With all of the attention focused on cultivating online leads, some law firms tend to ignore improving their inbound call strategy. However, there is no doubt that phone calls can still result in a significant amount of business for many legal practices, and that failing to focus on this attorney marketing element can lead to both lost cases and reputation damage.
Use these 5 inbound call marketing strategies to convert more telephone prospects into leads and clients.
- Route Calls to the Right Sources
If you realize that your most promising leads tend to come from your law firm’s blog page or via a successful Google AdWords campaign, for example, you can use technology like James Attorney Marketing’s cloud-based call software (included free with the James Legal CRM) to route those leads to the most experienced staff members with the highest rates of conversion.
Sending calls to the right sources can ensure a more successful conversation from the get-go, and a higher caller conversion rate.
- Collect the Right Information
More than 50% of the sales process is already complete by the time that prospects actually call your law firm, according to a study conducted by CEB. The exact figure may vary by situation, but it is safe to say that most prospects turn to the internet to equip themselves with loads of information before they even reach out to your practice.
Use this to your advantage by training staff about the kinds of information they should collect once they get prospects on the phone. This could include:
- Contact details: phone number(s), email address
- Geographic location: are they local?
- The specific type of case: for example, for a personal injury law firm, this could include automobile accidents, workers’ compensation incidents, dog bite injuries
- An estimation of how serious/committed the prospect is about pursuing their case: are they just a looky-loo?
- Timeline of incident and prospect’s timeline for pursuing their case
- Any challenges or red flags: have they attempted to work with other attorneys concerning this matter?
A basic rule of thumb is the more helpful pieces of data the initial staff member can gather, the more they can qualify the lead and determine whether the prospective client is a good fit for the law firm.
- Score Leads to Focus on the Most Promising Ones
Once staff members have collected necessary information, they can assign the lead a rank, such as high priority, medium priority, or low priority. This is called lead scoring—an attorney marketing system that helps law firms determine which leads are most worth their time and bear the greatest odds of converting into clients.
How do you know which kinds of leads are the most promising? They are the ones that fit your ideal client profile. For example, a law firm specializing in employment law could be looking for leads that:
- Fulfill an executive/decision-making role within their company, such as CEO, CMO, or VP of HR
- Work at a business with 250-1,500 employees and at least $20 million in annual revenue
- Need additional help with employment law needs, since their general counsel is unqualified or overburdened
- Want a local attorney who can visit their office
- Desire a law office that is a committed to a long-term partnership
No matter your law firm’s specific criteria, everyone should be trained on it so they can spot the highest-quality leads and flag them for immediate attention. The early bird gets the worm, and the law firm that reaches out to the lead first usually snatches the case from their competition.
- Schedule Appointments with Promising Leads Immediately
When you have identified a promising lead on the phone, schedule an appointment right then and there. You have already gone through getting to know the potential client to see if the relationship is a good fit, so if they are still on the phone, there is a good chance that they are open to a consultation.
Peruse your team calendar and suggest an open time slot. Note that this is not the same as asking whether the prospect wants to schedule an appointment, which often sets the stage for a “no.”
If the potential client demurs on the meeting suggestion, address their concerns. If they still don’t want to commit, switch tactics and say that you will pass along the lead’s information to an experienced team member, who will give them a call back within 24 hours (responding within 1 day ensures the highest possible conversion rate). Then, tag the lead as a high priority in your attorney marketing call software and/or CRM.
James Attorney Marketing’s call software can send text messages to team members when good leads come in to ensure priority follow-up.
- Follow Up Before Appointments
Even if prospects do schedule an appointment, that doesn’t mean they will show. Following up ahead of time can ensure a higher meetup rate and conversion rate from lead to client.
Send a reminder email or text message to the potential client the day before their meeting reminding them about the consultation. Another option is to send them a confirmation email right after scheduling the consultation, which contains the option to add the meeting to their calendar. Just be sure to get their permission to contact them beforehand.
The potential client will appreciate the reminder and your law firm will experience fewer meeting cancellations, which can mean a significantly higher conversion rate over the long run.
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