Remember those shocking numbers we showed: a 2% improvement in lead conversion could yield nearly $1 million in additional gross revenue at the average law firm? What if we told you that getting to 2%, or even 5%, is possible just by changing how you answer the phone? Sounds like a no-brainer when it comes to ROI, right?
These numbers are not out of reach for most law firms, but often attorneys, who are trained in the nuances of law, not marketing, don’t know how to achieve those key fractional boosts. Law firms around the country spend vast amounts of advertising dollars to get their messages out to the masses, counting on an influx of calls, and, ideally, cases. As a legal advertising firm helping attorneys in 96 markets nationwide, Network Affiliates knows that this approach still works quite well. We specialize in generating thousands of calls for our clients each month.
However, calls are just leads, and that’s only half the equation. True ROI comes from what you do with each individual lead. The answer is in intelligent conversion. Leads have no dollar value attached to them until they are converted—via intake strategy—to cases. And therein lies the critical importance of how you structure your intake process and personnel. There are real dollars tied to how you answer the phone.
The problem at most legal practices is lawyers tend to skimp on intake by a) handling new leads themselves while managing other tasks, b) having a receptionist untrained in intake fielding new calls, or c) hiring intake specialists but failing to monitor, report on and adjust things like client interaction, voice tone and scripts, case vetting, call volume, recording, and follow-up communication.
If you’re interested in getting to 2%+ conversion growth, which you can tie to real case value and business revenue, the best place to start is by taking an unbiased look at the success of your intake process. And the most important part of that internal review is understanding how to communicate effectively with potential clients in order to increase conversion.
Customer service 101
You might think of each call to your office like a customer walking into a high-end clothing store. That customer already knows what you’re selling. They may even know your legal brand and the style of your attorneys and cases. They have a general sense of what legal advice costs.
What they don’t know is how you might solve their problem, how empathetic you’ll be when listening to their concerns, and what approach you’ll take to getting them exactly what they need and on their way to a happier day.
Just like the best retail employees, who can turn a request for a sweater into a complete outfit purchase while building a loyal repeat customer, lawyers can achieve the same. Have you or an attorney you know ever taken a lead another lawyer turned down and turned it into a six-figure case? That’s intelligent conversion.
To make a “sale” you have to focus not on the features of your practice, but the solutions to real human problems that you provide every day. Not the commoditized accreditations of your attorneys (i.e., how great you are), but how you can help a client. Not the bells and whistles, but the benefits and the value you provide. Remember, it’s not about quizzing the caller, but speaking in a responsive, compassionate way that creates open dialogue to help you see the potential case in each call.
Just like the best sales people, who always remember “it’s never about them,” when you genuinely engage like you understand what you’re selling and who your audience is, tie it all up with a bow and invite a potential client to come back for more, you have achieved a new outlook on intake — one that might just lead to a lucrative 2%.