Top 5 Mistakes Law Firms Make When Following Up With LeadsIf you are failing at lead conversion, you shouldn’t necessarily blame it on the quality of your leads. It just may be that you are committing one or more of the following common mistakes law firms make when following up with leads:

1. Taking too long to follow up.

Timing is everything when following up on a lead. Research shows that you are 100x more likely to connect with a prospect if you follow up within five minutes vs. a half hour.

Unfortunately, fast follow-up is a real stumbling block for most law firms, especially for solos and small firms who usually rely on attorneys to return a call or email inquiry. This is the first mistake. NEVER have an attorney responsible for following up! You may want to, you may intend to, but it rarely happens because of your workload.

So what to do? Automate the process! You simply cannot be consistently good at lead conversion unless you have a process in place that sends your prospect an immediate message responding to their inquiry.

Every contingency can be planned for in advance with an automatic response system. A prospect calls in, a staff member gets an email address, enters it into the system, and that person is immediately sent an email. That email can encourage them to set an appointment, educate them further about your firm, include some testimonials from other clients, offer a free consultation, or whatever you want to happen next.

The same process can be put in place for leads that you capture through your website, blog or social media posts.

2. Failing to provide value.

When you use an automated process to follow up, you are able to respond with information that your prospect will find immediately useful. Emails are written according to what legal problem the prospect is facing, providing solutions that encourage the prospect to take that next step of scheduling an appointment.

Selling legal services should be approached as a consulting sale, not a product sale. Prospects can easily find background information on firms and attorneys on the Internet; when you contact them, they are looking for more, not just a recitation of facts they could easily read on your website.

3. Not understanding the prospect.

The primary reason why someone hires an attorney is to alleviate his or her “pain.” They may use words like “goal,” “challenge” “problem” or “issue,” but their pain is whatever they are experiencing that they want you to fix.

Once you understand the signs to look for, use these tips to turn a prospect with pain into a paying client:

  • Know how your prospects typically define and describe their “pain.”
  • Talk about the problem using their language.
  • They will feel you listened to them if you ask them a lot of questions about their problem and their pain.
  • Don’t waste time describing the process you will use to resolve their pain. Instead, focus on helping them understand your solution and results.
  • Give them a sense of hope, that things can get better and you know how to help.
  • Project confidence in your ability to help.
  • Listen to them and make them feel understood or they won’t listen to you.

Client acquisition begins with listening, then digging deeper to get the whole picture of a potential client’s needs and taking the time to talk with them about how you can help.

4. Not demonstrating empathy.

We do a lot of secret shopper calls to law firms around the country.  Unfortunately, we’ve found that 95% of the firms we are calling are doing a poor job at compelling our caller to do business with that firm or attorney.

Our caller contacts personal injury firms all the time and the person on the other end of the phone never even says, “I’m sorry you were in an accident.” He/she immediately begins to ask questions without showing compassion.

Fixing this is not hard.  You just need to put a process in place that works for you and train your people to follow that process.  Sometimes the simplest fixes can provide compelling results – and this is a simple fix that can make a real difference in your appointment rates.

5. Not understanding the prospect’s buyer stage.

There are four stages a prospect goes through on their journey to selecting an attorney: awareness, consideration, evaluation and decision. Each of these stages demands a different type of approach. Not understanding where your prospect is in his or her buying stage is a signal to the prospect that you do not understand their needs.

The content you share and conversations you have with prospects as you lead them through the purchase process must be tailored to their needs, not yours.

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