening questionnaire offers a time-efficient method for pre-qualifying prospective clients and determining whether their legal needs are compatible with your law firm. Most online intake forms only collect basic information from leads, but additional probing questions can help firms better prepare for the first lead meeting as a first step in the assessment of prospect needs.
The Best Tool for Lead Management is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
Far too many law firms fail to track their leads. If you want to give your firm a chance to grow its business and clientele, don’t be among those numbers. All communication between the firm and leads should be monitored and tracked for efficient management. Otherwise, how will you know that one lead has been contacted four times while another has not been contacted at all? CRM systems track this type of information for your firm.
These lead management databases store all information on your leads including their contact information, scheduled appointments and deadlines, communication notes, and emails sent to them. The right CRM software becomes the glue that keeps all communication between your firm and its leads together in one centralized place.