How to Perfect Your Ability to Persuade

Whether we realize it or not, we spend a lot of time negotiating our way through life.  As an attorney, your ability to influence and persuade is critical, not only to prevail for your clients but to attract clients in the first place.

My background in psychology makes me hypersensitive to the ways people make decisions.  I’ve been a student of human behavior for many decades, and once you understand the factors that motivate your target market to take action  (i.e., hire you), you will begin to increase your lead conversion rate.

The infographic below from Everreach details six factors that persuade people to take action.  They are taken from the teachings of Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.  Keep these in mind as you develop your legal marketing programs.

5 Steps to a Foolproof System for Managing and Converting Leads

Whether you paid for them or worked hard getting them, leads are useless without a system to nurture and convert them.  “I don’t have time” is no longer a valid excuse with the software that’s available today to practically turn this process into an automated one for you and your firm.

Here are 5 steps you can take right now to better manage and convert your leads:

1.  Only ask for crucial information.  Research shows that contact forms with only three fields convert 25% more leads than those with more fields.  You really only need a name and an email address these days.  People don’t want to give out more than that for a first contact, so don’t put stumbling blocks in your own way right off the bat.  Keep it really simple.

2.  Follow up fast.  I’ve said it over and over again, but it bears repeating:  NEVER make an attorney responsible for following up with a lead!  You can program auto responses that follow up for you immediately once you receive a new lead.  Studies show that after an hour passes with no response, the chances of doing business with that lead are reduced by 10x.

3.  Make it about them.  Be sure you ask the right questions and record the information you receive from the lead in a central place so whomever is tasked with another follow-up has the information they need to provide relevant feedback to that lead.  Nothing is more annoying to a prospect than having to explain themselves again and again.

4.  Focus on the next step.  Your goal should be to get that lead into your office or on a phone conference as quickly as you can after they initiate contact.  Make it your goal to follow up with next steps within one hour of their contacting you and you will see your conversion rates increase.

5.  Pay attention.  According to HubSpot, 50% of new leads are not ready to buy -- which means they need constant attention to move them along to a purchase.  Having a system in place that allows you to pre-program a series of emails to nurture prospects takes the task off your hands while still getting the job done.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Practice Made Perfect for Small Firms and Solos

The Practice Made Perfect CD set and manual applies Stephen Fairley’s unique High Impact Marketing System to the practice-building challenges faced by solo practitioners and partners at small law firms.  

It includes dozens of specific marketing and sales recommendations that can be easily and quickly applied to your firm, including:

  • The only 7 sure-fire ways to get clients in your door NOW
  • Why advertising doesn’t work for most small law firms
  • The 7 reasons why people don’t buy from you           
  • How to market and sell with USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition)           
  • Using audio logos to attract immediate attention for your business
  • Using low-cost, high impact marketing strategies           
  • Strategies for achieving maximum results from all of your marketing efforts           
  • How to discover your Ideal Target Market
  • 3 critical factors to remember when looking for new clients
  • The NEW sales cycle for professional services
  • How to retain your best clients

Click here to order your Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD set and manual now. 

6 Simple Steps To Attract the Clients You Want (and Who Want to Keep You)

I know it’s difficult to turn business away, especially if your practice is struggling with cash flow, but you are never going to have that lifestyle law firm you want if you keep taking on the wrong types of clients.

Here are six simple steps that will help you attract the clients you want and keep them coming back to you:

1.  Pick profitable people.  Sounds simple, yes?  But you’d be amazed how many attorneys fail to keep the profit picture in mind when chasing new sources of revenue.  You do not want to be the guy or gal who signs everyone who calls.  Look at your most profitable clients and create a profile of your ideal client, then qualify your leads to see who fits. 

2.  Communicate clearly.  Nothing will send a profitable client packing faster than poor communications.  It’s a bad habit and one you can break, even if you’re a busy solo or small firm.  Put a communications process in place to fill in for the shortfalls you’ve created.  And for heaven’s sake, when you are communicating with clients, be sure to leave the legal jargon out of the conversation.  Stay on their comprehension level and you’ll alleviate the opportunities for miscommunication.

3.  Set some expectations.  Unmet expectations are another big reasons clients leave the fold.  From day one of your new relationship with a client, you need to be sure they have realistic expectations of the services you can provide and the outcome they can expect.

4.  Be really responsive.  The most successful firms I know have a process for returning calls and emails -- usually within an hour of receiving them.  If you’re going to be in court all day, have your email and phone messages monitored by someone in the office and task them with replying (but not with giving legal advice, unless they are also an attorney).  Even if it’s to say you are currently unavailable, this at least lets clients know you are aware they need you and will get back to them as soon as you can.  Then do it.

5.  Lend an ear.  Sometimes clients just want a sounding board.  You may have heard the problem a thousand times before, but it’s fresh to them -- and important.  Give the courtesy of being a good listener.  Clients want your empathy, not the bum’s rush.

6.  Maintain visibility.  Don’t just make an appearance when there’s money on the table.  Even if you have tasked associates with the work, make sure you maintain some visibility with the client throughout the duration of the case to create client loyalty.

If you’d like more strategies to create a 7-figure law firm, then I invite you to watch our new on-demand webinar, 7 Strategies for a 7-Figure Law Firm, where I provide insider tips from managing partners of multi-million dollar law firms and fill you in on what it really takes to build a 7-figure law firm.  

Federal Appeals Court Rules Attorneys Have Right to Publish Praise from Judges

A federal appeals court issued a ruling yesterday that attorneys have a First Amendment right to publish ads that quote judges praising them, a decision that reverses a lower court ruling.

The case involves a New Jersey employment attorney, Andrew Dwyer, who initially published praise from two jurists on his website.  The published quotes were excerpts from unpublished (but publicly available) judicial opinions.   One of the judges sent Dwyer a letter requesting that his quote be removed from the website.  Dwyer refused because he did not believe the quote was misleading or false.

The matter was forwarded to a committee of the New Jersey Bar, resulting in a proposed guideline that barred attorneys from using a quotation from a judge or court opinion regarding the attorney’s abilities or legal services.  Dwyer argued that the new guideline was an unconstitutional ban on free speech.

Fast-forward to 2012, when the NJ Supreme Court approved an amended guideline saying that attorneys could use quotes from judges or opinions, but that the full text of the opinion must be used instead of excerpts.

Dwyer filed suit against the NJ Bar committee that developed the guideline before it went into effect and moved for a TRO and preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of the guideline.  A NJ District Court denied the request.  Both parties then filed cross-motions for summary judgment, which the District Court granted to the committee.

Dwyer then appealed and yesterday, the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in his favor, calling the guideline “onerous” and saying that it imposed an unconstitutional burden on Dwyer:

“Guideline 3 as applied to Dwyer’s accurate quotes from judicial opinions thus violates his First Amendment right to advertise his commercial services. Requiring Dwyer to reprint in full on his firm’s website the opinions noted above is not reasonably related to preventing consumer deception.”

This decision could have farther-reaching effects in terms of how attorneys use testimonials in their advertising.  Will certainly be interesting to watch!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On-Demand Seminar:  How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

76% of them referred to the internet at some point in their search

While most law firms already have a website, the majority of them don’t produce new cases on a regular basis. Why?

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This seminar will teach you how to do it right.

Larry Bodine, The Law Blog Guru, and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand seminar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this seminar now to learn:

  • 3 specific strategies that can immediately improve your website conversions
  • What elements you should and should not include on your website
  • How to effectively reach the 65% of consumers who like to gather information about their legal issue long before ever contacting an attorney
  • Ways to leverage top online attorney directories to control your online presence
  • Case studies on how top attorneys are using social media to attract more paying clients
  • Best practices for blogging and why Google loves them so much
  • The fastest ways to get to the top of Google

Click on this link now to receive the How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients seminar.

ABA Announces Partnership with Rocket Lawyer

At their annual meeting last week in Boston, the American Bar Association announced a new partnership with online legal services provider Rocket Lawyer “to explore expanded opportunities for lawyers online.”

In the spirit of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” the ABA said it is collaborating with Rocket Lawyer on a pilot program to offer affordable legal services to small businesses and the self-employed, connecting ABA member attorneys with prospects using the Rocket Lawyer platform.

ABA president James R. Silkenat said, “The American Bar Association welcomes the opportunity to explore ways to expand legal services to those who need a lawyer’s counsel but are not currently being served for reasons ranging from affordability to ease of access.”

Rocket Lawyer founder and CEO Charley Moore heralded the partnership as a “pioneering effort to democratize access to legal counsel using technology,” applauding the ABA for “working with us to find new ways to expand legal representation from qualified attorneys through video and mobile technologies.”

Currently, Rocket Lawyer offers consumers and small business owners access to their own network of vetted attorneys by signing up for a $39.95/month membership plan.  For that monthly fee, you have access to a number of legal documents you customize for your own purposes online as well as legal advice from Rocket Lawyer’s stable of “On Call Attorneys.”  You type in your legal question on the website and get an answer via email or phone (your choice).

The ABA told the WSJ Law Blog it was interested in partnering with Rocket Lawyer because it uses attorneys to provide legal advice to its clients in a market the ABA feels is horribly underserved -- i.e., people who wouldn’t otherwise use an attorney. 

The ABA says it will be monitoring the program to see what kind of services its attorneys will actually be providing via Rocket Lawyer and to “make sure it really is the underserved communities they are responding to.”

The benefit to Rocket Lawyer, which says it will not be making a profit from the pilot program, is the cachet it will receive from being associated with the ABA. 

The program will involve a few hundred attorneys from each state and will start in about a month.

I’m curious what practicing attorneys are thinking about this partnership and would love to hear your comments.  Discuss! 

5 Steps That Will Help You Convert Prospects Into Clients

Sometimes I feel like a voice in the wilderness when I talk about the importance of lead conversion.  Just about every lawyer I come into contact with wants to know how to get more leads.  Very, very few (counting on one hand here) inquire about how they can do a better job of converting their leads into paying clients.

The fact of the matter is that you can get a million leads and if your conversion rate stinks, you are not paying the bills.

Here are 5 steps you can take right away that will help you convert leads into clients:

1.  Tell your prospect what’s in it for them.  If you remember just one thing, let it be this:  clients only want to know what you can do for them.  You can’t leave it to the prospect to guess; you have to tell them right out what you can do for them personally when it comes to their legal matter.

2.  Tell your prospect why they should hire you.  Consumers today have lots of choices for legal services -- not just other lawyers, but online solutions as well.  So you have to be very specific about what makes you different and why they should hire you.

3.  Don’t be afraid of emotion.  I can’t tell you how many times we have secret-shopped law firms (at their request, of course) and found their intake person totally lacking in empathy.  You need to listen to the person’s problem and truly empathize instead of treating them like just another number.  While they may be the 14th person you’ve talked to this week about a car accident, to them, their problem is totally unique.  Be sympathetic to their pain.

4.  Focus on benefits, not features.  Features are what your service does. Benefits are why your client needs your service. For every feature you have, you must tell your client what the benefit is.

5.  Make it easy to hire you.  We work primarily with solos and small firms who struggle daily with competing with larger, more established firms.  But solos and small firms can offer benefits that the bigger firms can’t, including a more personalized approach and flexibility.  Use your size to your advantage and tell them exactly why smaller is better.

If you are struggling with common objections like pricing and how to effectively turn a “No” into a “Yes,” you’ll want to listen to our 60-minute webinar on How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear.  Just click on the link to access it.

Martindale Hubbell Relaunches as MartindaleNolo.com

In February I posted a piece asking Are Martindale-Hubbell and Lawyers.com Dead?that garnered quite a few comments.

It looks like Martindale Hubbell has sprung back to life in the form I predicted a few months ago, as a lead generation and directory site for attorneys at martindalenolo.com

Actually, the new site offers three services for attorneys:  lead generation, directory listings (another lead generation tool) and web hosting.  All are core competencies for Internet Brands, which bought Martindale Hubbell and Lawyers.com last fall. 

Internet Brands, which started as CarsDirect.com, creates lead generation websites in nine vertical markets: Automotive, Careers, Health, Home, Legal, Lending, Licensing, Shopping and Travel.  Internet Brands was sold in June to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a private equity firm, for a reported $1.1 billion, according to Reuters.

KKR also owns GoDaddy.com, so the web hosting component of martindalenolo.com makes total sense.

The site offers directory listings on three of its Nolo-owned websites, including Nolo.com, Martindale.com and Lawyers.com (which features the “latest” legal news on its home page that is from October 2013!).

Their lead generation hat is being hung on a number of specialty websites like personalinjurylawyer.com, criminaldefenselawyer.com, etc.  The site says that the leads are targeted by area of practice and location -- it doesn’t say anything about exclusivity, so I can’t say whether or not they offer that.  But I’d sure want that if I were you.

(If you venture down the paid lead path, then be sure to read my May 5 post on Paid Leads for Attorneys: What It Takes to Get a Good ROI.)

There is no doubt that Internet Brands knows its business, so this may be a good thing for law firms who want a turnkey process in place.  Just be sure you’re willing to make a commitment to the steps I outlined in that May 5 post or you won’t be happy with your ROI.

Some Things Bear Repeating: 12 Ways to Improve Your Intake Process

Since I wrote yesterday about the necessity of having the right people performing your intake process, I thought I would share some tips I posted a few months ago on 12 ways to improve your intake process:

1. Have a dedicated person answer the phone. We’ve been astounded by how many firms answer the phone in a way that left the distinct impression we were annoying them when we called, as if we were taking them away from another priority.


2. Show compassion and empathy. Of the law firms we’ve shopped, only 21%  expressed any compassion or sympathy when our staff told them about their situation: “I was in a car accident and I’m having a lot of pain in my neck and lower back!” A simple, “I’m so sorry to hear about that. Are you OK?” can go a long way toward connecting with a potential client.


3. Get the caller’s name and phone number at the beginning of the call in case you get cut off. If you do get cut off unexpectedly, then call them back immediately. Somewhere during the call you should also get their email address or at least permission to text them information after the call.


4. If you send someone to your website, SPELL it out clearly. Many law firm website domain names are hard to spell or understand over a bad cell phone connection. One intake person gave us the wrong website altogether that sent us to a different law firm!


5. Do what you say you are going to do when you say you will do it. Many firms said they would send us information via email or mail – we only received one response.


6. Do not answer the phone with a generic “law firm.” Clearly say the name of your law firm.


7. If you are going to place someone on hold, always ask for his or her permission first.


8. Write out three to five reasons that make your law firm different. Make certain anyone talking with prospects can recite these from memory and knows how to weave them into a call. Everyone, whether they verbalize it or not, wants to know the answer to, “Why should I hire you?”


9. Remember that people buy emotionally and justify logically, so the person on the phone must build an emotional relationship with the caller.


10. Have a dedicated person to return all voice mails the same day.


11. Never make an attorney responsible for following up with leads. Even though they may have the best of intentions other things will take priority. Task a staff person with following up with leads and setting appointments with the attorney.


12. Never quote fees over the phone. The sole purpose of the call is to get qualified leads into your office. You will always have a higher closing ratio if you meet prospects face to face rather than trying to sell them over the phone.

Do You Have the Right People in Place for Client Intake?

Recently we offered a free intake process review -- a “secret shopper” service -- to the first 50 law firms that signed up and that offer got fulfilled fairly fast. 

One of the things we have learned in these intake process reviews is the necessity for a culture shift to occur in law firms so that the person or persons responsible for the firm’s intake process is chosen based on a background in sales, not customer service.

I recently illustrated why in an interview with the Intake Academy:

If your computer breaks, or your cell phone has a problem, you call customer service. You don’t mind being put on hold for an inordinate amount of time – well, you do mind, but are willing to put up with it – because you need to get your problem solved and, frankly, you don’t have a choice.  If you’ve got your cell phone with AT&T and want to get it fixed, you don’t get to call Verizon if AT&T puts you on hold for 45 minutes.

But when it comes to law firms -- especially personal injury or any kind of consumer law -- there is an intensely competitive environment where consumers have hundreds, if not thousands, of choices. All of them are easily identifiable with the click of a mouse or the turning of the page. It is amazing how much competition there is.

You don’t want people handling your intake process who have a customer service background; you want people who have sold stuff over the telephone. Most of the time, even if they have people in a formal intake center, most law firms have the wrong people. The rest of the law firm sees it almost as a necessary evil instead of this is a money-making function.

Most law firms that we’ve worked with over the years don’t even have an intake department – not a formal one, at least. They basically have a receptionist and somebody who’s a rollover person in case the receptionist gets too busy.

The purpose of having an intake or call center is to really transform that culture from being an intake one to a sales-oriented center. What I mean by that is going from order taker to rainmaker. I don’t want a bunch of order takers in the law firm; I want a bunch of rainmakers – a bunch of people who are committed and dedicated to getting people from being a potential client to being a retained or assigned client.

If you’re a consumer law attorney and want to learn more about turning leads into appointments and appointments into sales, you’ll probably be interested in our on-demand Proven Strategies to Win More Clients webinar.  By watching this webinar, you can learn proven steps to increase your lead conversion rate, including 3 steps for turning leads into appointments, 5 ways to increase your show-up rates and 4 ways to get more appointments to sign up at the initial consultation.  

How to Use Your Blog to Lead Prospects Down the Buying Path

Most of the solos and small firms we know have a finite amount of time to dedicate to legal marketing, so having a process in place that nurtures a lead along the path to becoming a client is a great benefit. 

One of the best ways to capture leads is through education marketing and your blog plays a singular role in this regard.  Blogging allows you to initiate the conversation with prospects who are having the kind of problems you solve.  Once you establish your expertise and gain their trust by providing stellar and relevant content, they are much more likely to take the next step to engaging you, usually by visiting your website or landing page that you are using in your blogs to direct your traffic.

In addition, offering a free report on your blog or website in exchange for a prospect’s email address is a true win-win:  it’s a great way to capture those leads that may not be ready to pick up the phone or send an email and your prospect gets a free guide that helps them understand their legal issue better.

So here is how the process goes when you automate it correctly:

-  Prospect becomes engaged through content on your blog

-  Prospect enters their email address to get your free guide, either on your blog or your website/landing page

-  You have an auto-responder system established that emails them the guide and a little more information about your firm

-  An automated drip email campaign begins where your prospect is sent pre-written emails according to a schedule you establish in your system that educates them more about your firm, the steps they should take next, testimonials from previous clients, a free consultation offer, etc.  

The goal is to lead the prospect along the buying path and get them to do what you want – call, set an appointment, etc.  Beyond adding content to your blog on a regular basis, everything else is done automatically, with no intervention from you or your staff needed until the prospect calls and your regular intake process begins.

You can also use the same system to nurture qualified leads until they become clients, sending a series of emails to prospects that miss an appointment or fail to hire you after the initial consultation.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On-Demand Seminar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

You can watch the How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients seminar at your convenience by clicking here now.

Want Proof That LinkedIn Works for Lawyers? Here It Is.

A story on Forbes.com earlier this week caught my eye because of two words: LinkedIn and Lawyer.  It’s a piece about a northern California attorney who actually got some solid business from LinkedIn and you can read it in its entirety here.

The story will resonate for so many attorneys who struggle with the Catch-22 of being too busy with work to prospect for new business, but when the caseload gets light, they have to scramble for new business to fill the void, only to find their best referral sources have withered on the vine.

Sound familiar?

The California attorney is a friend of the Forbes article author, Kern Lewis, who writes about marketing for entrepreneurs.  Lewis urged his lawyer buddy to consider using social media as a way to keep his referral sources warm.

The attorney, a commercial litigator, had time to devote to one network and wisely choose LinkedIn.  He spent about an hour cleaning up his profile on the site and then spent another three hours searching the site for people he knew professionally and requesting a connection.

He then spent about 30 minutes a week on building his contact network and sharing his own content and commentary in the professional groups he joined.

Within two weeks, he had referrals worth $12,000 in billable hours, an 8-10x ROI on the time he dedicated to networking on LinkedIn.  Most of his connection invitations were happily received and responded to, and several had business they could place with him right away.

This attorney has found the real gold in using LinkedIn effectively as a launch pad for enhanced networking.  Some of his old connections are now current lunch partners – a highly successful strategy we teach in one of our on-demand online seminars, From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources Using LinkedIn.

He finds LinkedIn an easy way to stay on top of what is happening with out-of-state clients and referral sources, and does most of his activity on the site during commercial breaks in whatever game he is watching each evening or on the weekends. 

The Internet has changed the way we do everything, including networking.  While participating in events that will have a good number of prospects and/or referral sources in attendance is still important, it is becoming equally important to move your networking online to touch those whose hands you can’t physically shake due to distance or schedules.

The 3 Magic Words B2B Prospects Want to Hear

Cindy Greenway, editor-in-chief at LawMarketing.com, recently interviewed my friend Larry Bodine, a long-time experienced legal marketer, about the three magic words that business clients want to hear, and why attorneys should use them in every marketing message they put out there.

Larry studied the recent 2014 Report on the State of the Legal Market by the Georgetown Law Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor and says those three magic words are:

  1. Efficiency
  2. Predictability
  3. Cost Effectiveness

Listen as Larry explains why using these three words will help you succeed with business clients:

Too often, attorneys get caught up in speaking their own language instead of focusing on what is important to clients and prospects.  Not only should you speak a familiar language with clients, you should also use words your clients actually want to hear.

As Larry explains, these are some good examples of what you can say that drives home those three magic words.

Efficiency

“We work hard to help our clients save money.”

“We run a lean operation.”

“Our years of experience make us highly efficient problem solvers.”

Predictability

“We let our clients know what the work will cost upfront so there are no surprises.”

“We keep you informed so there’s never a surprise.”

“Our experience gives you better insight into how a case will play out.”

Cost effectiveness

“We will never send you a bill that will surprise you.”

“We invest in people and systems that cut our cost of doing business.”

“We rely on our years of practical experience instead of expensive research.”

Talk to your business clients in this benefit-laden language they will understand and you will establish a great foundation for a lasting relationship.

Image courtesy of Flickr by JD Hancock.

Paid Leads for Attorneys: What It Takes to Get a Good ROI

An attorney recently posted a great question in one of our LinkedIn groups for bankruptcy attorneys that I thought deserved a longer than typical response. Here's the question:

I am curious whether anyone here has had luck with lead generation agencies. I am looking to expand my bankruptcy department and am wondering what has worked well for others in the past.

There are several lead generation companies out there for bankruptcy attorneys, from Total Attorneys (quite possibly the original one) to Nolo (may be the best one out there), Lead Rival and even LegalZoom. Even though it seems the pay-per-lead (PPL) model started out in bankruptcy, it has moved to other consumer practice areas such as family law, DUI, criminal defense, personal injury, immigration, and mass tort, among others.

Over the years, we have worked with several hundred attorneys who use or have used lead gen companies and found there are some common characteristics among those who are successful in converting those leads:

1. The leads must be geographically exclusive. It is extremely difficult to convert these leads in the first place, but doubly so if you are competing with another law firm who was sold the same lead at the same time by the same company.

2. You must have a dedicated intake specialist whose primary job is to call the lead. No attorney or paralegal will go after a lead with the kind of persistence and dedication it takes to convert them. Referrals are easy to convert, paid leads are not.

3. There must be a sense of urgency when following up with the lead. Research by velocify.com indicates your conversion rate drops precipitously if you fail to follow up within 5 minutes after the lead comes in. If you are going to use PPL, you must be faster than any of your competitors.

4. Your intake specialist must be instructed to call them a minimum of 7-10x before giving up. No, that is not a typo. If you want to convert these types of leads, you will have to work harder than anyone else. There should be 3 calls made the first day: one within 5 minutes, a second one within about an hour, and the third at the end of the day. Two more calls should be made the next day, then 2 more the day after that, then ideally one per day for the next 2-3 days.

5. You also need to send them 3-5 emails in addition to the phone calls. The emails should be educational in nature and subtly informing them of why they should hire you.

6. You must be dedicated to tracking every single lead, how many of these leads turn into appointments, how many of your appointments show up, how many sign up at the initial consultation, and how many sign up afterwards.

At our legal marketing workshops, we give you over 2 dozen other strategies you must employ to increase your lead conversion rates, but these are foundational ones.

If you're unwilling to make these commitments, I recommend you stay away from buying leads from lead gen companies as your conversion rate will be so low it won't give you a good ROI.

By the way, the average consumer attorney only converts 5-15% of their leads into paying clients (out of 100 leads they sign up 5-15 new clients). I have met many attorneys buying leads who are converting in the low single digits. If you use a systematic approach to lead conversion, including the principles I mention above, you can increase that to 35-40%, which is what the best in the business achieve!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

May 8: Free Webinar on Top 15 Ways to Dramatically Increase Your Intake and Lead Conversion

On Thursday, May 8, join Stephen Fairley for an Avvo Ignite webinar on how to become better at converting leads into paying clients.

It’s unfortunate that law firms spend billions every year on generating more leads, but pay little attention to how to convert more of those leads into paying clients.  There is absolutely no point in accumulating leads if you don’t know how to lead them along a path to becoming actual clients!

In this free one-hour webinar on Thursday, May 8 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, Stephen will share with you the best practices in intake and lead conversion from some of the nation’s fastest growing law firms. 

You will discover:

  • Why you should never have an attorney answer the phone
  • How long it takes for a lead to go from hot to cold
  • Case study of a law firm who tripled their conversion rate in 90 days
  • 3 goals for your call with every new lead
  • 5 specific strategies to convert more leads into appointments
  • 3 best ways to get more of your appointments to show up
  • 4 tactics for signing up more of your leads at the initial consultation
  • How many times your team should follow up with a lead for maximum conversion

Register online now for this free Avvo Ignite webinar on the Top 15 Ways to Dramatically Increase Your Intake and Lead Conversion on Thursday, May 8 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET.

10 Steps to Get the Most Benefit From Your Avvo Listing

Avvo is now a major force in Internet marketing for attorneys.
 
Here's my advice: You don’t have to like Avvo to benefit from Avvo. They are here to stay so learn how to use them to build and influence your law firm’s Internet presence and generate more business!

Here are the 10 steps you should take to get the most benefit from your Avvo listing:

1. Claim your profile. This process is free and allows you to update your contact information and add information about you and your law firm.

2. Put your ENTIRE resume into Avvo. Work experience counts and can improve your rating.  Be sure to list any professional involvement in the legal community as well.

3. Add all the seminars you have given, awards you have received, and articles you have written. These items can also improve your rating. 

4. Add your photo! I have heard reports that profiles with a photo are clicked on up to 10 times more than profiles without photos.

5. Add videos. If you have videos, put them into your Avvo profile. While they won't improve your rating, it will give potential clients who are checking you out online an opportunity to see who you are and will position you as more of an “expert.” The production quality of your videos does not matter nearly as much as the information you include in them. It's all about education-based marketing—educating your prospects.

6. Answer user’s questions. Thousands of consumers every week ask legally related questions on Avvo. Please be sure to put a standard disclaimer on each response, i.e., that your reply does not constitute legal advice or the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, etc.

7. Create Avvo Legal Guides. If you're like most attorneys, you constantly get asked a common set of questions. Make each question and your answer into a legal guide that Avvo will post for free on their website. Keep the questions and answers highly focused on a specific topic. Be sure to add a disclaimer on each guide.

8. Get more peer endorsements. This can make a big difference in your rating. Just like a referral from another attorney in the real world makes a big impression on a prospect, so having a reference from another attorney or a judge on your Avvo profile can improve your rating.

9. Ask your clients to write a testimonial for you on Avvo. Client testimonials do NOT have a positive or negative impact on your rating. However, I assure you, potential clients read them! I know that several states, like Florida, do not allow the usage of testimonials by lawyers. However, the Florida bar has agreed to exempt online directories like Avvo from most of its ad rules because attorneys cannot control endorsements posted on third party sites like Avvo.

10. Put your Avvo badge on your website or blog. Avvo allows you to create a “badge” with your profile score on it that links directly to your Avvo profile.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

When it comes to the different kind of leads that attorneys can generate for new business, referrals are the gold standard.  They come to you pre-qualified and ready to “buy” from a source they trust – and with a trust transference to you that is built-in.

If you do nothing else with your law firm marketing this year, make it a priority to cultivate more referral sources.  Cultivating referral sources is low-cost and high-reward, and should be at the top of your list when it comes to new business development for your law firm.

This new free report by national law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley can get you started.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • How to identify the referral sources who have relationships with the people you want as clients.
  • How to start the relationship
  • How to build a referral network
  • How to make your referral network successful
  • …And much, much more!

Click on this link now to get your free report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources.

5 Things to Tell Prospects That Will Turn Them Into Clients

Have you been looking for the “magic words” to tell prospects that will turn them into clients?  My experience in teaching lead conversion techniques to thousands of attorneys over the last decade shows that you need to focus your messaging to prospects on these five areas:

1. Tell them what you can do for them.   At the end of the day, clients are only interested in what you can do for them.  Your job is to tell them what your service can do for them personally and remember- they do not want to spend time looking for the answer. The answer to this question must be one of the first things your clients see on your website and in your firm-wide communications. If your clients are going to remember you, you must first answer the question "What's in it for them?"

2. Tell them what makes you different. For every service you provide there are many other attorneys who can provide the same services. So what can a client get from you that they cannot get from anyone else? Perhaps it is your credibility or the creative way you bring solutions to your clients. You must determine what differentiates your firm from anyone else and market that point.

3. Tell them you understand their pain. The most effective way to ensure a lasting impact on your clients is to communicate with them on an emotional level. You must find their "pain." What is it about their business, life, family, time, or environment that is causing pain? Are they not working or working too much? Is their business growing too fast or too slow? Is their family falling apart? Do they have a hard time tracking their employees? Find their pain and communicate with them on an emotional level about how you can help heal their pain and make their business, life, family, time or environment pleasurable.

4. Tell them the benefits of working with you. 
Features are what your service does. Benefits are why your client needs your service. For every feature you have, you must tell your client what the benefit is. Is your firm better, faster, guaranteed or more personal? Will your service create more clients, decrease turnover, or increase profit margins? These are all great features, but you must tell your clients how this benefits them specifically.

5. Tell them why it’s safe to hire you.
 Many of our clients work at small law firms that have services similar to those at larger, more established firms. Why should your potential client buy your service over the big firm’s service? While no one can predict the future of your firm, the savvy small firm recognizes the need to develop creative ways to reduce the risk of their clients in working with them. How could you lower the risk of your clients if they are concerned about working with a solo practitioner or a small law firm?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On-Demand Seminar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

You can watch the How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients seminar at your convenience by clicking here now.

Join Me on May 8 for a Free Avvo Ignite Webinar on Top 15 Ways to Dramatically Increase Your Intake and Lead Conversion

A week from today, I will be leading an Avvo Ignite webinar on one of my favorite topics: teaching attorneys how to become better at converting leads into paying clients.

It’s unfortunate that law firms spend billions every year on generating more leads, but pay little attention to how to convert more of those leads into paying clients.  There is absolutely no point in accumulating leads if you don’t know how to lead them along a path to becoming actual clients!

In this free one-hour webinar on Thursday, May 8 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, I will share with you the best practices in intake and lead conversion from some of the nation’s fastest growing law firms. 

You will discover:

  • Why you should never have an attorney answer the phone
  • How long it takes for a lead to go from hot to cold
  • Case study of a law firm that tripled its conversion rate in 90 days
  • 3 goals for your call with every new lead
  • 5 specific strategies to convert more leads into appointments
  • 3 best ways to get more of your appointments to show up
  • 4 tactics for signing up more of your leads at the initial consultation
  • How many times your team should follow up with a lead for maximum conversion

Register online now for this free Avvo Ignite webinar on the Top 15 Ways to Dramatically Increase Your Intake and Lead Conversion on Thursday, May 8 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET.

12 Tips to Improve Your Intake Process

Over the past few months, we’ve been doing a lot of “secret shopping” of law firms, making calls posing as potential clients to see just how they are performing when it comes to client intake.  What we’ve found is that this chance to make a great first impression is lost by a majority of the firms we’ve contacted.

In fact, so few firms are making a positive impression on the initial call that there is huge opportunity to set your law firm apart by improving and focusing on your intake process. Here are just a few of the best practices we teach our clients on how to improve the intake process, the true beginning of a solid lead conversion system:


1. Have a dedicated person answer the phone. We’ve been astounded by how many firms answer the phone in a way that left the distinct impression we were annoying them when we called, as if we were taking them away from another priority.


2. Show compassion and empathy. Of the law firms we’ve shopped, only 21%  expressed any compassion or sympathy when our staff told them about their situation: “I was in a car accident and I’m having a lot of pain in my neck and lower back!” A simple, “I’m so sorry to hear about that. Are you OK?” can go a long way toward connecting with a potential client.


3. Get the caller’s name and phone number at the beginning of the call in case you get cut off. If you do get cut off unexpectedly, then call them back immediately. Somewhere during the call you should also get their email address or at least permission to text them information after the call.


4. If you send someone to your website, SPELL it out clearly. Many law firm website domain names are hard to spell or understand over a bad cell phone connection. One intake person gave us the wrong website altogether that sent us to a different law firm!


5. Do what you say you are going to do when you say you will do it. Many firms said they would send us information via email or mail – we only received one response.


6. Do not answer the phone with a generic “law firm.” Clearly say the name of your law firm.


7. If you are going to place someone on hold, always ask for his or her permission first.


8. Write out three to five reasons that make your law firm different. Make certain anyone talking with prospects can recite these from memory and knows how to weave them into a call. Everyone, whether they verbalize it or not, wants to know the answer to, “Why should I hire you?”


9. Remember that people buy emotionally and justify logically, so the person on the phone must build an emotional relationship with the caller.


10. Have a dedicated person to return all voice mails the same day.


11. Never make an attorney responsible for following up with leads. Even though they may have the best of intentions other things will take priority. Task a staff person with following up with leads and setting appointments with the attorney.


12. Never quote fees over the phone. The sole purpose of the call is to get qualified leads into your office. You will always have a higher closing ratio if you meet prospects face to face rather than trying to sell them over the phone.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sign Up Now for a Free Secret Shopper Call for Your Firm!

Have you ever wondered what it’s really like for prospects that call your firm or worried that your intake process is not as great as you’d like it to be?

For the first 100 individuals who sign up, we will secret shop your firm for free and critique you on the 5 critical factors for creating an exceptional experience for callers so you stand apart from your competition.

We will review the results with you over the phone and discuss a variety of effective strategies to implement immediately so your firm can convert more prospects into paying clients.

After the review call, you will also receive a free training DVD on best practices for intake and lead conversion for law firms.

This service is valued at $250 and can be yours for free!

Be sure to act fast as we are only offering this to the first 100 individuals who register for this free Secret Shopper Call offer.

5 Tips to Help Attorneys Generate Leads Through Speaking Engagements

I am a big believer in public speaking as a lead generation tool.  I do lots of it, and have gotten some great clients from it.  And you can, too, if you follow these five tips:

Make an offer they can’t refuse.  Don’t charge a fee or honorarium for your speaking services.  Instead, ask the sponsoring organization for a copy of the attendee list or request permission to add a few comments about your firm’s services and capabilities during your talk.

Provide great content.  Put some real meat on the bones of your presentation. Even if you feel like you are “giving something away for nothing”, the truth is that giving people the information they want and need will entice them even more to come to you as the expert to help them solve a problem or navigate a legal issue.  I always educate my audience about how they can actually do what we do – and find that most attorneys would rather have it done for them!

Tap into referral partners.  If you have a few referral partners you work with regularly and refer clients back and forth, offer to speak to a group of their clients on a legal topic of interest to them.  This helps you both while giving you exposure to a greater number of potential clients.

Make a plan for following up.  Before you speak, have a plan in place for following up with attendees.  If the sponsoring organization won’t share a contact list, then solicit contact information from the podium, offering attendees a copy of your presentation or a free report about the topic you just spoke about in exchange for their business cards.

Make it easy to contact you.  You’ll probably find that some people are reluctant to approach you after your presentation to discuss a potentially personal legal matter.  Make it easy for them to get in touch with you afterwards by having a pile of your business cards they can pick up as they leave, and have your contact information – phone and email – as a closing slide that stays up as you take questions at the end of your talk.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

New! Free Report! The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: The 2nd Key – Public Speaking

One of the biggest builders of credibility and an important key in becoming a recognized expert is speaking on your area of law practice at local or regional events.

So why doesn’t every attorney do it?

What we hear from many attorneys that we work with is that they’d rather jump out of an airplane without a parachute than speak in public.

But if you do it right, you can generate business as well as enhance your reputation as a solid and recognized expert.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • How to make sure you’re speaking in front of the right people
  • Different approaches to conquer your fear of public speaking
  • How much information to share with your audience
  • How to follow-up in order to generate business
  • …And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: The 2nd Key – Public Speaking.

Avvo Gets $37.5M to Fund New Product Development, International Expansion

Avvo, the online legal directory and lawyer rating website, has attracted $37.5 million in venture capital funding that it says will be used to develop new products and expand to international markets.

Avvo introduced its attorney rating program in 2006 and has become the gold standard of legal directories, rating more than 97% of U.S. attorneys.  Avvo says that six million consumers visit its site each month, making it the go-to place for consumer research on attorneys as well.  (If you’re wondering how this compares with Martindale-Hubbell, see my Feb. 25 post on Are Martindale-Hubbell and Lawyers.com Dead? Why Every Martindale Client Should Care.)

According to Avvo, the site is the largest legal forum for consumers to get answers to their legal questions, with more than 5 million questions on the site with a 99% answer rate.  Avvo says that over 160,000 attorneys currently participate on the site.

Avvo founder and CEO Mark Britton says that Avvo’s business model is far different from sites like LegalZoom that seek to take attorneys out of the equation.  Instead, he says that Avvo believes that consumers actually want a lawyer and their mission is to provide products that make navigating the legal profession as easy as possible for consumers while helping attorneys get more business.

Coatue Management provided the new funding, with additional investment from existing investors Benchmark Capital, Ignition Partners and DAG Ventures.   With the new capital infusion, total funding in Avvo is now $60.5 million.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On-Demand Seminar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

You can watch the How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients seminar at your convenience by clicking here now.

How to Inspire Prospects To Contact You

Millions of people purchase products every day because they were inspired to do so through a strong call to action – a Buy It Now, a Limited Time Offer, a Click Here, a Sign-Up Now – whatever the incentive, it moved them to a purchase decision.

Calls to action work because it’s human nature to follow instruction. A great call to action is one that creates a sense of urgency in a prospect’s mind, offers a solution to a problem or stimulates a desire. 

A great call to action works when it:

  • Triggers an emotional reaction;
  • Shows exactly how to make a purchase;
  • Creates a sense of urgency to make the purchase;
  • Provides an incentive or offer that is too good to pass up.

There are many ways to integrate a great call to action into your law firm marketing efforts, including:

On your website. Even when you’re selling a service, you should create calls to action on every page of your website. Have a sign-up for a free report, a webinar or e-newsletter on every page.

In your newsletter. If you have a monthly newsletter, you should be featuring a new incentive every month to entice prospects to get in touch with you.

On your blog. Use your blog to connect on an emotional level with prospects. Tell a story about how your legal service has solved a problem. Include calls to action in your sidebars where they are easily visible.

On your social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter are great vehicles for reaching prospects and testing a variety of calls to action to see what works best for your practice area. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FREE Law Firm Marketing Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor

Having an Internet presence is a must for attorneys who want to effectively market and grow their firms. 

It should be no secret that the Internet is one of the most cost effective lead sources for attorneys today. Even if a portion of your client base includes referrals, you can be sure that they are checking you out on the Web before they give you a call.

But how do you know you are going about it the right way?

Please give us a call at 888-588-5891 or click here to sign up for a free one-on-one Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor who will listen to your specific marketing challenges. 

The Rainmaker Advisors are hand-picked and trained to identify marketing strategies that you can implement to grow your practice.

Lead Generation for Lawyers: How to Discover the Sources of Your Best Quality Leads

When you sign a new client, do you know the path that led them to you? 

If not, then how can you hope to repeat your successes in getting new clients if you don’t know what you are doing right?

By examining the ways that new clients come to you, you will be able to unveil the lead generation strategies that are – and are not – working for your firm as well as reveal referral sources you probably weren’t’ even aware that you had.

Take these steps to discover the sources of your best quality leads:

Ask at intake.  When someone calls your office, one of the first questions your staff should be asking is how they found you.  If the answer is they discovered you on the Internet, ask them what search terms they used.  If they saw an ad, ask them where.  If they say that someone referred them, ask them who.  

Track each lead.  Create a spreadsheet that lists all your leads and how they came to you.  You want to be able to see quickly the pattern that emerges on what is working for you and what you need to change.

Track each touch.  On your lead generation spreadsheet, track each touch with a prospect and specify the method – i.e., phone call, email, letter, etc. 

Scrutinize the data.  Examine your spreadsheet to see which activities are generating the best quality leads for you as well as the ones that aren’t working (no one is responding or the wrong prospects are being attracted).

Track your investment.  Track the cost – money and time – for each of your lead generation activities so you can get a handle on the ROI for each one.

Get feedback.  Ask your clients to provide you with feedback on your services and if they would be willing to be a referral source for you.

After taking these steps, you should be able to see what you’re doing right and be able to put your time and money against those lead generation efforts that are bringing you your best quality leads.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On-Demand Seminar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

You can watch the How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients seminar at your convenience by clicking here now.

Improving Your Law Firm's Internet Lead Conversion Rates [VIDEO]

A couple of days ago I was interviewed again by LawMarketing.com Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway in our continuing series on lead generation and lead conversion strategies for lawyers.

If you haven’t watched the first two interviews, I suggest you do that now – here and here.

What I recently discovered from a study done of more than two million Internet-generated leads will shock most of you:  this study found that the length of time that an Internet-generated lead (email, sign-up, live chat, request for info from a website) went from hot to cold was 5 minutes.

That’s right.  Only five minutes!

What this means is, if you don’t have an automated process already in place to respond immediately to your Internet leads, you lose your best opportunity for converting that lead into a client.

How do I know this?  That same study found that companies with an automated process in place to respond quickly to these leads increased their lead conversion rates a whopping 300%

Another way to up your conversion rate?  Don’t have an attorney follow up!  I know you want to, you intend to, but the fact is,  you usually don’t.  Have a dedicated staff person follow up and set that appointment, and make sure they call back more than once if they don’t make a connection the first time.

Here’s my full interview with Cindy:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On-Demand Seminar:  How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

76% of them referred to the Internet at some point in their search

While most law firms already have a website, the majority of them don’t produce new cases on a regular basis. Why?

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This seminar will teach you how to do it right.

National Law Review Magazine editor Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand seminar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this seminar now to learn:

  • 3 specific strategies that can immediately improve your website conversions
  • What elements you should and should not include on your website
  • How to effectively reach the 65% of consumers who like to gather information about their legal issue long before ever contacting an attorney
  • Ways to leverage top online attorney directories to control your online presence
  • Case studies on how top attorneys are using social media to attract more paying clients
  • Best practices for blogging and why Google loves them so much
  • The fastest ways to get to the top of Google

Click on this link now to receive the How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients seminar.

What's In a Name? Maybe a New Client. 7 Tips for Remembering Names

A famous quote has it that, “The sweetest sound to anyone's ears is the sound of his own name.” Funny that people who quote this don’t know the name of the person who said it:  Robert C. Lee, an author of books for children and young adults.

It’s often quoted because it’s true.  We all want to be memorable.  And it’s important to remember the names of those you meet at networking events since they could be potential new clients.

Here, from Entrepreneur.com, are 7 tips to help you better remember the names of those you meet:

1.  Pay attention.  This sounds silly, but often we meet someone and pay little attention to his or her name.  Maybe you’re introduced to a group all at once, or someone introduces themselves and then jumps right to the conversation.  Try as hard as you can to listen to the name of the person you just met.

2.  Say the name out loud as soon as possible.  Repeat the name to yourself and then say it out loud to the person you just met: “It’s nice to meet you, Shelley.”  Then repeat the name to yourself again.  After your conversation, use their name again: “I look forward to hearing from you, Shelley.”

3.  Make a comment on the name.  “Do you spell ‘Shelley’ with a ‘y’ or an ‘I’?”

4.  Associate the name with something meaningful.  If you know someone else named Shelley, tie them together in your mind by picturing them standing next to each other.

5.  Form an association.  If Shelley is short, remember short Shelley.  Bob Brown has brown hair. 

6.  Keep looking at the person’s card or nametag.  As you speak with the person, glance at their nametag or business card as you chat.  This will help you associate the name with the face.  After the conversation is over, make some quick notes on the back of the business card.

7.   Get the app.  Yes, there is an app for helping you remember names:  Namerick.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

When it comes to the different kind of leads that attorneys can generate for new business, referrals are the gold standard.  They come to you pre-qualified and ready to “buy” from a source they trust – and with a trust transference to you that is built-in.

If you do nothing else with your law firm marketing this year, make it a priority to cultivate more referral sources.  Cultivating referral sources is low-cost and high-reward, and should be at the top of your list when it comes to new business development for your law firm.

This new free report by national law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley can get you started.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • How to identify the referral sources who have relationships with the people you want as clients.
  • How to start the relationship
  • How to build a referral network
  • How to make your referral network successful
  • …And much, much more!

Click on this link now to get your free report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources. 

10 Steps to Double Your Referrals From Other Attorneys

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of addressing the 2014 National Trial Lawyers Summit in Miami on the topic of lead generation and conversion. 

Of course, one of the topics of great interest to a room full of attorneys is how to get referrals from other attorneys!  Although I didn’t go into great deal on that subject that day, I did subsequently author an article for the National Trial Lawyers website on a proven 10-step process attorneys can use to double their referrals from other attorneys.

Unfortunately, too many attorneys rely on random referrals -- referrals that may or may not come – as opposed to methodically generating new files with referrals.

Developing a referral relationship is a continuing, two-way process. It can't just be you asking your legal peers for referrals. It requires regular contact and you showing as much concern for their business as you are asking them to show for yours. Most referral sources will only send you referrals if they know will offer a referral fee and make referrals back to them.

You can use this proven 10-step step system to create a referral network of other attorneys:

1. Identify your best possible referral sources.

Start with other attorneys with whom you don't directly compete and non-attorneys who are in position to refer you (medical professionals, chiropractors or auto repair shops). Continue with litigators in other firms -- look for attorneys in high volume practice areas such as bankruptcy, social security disability insurance law and workers comp attorneys. Also include litigators who are conflicted out of a case, smaller firms that don't have the bandwidth to handle major catastrophic injuries cases, family law attorneys and criminal defense lawyers.

2. Advertise your interest in receiving referrals.

Make it easy for a referring lawyer with a million-dollar file to know about you. It makes sense to follow the example of hundreds of lawyers nationwide that advertise in magazines and websites for lawyers, such as The Trial Lawyer. To attract the cases you want to:

  • Demonstrate your expertise by listing examples of your jury awards and settlements.
  • Spell out the kind of cases you seek, whether it's class actions, product liability or mass tort cases.
  • Display rankings and accolades you have earned.
  • Emphasize that you appreciatively pay referral fees.

3. Market like a specialist.

For the rest of the article visit the National Trial Lawyers website.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE Every Month!

One click of your mouse will take you to our Rainmaker Report website where you can see the current issue and subscribe to our complimentary monthly e-newsletter that will be delivered to your inbox every month. 

This month, Stephen Fairley details how attorneys can leverage LinkedIn to attract prospects in 10 easy-to-follow steps. 

Every issue of the Rainmaker Report is full of legal marketing information you can put to use right away and share with your staff to maximize the effectiveness of your law firm marketing efforts. 

Click here now to subscribe to The Rainmaker Institute Law Firm Marketing Newsletter.

How to Save Time and Money by Automating Your Lead Conversion Process

I’ve known Ken Hardison, a North Carolina personal injury attorney and president of the Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association, for years and have even spoken at several of his annual events.

Ken is one of the few attorneys I know with a really good grasp on how to market a law firm, and no matter what kind of law you practice, you can learn from him as well.  One of his recent blog posts discussed the importance of automating your lead capture and conversion process, and that subject is worthy of my time and attention today – not just because we implement lots of these programs for attorneys, but because it’s something that tends to get lost in the legal marketing mix and can really benefit your firm.

Most of the solos and small firms we know have a finite amount of time to dedicate to legal marketing, so having a process in place that nurtures a lead along the path to becoming a client is a great benefit. 

As Ken notes in his recent post, one of the best ways to capture leads is through education marketing.  Offering a free report on your website in exchange for a prospect’s email address is a true win-win:  it’s a great way to capture those leads that may not be ready to pick up the phone or send an email and your prospect gets a free guide that helps them understand their legal issue better.

So here is how the process goes when you automate it correctly:

-  Prospect visits your website and enters their email address to get your free guide

-  Your auto-responder system emails them the guide and a few tasty tidbits about your firm

-  An automated drip email campaign begins where your prospect is sent pre-written emails according to a schedule you establish in your system that educates them more about your firm, the steps they should take next, testimonials from previous clients, a free consultation offer, etc.  

The goal is to lead the prospect along the buying path and get them to do what you want – call, set an appointment, etc.  And it’s all done automatically, with no intervention from you or your staff needed until the prospect calls and your regular intake process begins.

We also use the same system to nurture qualified leads until they become clients, sending a series of emails to prospects that miss an appointment or fail to hire you after the initial consultation.

Want to learn more?  Take advantage of my offer now for a free marketing strategy session – see below for details.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FREE Law Firm Marketing Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor

Want to discover proven marketing strategies that top law firms are using right now to generate more leads and referrals and convert them into paying clients?

Don’t understand social media or have time for it, but know that your law firm marketing program desperately needs to include it?

Please give us a call at 888-588-5891 or click here to sign up for a free one-on-one Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor who will listen to your specific marketing challenges. 

The Rainmaker Advisors are handpicked and trained to identify marketing strategies that you can implement to grow your practice.

10 Steps to Leverage LinkedIn for Your Law Firm

Last weekend, I wrote about a Hinge Marketing report that surveyed 1,000 purchasers of professional services – including legal – to determine how prospects check out professional providers as prologue to making a decision.  One of the more interesting details is that 705 of those surveyed said they go to LinkedIn to check out a professional they are considering hiring.

So naturally it would follow that law firms could stand to benefit from having a robust LinkedIn presence.  Here are 10 steps on ways you can leverage LinkedIn for your law firm:

1.  Make sure firm partners and associates have full and complete profiles.

2.  Share the right information at the right time – mornings are the best time to post to LinkedIn and be sure to add links to your site and calls-to-action in each post.

3.  Add a LinkedIn share button to your firm website.

4.  Detail specifics about your areas of practice with keywords your prospects would use to find you online.

5.  Participate in LinkedIn groups that appeal to your clients.

6.  Create LinkedIn groups for your clients.

7.  Use LinkedIn’s legal app

8.  Use LinkedIn’s mobile app

9.  Follow your competitors to see what they’re doing on LinkedIn

10.  Be sure all your employees connect with each other on LinkedIn; one of them could have a connection that would make a great client for you.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

NEW Free Report: How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn

With over 238 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, much like any new software that you need to learn to grow your business.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

FREE Feb. 25 Webinar: 10 Ways to Double Your Internet & Website Leads

How many leads are you getting from your website or blog each month?  It should be enough to justify the investment you made, and the number should also be growing with time. 

Most law firms have a website, but many have made the common mistake of treating their site like an online brochure.  I have posted this graphic in the past that is a tongue-in-cheek visual of most law firm websites from Matt Homann’s the [non]billable hour blog:

Next Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, we will host a free one-hour online seminar on 10 Ways to Double Your Internet & Website Leads, where you will discover what top-ranking law firms are doing to get and keep high search engine visibility, resulting in more robust visitor engagement and qualified leads.

During this information-packed 60 minutes, you will learn:

  • How one law firm went from signing 4 cases to 25 cases per month!
  • The reality of SEO post-Panda, post-Penguin, and post-Hummingbird
  • What it really takes to outrank your competition
  • The 4 major keys to obtaining local search visibility
  • How making these 3 simple, no-cost changes to your website and content can triple your ROI
  • Industry averages for cost per case from your firm’s website

You will see both “before” and “after” examples of top attorney websites, learn what improvements you can make to your own site and how you can improve your organic search rankings and conversion rates.

The webinar on 10 Ways to Double Your Internet & Website Leads will be conducted by ConsultWebs.com, a firm that has built and optimized hundreds of law firm websites around the nation. 

Consultwebs.com uses proven long-term strategies to optimize law firm websites for search engines so they will appear on the first page of Google results for a wide range of relevant search queries. They engineer designs that put the right information in front of your website visitors at the right time to compel them to inquire for a consultation.

Click here now to register for this FREE one-hour seminar.  If the time doesn’t work for you, go ahead and register anyway and we’ll send you a recording of this webinar in its entirety to watch at your convenience, for free.

LawMarketing.com Video: Understanding the 5 Stages of Lead Conversion

Lead conversion is the single most effective tool you can use to have a record-breaking year.

In a previous video interview with Cindy Greenway at LawMarketing.com, I shared the 3 major areas that every law firm needs to focus on:

  1. Lead generation
  2. Lead conversion
  3. Client retention

Lead generation is the second most expensive thing a law firm will spend on other than payroll and office space and it's getting more expensive. It will cost law firms more this year to get the same amount of leads than it did last year.

In this video, we focus on lead conversion and why attorneys need to understand the 5 Stages of Lead Conversion:

Here's a quick summary of the stages we covered:

Stage #1: Number of leads at the top of the funnel. You need to be able to track how many leads are coming -- via phone, via your website -- all areas.

Stage #2: How many leads turn into appointments. Law firms needs to track how many leads turn into appointments -- how many come in via phone, via the website, etc. The biggest mistake and time waster is to try to convert someone over the phone -- get them into the office and you'll have a higher chance of converting them into a paying client.

Stage #3: How many appointments show up? Track this information -- it's important.

Stage #4: How many people signed up to be a client at the consultation - before they walked out the door?

Stage #5: How many people signed up to be a client AFTER they left the office from a consultation?

In an upcoming video, Cindy and I will talk about tips to support lead conversion so you can convert as many leads as possible into paying clients.

Go here to sign up for the LawMarketing.com free newsletter so you can get more valuable legal marketing information delivered to your inbox every week. 

How to Talk Your Way Into Becoming a Recognized Expert, Part 2 of 2

I speak to bar associations big and small all over the country every year, and I can’t remember ever not having attorneys seek me out after the event to ask me how I could help them. In fact, some of my biggest clients have come to me that way. So I feel confident in telling you that nearly every time you speak, if you do it right, you can generate business as well as enhance your reputation as a recognized expert in your field of practice.

Of course, doing it right means following up.  In fact, the number one reason why people who speak at events don’t get the results they are after is because of their follow up -- or more precisely, their lack thereof.

You must develop your follow up strategy before you speak. So what kind of follow up works? Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.

Let’s say you want to follow up your presentation with a series of emails. So you would send out email #1 within 24 hours after the seminar, thank them for attending and perhaps even offer a free gift or a free report. The free gift could be a free half hour consultation where you will give them an assessment of their case or how you could help them. Or you might offer them a free audio CD.

If you choose to follow up by telephone, this is something you yourself should not be doing. It is something to outsource to your staff, but essentially they would be doing the same thing as in the email, thanking them for coming and offering a free consultation.

If you use this kind of strategy every time you speak, you will get much better results from your presentations – building your reputation as a recognized expert and getting new clients at the same time. 

How to Talk Your Way Into Becoming a Recognized Expert, Part 1 of 2

For those of you who have done some speaking in seminars and presentations, you know that sometimes you are doing great, you have the rapt attention of the audience and it goes really well. Other times, it may feel as if you bombed, you just weren’t making a connection.

One of the reasons why that may happen is because you didn’t have the right group. If an organization asks you to speak, you need to make sure you are in front of the right people. Find out:

  • The number of people expected to attend
  • The demographic profile of the audience
  • A list of topics from previous presentations

The more you know about the group, the better you will be able to tailor your presentation, and you must avoid speaking to the wrong groups!

You should also remember that there are many different forms of speaking engagements. You could speak at a private client-only seminar where you invite a few of your clients or the clients of a referral partner. Or you could be part of a moderated panel discussion.

You can also utilize current technologies to host an online webinar or web conference where your PowerPoint presentation is what is seen on screen and you talk to your audience via a bridge conference call.

Next, your subject matter has to be educational. People do not want to hear legal jargon, they want practical, useful information without a sales pitch.  Now, I can hear most of you thinking that you don’t want to give away the store! I don’t want to give so much information that they can just go do it themselves!

Look, there MAY be some who would try to do that, but they are not your clients! You want to target the people who have the money to hire an attorney so that they don’t have to do it themselves. You don’t want the tire kickers or the do-it-yourself crowd because they will beat you up on your price anyway.

You have to make sure you are targeting the right audience. And if you give a good, educational presentation, the right people will seek you out after the seminar to ask questions, plus in most cases you will be able to get the attendees’ contact information so that you can be ready to contact them later. If it is not you who is sponsoring the presentation, ask them to capture the attendees’ email addresses whenever possible, because as you will see in tomorrow’s post, follow up is the secret ingredient.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers

Based on Stephen’s highly successful seminar series by the same name, this 3-audio CD program covers dozens of practical recommendations and step-by-step sales and marketing techniques for solo practitioners and small law firms.

More than 10,000 attorneys from law firms all over the country have experienced powerful results from attending the Becoming A Rainmaker seminar. It has been sponsored by more than 22 of the largest state and local bar associations.

In this information-packed audio program, you will discover:

  • How to generate more leads by using education-based marketing
  • The relationship between credibility, visibility, tangibility, and consistency
  • How to position your small firm as an industry leader
  • The importance of being perceived as a specialist
  • Why most advertising is a waste of your money
  • What to expect from a Yellow Pages ad
  • The 3 marketing strategies that will produce 80% of your results
  • How to influence the Know, Like and Trust factors
  • Common marketing mistakes lawyers make and how to avoid them
  • How to answer the question, "Why should I buy from you?"
  • Specific ways you can set yourself apart from low-cost lawyers
  • What to do with the 15% of the population that always buys on price
  • Ways to attract your Ideal Target Market
  • The 6 stage sales process you must follow for maximum success

Click to order Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers.

What Is Lead Conversion? Why Should You Care?

I had the opportunity recently to be interviewed by LawMarketing.com editor-in-chief Cindy Greenway on a topic of great importance when it comes to increasing your law firm revenues: lead conversion.

I tell all the attendees of our Rainmaker Retreat that you can boil down the secret to making more money this year to 3 things; doing just one will result in a substantial increase in your revenues.  You can either:

  1. Double your number of leads
  2. Double your rates
  3. Double your conversion rates, which means converting more leads into clients

The first step in any effective lead conversion strategy is to define what a lead is, then make sure everyone in your firm is on the same page when it comes to that definition.  At the Rainmaker Institute, we define a lead as:

  • Someone who has never done business with you before.
  • Someone who expresses an interest in your services.
  • Everyone who contacts your firm.

An effective lead conversion program depends on two things:  (1) a process and (2) a system for tracking the effectiveness of that process. 

To understand how to establish this process, you need to understand that there are essentially five stages of the lead conversion process that require intervention and follow-up at every stage:

1.  The number of leads that come into your firm.

2.  The number of leads that make appointments.

3.  The number of appointments who actually show up for a consultation.

4.  The number of appointments who sign up for your legal services at the initial consultation.

5.  The number of appointments who sign up at some later time after the initial consultation.

The way you follow up during each stage will determine how quickly and effectively you are able to move someone along from becoming a lead to a paying client.  The most effective follow-up tools include phone calls, a regular schedule of emails that help move them along the decision-making process, and e-newsletters that keep you top-of-mind. 

Here is the video from my first interview on the subject of lead conversion with Cindy at LawMarketing.com; we have others in this series planned for the near future, which I will share here as well:

Go here to sign up for the LawMarketing.com free newsletter so you can get more valuable legal marketing information delivered to your inbox every week. 

How to Stay Connected with Clients

How much business have you lost because your clients simply aren't aware of the various services your law firm can provide?

Don't take referral relationships for granted. Finding another high-quality lawyer is easy and it takes more than quality to make a lasting impression - it takes a relationship. Just like any relationship, you need to be connecting with your current and former referral sources every month to ensure the health and longevity of the affiliation.

If you're like most attorneys, you have helped hundreds of people over the years, so staying connected to them every 4-6 weeks can be an overwhelming task.

Here are a few tips we recommend for keeping in touch with your clients:

Use a contact management system. Information is only as useful as it is accessible.
 

Collect their email addresses. Add a place for their email addresses on your intake form.
 

Conduct an annual client satisfaction survey. Ask clients what they liked most and least about your firm as well as what upcoming challenges you could assist them with.
 

Send them practical, educational information every month. E-newsletters are the best way to stay connected. Make them short. Focus on informing, educating and adding value to your clients (do not turn this into a sales pitch).

Rainmakers don't wait for the door to knock or the phone to ring or the referral to come in. They take the initiative, stay in touch, and focus on serving their referral sources.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7 figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!

It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.

It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.

In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!

You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.

This interview will help you discover:

  • The difference between a law practice and a business
  • How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
  • The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
  • The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
  • How to micromanage the client experience
  • Critical keys to success
  • And much more!

Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

 

 

5 Ways to Turn Leads Into Appointments

I’m still in Chicago today, making my second presentation during the Illinois State Bar Small and Solo Conference in a few hours.  

Today, I will be speaking on 5 Proven Ways to Renew, Restore, and Revive Your Practice…Starting Monday. My talk is centered around lead generation, lead conversion and client retention – all critical disciplines for the successful law firm marketer.

One of the things I’ll be sharing today is 5 ways to turn leads into more appointments; here’s the scoop:

1. Institute a 5-minute follow-up rule.

2. Never make an attorney responsible for follow-up!

3. Train a staff person to handle the leads at first. When you get over 30-50 leads per month, hire a dedicated person.

4. Give the staff person a performance bonus to set appointments that show up.

5. Call a minimum of 5-7 times before giving up.

If you dedicate yourself and your staff to following these 5 steps, you will see a much greater return on your investment in lead generation by increasing your conversions significantly.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear

Your price is too high! I can’t afford that.”

“Why should I hire you? I think I can handle this by myself.”

Have you heard any of these objections lately?

How did you respond?

What are the most effective ways to overcome these objections?

How do top Rainmakers reply?

If you’re like many attorneys you hear these objections every day…yet you aren’t sure your responses are effective. We can help you change that!

Over the course of this pre-recorded 60-minute webinar you will discover:

  • The top 5 biggest objections attorneys hear and how to overcome them
  • An easy 2-step process to effectively turn a “No” into a “Yes”
  • How to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
  • The #1 reason you are not converting more prospects into paying clients
  • How to get past “price” and uncover the prospect’s true objection

Click on this link to access the How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear webinar now.

 

7 Steps to Create a Lead-Generating Website

It is estimated that 95% of law firms already have a website (I'm not sure what the other five percent are holding out for...perhaps they still think the internet is a fad), but too few attorneys are consistently generating quality leads from their online presence because they lack great content.

Google has made it increasingly difficult to rank high without putting a lot of quality content on your website. One of the best ways to do so is via a blog, which allows you to add unique, high quality content every day to your website.

The infographic below from ReachLocal.com provides 7 essential ingredients you must have in your website to help you land more leads:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

New!  FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

Who wouldn’t want a referral driven business?

Your marketing would cost you far less, and the people referred to you would be predisposed to do business with you if you were recommended by someone they trust.

Building relationships with the kind of people most likely to give you referrals is a very powerful tool if you do it the right way.

Referrals are far more likely to retain you than almost any other source of new clients you have.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • How to identify the referral sources who have relationships with the people you want as clients.
  • How to start the relationship
  • How to build a referral network
  • How to make your referral network successful
  • …And much, much more!

Click on this link now to get your free report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources.

 

New! Free Report: Building a Lifestyle Law Firm: Keeping Your Perspective (Part 1)

Marketing and business development are only tools to help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

They are some of the most effective tools you can use to attract more and better referrals to your law firm – which ultimate leads to increased revenue.

So how do you use marketing to create a Lifestyle Law Firm-- one that enables you to do what you want, when you want to do it and is the key to financial independence for attorneys?

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • How to build a business that supports the life you want to live
  • How to leverage your time, talent and expertise for a massive return on investment (ROI)
  • Marketing efforts to never delegate or outsource to someone else
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on Building a Lifestyle Law Firm: Keeping Your Perspective (Part 1).

 

Sept. 18 Online Seminar: 6 Powerful Steps to Find More Clients & Close More Business

Every prospect you encounter goes through an internal decision making process before they decide to hire you.

You can either be a passive participant in this process (and lose them to a competitor) or you can become a guide and lead them through the logical process of earning their business and closing the deal.

Consciously taking the prospect through a powerful 6-step process can systematically lead them to decide that hiring you is the best choice they can make.

Join us on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT for this powerful webinar where you will discover:

  • A 6-step process to generate more revenue and referrals
  • How to identify your perfect clients
  • Ways to better position your services in a compelling way that demands higher fees than your competitors
  • When and how to get testimonials and how to use them effectively
  • 3 bulletproof closing techniques

If the timing of this webinar doesn’t work for you, don’t worry – go ahead and register online and you will receive a recording of the full online seminar so you can listen and learn at your convenience.

Click here to register online now for the 6 Powerful Steps to Find More Clients & Close More Business online seminar on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

 

How to Stop Competing on Price

Are you being continually forced to compete for clients based on price? If so, then you need to be aware of what is at the root of this problem: chasing the wrong prospects is the basis of all pricing problems.

Casting a wide net for clients without applying any targeting criteria is dangerous because sometimes it works. The clients you get by doing this are inevitably those that will pound you on price and beat up on your staff as well. 

If you choose to compete only on price, your fees have exactly one way to go – down.

So how can you target the right client that will allow you to charge what you’re worth? Here are three quick steps:

Create an ideal client profile -- Think in terms of age, profession, gender, education, interests, marital status, family size, hobbies, and lifestyle. If you’ve had clients you consider ideal, what did they share in common that made them an ideal client for you?

Communicate your target – educate everyone in your firm as well as your referral sources about what an ideal client is for your practice.

Have a qualifying process – before you sign on a new client, put them through a qualifying process that educates them about how you work, what they can expect, how you charge and what is expected of them. If they balk, they’re not a good fit.

Once you start attracting your ideal client, you’ll be able to charge what you are worth and stop worrying about competing on price.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

Feel like you don’t have time for marketing?  Let us show you how to make a plan that runs on “autopilot” – one that attracts new and lucrative clients while you focus on your practice.

Learn how easy it can be to create an effective law firm marketing plan that performs by getting our Free Guide: 5 Easy Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

After working with many ultra-successful lawyers we found five common threads in their marketing plans. This guide outlines these shared elements to provide insight into strategies that work and how to make them work for you.

Click here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!

 

7 Steps to Attract and Keep Great Clients

There are certain actions that I see attorneys committing time and again that drive clients from their doors, and the lawyers who commit them are clueless about why their competition is getting new clients and they are not. 

Here are 7 steps I have found work well for attracting and keeping great clients:

Don’t try to be all things to all people. You should be measuring your success in terms of profit, not just revenue. If you are signing everyone who walks in your door or calls you on the phone, you are probably discovering that many are not your ideal client, and are wasting your precious time and resources without hope of a satisfactory outcome.

Set expectations. Most relationships with clients that go south do so because of unmet expectations. Be realistic about the services you provide and the outcome they can expect, and do it up-front.

Communicate. You don’t mean to ignore them, but you’re busy and time slips by. If you had a process in place for communicating with them regularly, this wouldn’t be a problem.

Talk to them in their language. Some attorneys have a very bad habit of making clients feel stupid by using too many legal terms in conversation. Stay on your client’s level and always make sure they understood what you were trying to communicate.

Return calls promptly. When clients need you, they don’t like to keep leaving voicemail messages....worse still is a full voicemail box. Offer your cell phone number or a way they can reach you when they need you.

Listen. Most clients just want to be heard, especially by their own attorneys. This takes time on your part, and an effort to understand their point of pain and how to solve it. 

Stay visible. Is the only time a client ever sees you when they are ready to sign on the dotted line? If you only make an appearance when money is on the table and then hand clients off to junior associates, you have just created a major disconnect in the loyalty chain.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On-Demand Seminar: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm

We are now providing one of our most popular seminars – Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm – in an on-demand format, so you can watch and learn at your convenience, as many times as you wish.

Over the last decade we have helped over 10,000 attorneys market and grow their business. During this time we have identified many of the key characteristics of highly successful law firms.

One of the more consistent ones is that they track specific numbers and key indicators that give them instant insight into how their law firm is performing on a weekly and monthly basis.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the numbers that make your law firm run. By analyzing these critical metrics, partners and owners of law firms can easily determine whether they are on track to achieve their goals or if they need to retool and refocus their marketing and business development efforts.

In this fast paced seminar, you learn:

  • How to easily identify the 12 key metrics your law firm needs to track and measure
  • How to set up a system to identify these numbers
  • The 7 critical systems every law firm must have
  • CPL and CPC: the 2 most important numbers every attorney must know in order to succeed
  • How to avoid “paralysis by analysis” and being overwhelmed by too much data
  • Delegating roles and responsibility to your staff
  • Using software to track your KPIs

If you’re a spreadsheet and data driven individual then you will love this seminar! However, if numbers scare you or you tend to ignore them because you have a hard time making heads or tails of all the different data you see, then this seminar is a “can’t miss” event!

We cut through the clutter and give you clear and easy to understand guidance on which numbers really matter the most, how to track this information, and what to do with it once you have it!

To get this on-demand seminar, click on this link: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm.

 

5 Tips to Improve Your Lead Management System

There are some simple but often overlooked ways you can improve your lead management system that take little more from you or your staff than paying closer attention to what motivates people to want to do business with you.

This infographic from online marketing firm ReachLocal.com provides 5 simple tips you can implement right away to improve your lead management system:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

The Practice Made Perfect CD set and manual applies Stephen Fairley’s unique High Impact Marketing System to the practice-building challenges faced by solo practitioners and partners at small law firms.  

It includes dozens of specific marketing and sales recommendations that can be easily and quickly applied to your firm, including:

  • The only 7 sure-fire ways to get clients in your door NOW
  • Why advertising doesn’t work for most small law firms
  • The 7 reasons why people don’t buy from you           
  • How to market and sell with USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition)           
  • Using audio logos to attract immediate attention for your business
  • Using low-cost, high impact marketing strategies           
  • Strategies for achieving maximum results from all of your marketing efforts           
  • How to discover your Ideal Target Market
  • 3 critical factors to remember when looking for new clients
  • The NEW sales cycle for professional services
  • How to retain your best clients

Click here to order your Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD set and manual now.

 

13 Staggering Statistics for Online Lead Generation

Think blogging and social media won’t get you any more leads than your normal old way of doing things? Sorry, but the statistics say that concentrating on online lead generation strategies will yield much better results – and cost less to boot:

13 Mind-Blowing Lead Generation Statistics

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FREE Seminar: How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle

When it comes to law firm marketing, it is truly a jungle out there! Mastering social media, SEO and Internet marketing strategies – and making sure your efforts align with legal marketing rules – can give even the most eager attorney pause.

In his new one-hour seminar, Stephen Fairley will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues. You will learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
  • What is critical to have in place today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

This FREE seminar will also give you a preview of the 65 different marketing techniques and strategies taught at our 2-day legal marketing boot camp.

Click on this link to register now for the FREE How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle seminar.

 

Converting Leads to Clients is Vital Part of Law Firm Marketing Strategy

Generating leads is a vital part of any small law firm marketing strategy, but knowing how leads become clients and the cost for the conversion is just as important. The conversion of lead to paying client is what takes you from spending money to making money – which is really the reason you are in law firm.

To discover how the lead conversion process works in your law firm, you need to work with your staff to identify the stages of how prospects go to paying clients. Find out:

  • Who in the company is involved in the conversion process
  • The number of steps involved in the process
  • Where the conversion process begins
  • Who keeps the process moving
  • Who closes the process
  • Who tracks and reports on the process
  • The cost for each step in the conversion process

Once you have those answers, you should analyse your process to find opportunities to shorten it wherever possible. Look for any redundancies in actions or staff that can be removed. The goal is to have a lean process that delivers the results you want.

Once you have a handle on your process and its costs, you should now look at ways you can reduce your cost per lead. Find out:

  • The number of leads produced
  • The cost of converting those leads to clients
  • The amount of revenue each new client brings in

Like any other law firm process, your marketing efforts need to be as efficient as possible while still delivering your desired results. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On-Demand Webinar: How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear

“Your price is too high! I can’t afford that.”

“Why should I hire you? I think I can handle this by myself.”

Have you heard any of these objections lately?

How did you respond?

What are the most effective ways to overcome these objections?

How do top Rainmakers reply?

If you’re like many attorneys, you hear these objections every day…yet you aren’t sure your responses are effective. We can help you change that!

This one-hour webinar on How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear is now available on-demand, where you will discover:

  • The top 5 biggest objections attorneys hear and how to overcome them
  • An easy 2-step process to effectively turn a “No” into a “Yes”
  • How to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
  • The #1 reason you are not converting more prospects into paying clients
  • How to get past “price” and uncover the prospect’s true objection

Click on the following link now to receive the one-hour live webinar, How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear

 

Use Lead Nurturing to Increase Your Conversion Rates

The 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report by MarketingSherpa studied over 1,900 business organizations to identify key industry trends for generating high quality leads, and found that organizations that nurture leads experience a 45% increase in lead generation ROI than those that do not.

At the Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, I share the story of an attorney who attended one of our sessions last year. After the first day, she came up to me to say that she had been hearing from us for almost 10 years, and finally decided she needed to attend our Rainmaker Retreat, and how glad she was that she did.

If nothing else, this reinforced to me the importance of nurturing leads. I had no idea it would take someone 10 years to respond to our lead generation efforts, but I’m certainly glad we didn’t drop her off our list. You never know when someone will decide they’re ready to buy, even a decade later!

Lead nurturing is simply helping people rather than trying to sell them something. It is identifying their “point of pain” and giving them the answers that help them alleviate the pain. Those answers can come in many different forms – here are some of the most effective from the MarketingSherpa lead generation report:

The content you deliver should benefit your prospect, whether or not they “buy” from you. By having a lead nurturing program in place, the quality of your leads will increase and so will your conversion rates. Even if it takes a few years for some prospects to get there.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Get All the Law Firm Marketing Strategies You Need to Create A 7-figure Law Practice with Rainmaker In A Box: Volume 2!

Newly released! Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 2 includes:

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

Discover the proven step-by-step system used to double your referrals from current and former clients and how to build a network of strategic referral partners. Top attorneys have used this exact system to double their referrals in 6 months or less!

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

Watch and learn as I walk you through the specific strategies top lawyers are using to increase their revenues in this tough economy-and it doesn’t include reducing their fees!

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

Social media has emerged as the fastest way to build a massive platform of prospects! I pull back the curtain and let you in on little known secrets of how attorneys are generating dozens of leads every month from social media.

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

My interview with nationally recognized personal injury attorney John Bisnar on how his law firm uses search engine optimization and internet marketing to drive tens of thousands of unique visitors every month to his 30 websites and 10 blogs. Discover proven techniques for converting website visitors into paying clients.

Data DVD: 
Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you experience these information-packed DVDs!

***For Blog Readers, Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers and LinkedIn Connections – we are offering you a $50 discount for Volume 2 and a $100 discount for both Volume 1 and Volume 2 because of your social media presence with The Rainmaker Institute.

Click here now to order!

 

June 13 Online Seminar: 8 Keys To Turn Website Browsers Into Buyers & Dominate Your Competition

Over 95% of law firms already have a website, but most of them never get any business from it. If this sounds like your law firm, then this seminar is a must for you.

Tune in on Thursday, June 13 at noon PT/3 p.m. ET to learn how small to mid-sized law firms from around the country are transforming lackluster websites into revenue-generating machines!

If you can’t remember the last time you generated a lead from your website, then you owe it to yourself to attend. If you're tired of your competition getting all the highly qualified leads online, this online seminar will teach you what you need to know to dominate them.

You will discover:

  • Top strategies to quickly increase your online conversion rate
  • How to create trust with your website’s visitors
  • Specific tools you can use to encourage your visitors to pick up the phone and call you
  • The biggest mistakes law firm websites make and how to avoid them
  • How to differentiate your website from your competition

Register online now by clicking on this link: 8 Keys To Turn Website Browsers Into Buyers & Dominate Your Competition

 

Time doesn’t work for you? Click on the above link, register and we’ll email you a recording of the live webinar to watch at your convenience!

 

 

How to Increase Your Lead Conversion Rate

I am in our nation’s capital today presenting at the ATLAS Lawyers Group Legal Marketing Conference on strategies to double your lead conversion in 90 days or less.

The key to increasing your conversion rate is to fix your follow up!

The key point is that even small increases in conversion rates can make a significant difference in your revenues.

Understand that when someone doesn't retain you at the first meeting, they are not saying "no," they are usually saying, "not yet" or "I'm not ready." If you have a system that helps you stay connected with them via email or periodic phone calls, then they will more than likely retain you when they are ready versus going to one of your competitors.

Let me give you a simple illustration. When an attorney calls me to get some ideas on how to market their law firm, I often end up inviting them to attend one of our Rainmaker legal marketing seminars, but often the dates of our seminar conflict with their schedules. It's not that they don't want to go, it's "not yet" or perhaps they are not mentally ready to make the jump to the next level. Either way, if I depended on my memory to follow up with them some time in the future, we would be in serious trouble!

Instead, we have implemented a comprehensive follow up system that includes multiple keep in touch emails and automated reminders that help us remember to call that person weeks or even months after the initial call. In addition, we are committed to sending out a newsletter every single month and have been doing so for years.

I regularly hear from new clients how they have been receiving my newsletter for 5 to 10 years and were finally ready to sign up and start working with us. Talk about a long sales cycle!

The point here is, if you have a comprehensive system that follows up with potential clients for long periods of time, you will reap the benefits.

If you are interested in how a lead conversion system can help your firm fix your follow up and convert more browsers into buyers I invite you to call our office at 888-588-5891 and set up time for us to talk or fill out this form for a no-obligation demonstration of the customized lead conversion systems that we build for attorneys.

 

Tracking Data Key to Improving Lead Conversion Rates

I have found there are really three major areas that tell most of the story about how you generate business for your firm:

1. Lead Generation - This is the system of attracting new potential clients to your law firm.  

2. Lead Conversion - This is your ability to turn leads into paying clients and is what I will focus on in this article.

3. Client Retention - How to keep your paying clients coming back for more and/or referring your firm to everyone they know with a similar problem to theirs.  

The first step in lead conversion is to develop a "universal lead definition" (ULD)- what precisely is counted as a lead, who counts the leads, how you track the leads, and what does not constitute a legitimate lead. We teach our clients that a lead must meet all three of these criteria:

1. Someone who has never done business with you before (versus a repeat client).

2. Everyone who contacts the firm via email, phone, social media, personal referral, Internet, networking event, seminar, etc.

3. They express an interest in your services.

In order to build a financially successful law firm you must be committed to tracking every single lead and following up with them religiously!

Here are the Five Stages of Lead Conversion for Law Firms:

1. Number of leads into the top of the funnel

2. Number of leads that turn into appointments

3. Number of appointments who show up

4. Number of appointments who sign up at the initial consultation

5. Number of appointments who sign up later

No lead conversion system is complete without tracking all five stages. Each of these numbers are critical because if you know what your conversion rates are at each stage then you can determine where your biggest challenges are and develop a plan to improve.

The greatest value of a true lead conversion system is that it gives you direct insight into the actual state of your company and allows you to efficiently automate the follow up process with dozens and even hundreds of leads.

Lead generation too often comes down to a firm's financial ability to "throw money at the problem," but a lead conversion system can level the playing field and give small firms a true unique competitive advantage.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
  • 3 keys to successful blogging
  • 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
  • Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.

 

 

Top 4 Ways to Generate Leads Online

Inbound marketing software company HubSpot recently did a study of lead generation best practices from 1,400 small and mid-sized businesses and their findings are totally applicable to law firms as well.

The study found that there were four major factors that have a significant positive impact on lead generation when marketing online:

Indexed Pages in Google. The growth in leads accelerates substantially – 236 percent – once a website has more than 300 pages indexed in Google. Also, the size of your firm is not a critical factor in achieving a significant number of Google indexed pages. You can build page volume very quickly with a blog.

Rank in Google’s Top 100 Results for Many Keywords. Sites that ranked in Google’s Top 100 for 26-51 keywords generated twice as many leads as those that ranked for less than 13 keywords. The takeaway: unique, interesting content with as many distinct keywords as possible helps you generate leads.

BlogsFirms with blogs generated 68 percent more leads. Those that had blogs of more than 52 articles generated 77 percent more leads. Enough said. Blog and do it often.

Twitter for B2CB2C Twitter users generate twice as many leads as those without a Twitter account. The biggest jump in leads take place once a company has over 100 followers.

If you are wondering how to generate more leads for your legal services, then you should consider integrating these four strategies into your marketing program.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FREE REPORT: 8 Reasons Small Firms & Solos Should Publish an E-newsletter PLUS 3 Steps to Get Started

In less than a few hours a month, you can produce an effective electronic newsletter, also known as an “E-newsletter.”

An E-newsletter is a customized electronic newsletter that is commonly used in business, but rarely in the field of law. If you are truly interested in the long-term success and sustainability of your practice, you need to learn how to leverage technology and the Internet to build it.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • The cost benefits of an e-newsletter
  • How to incorporate your e-newsletter with your social networking
  • How an e-newsletter supports your marketing efforts
  • How to get started right away with your e-newsletter
  • And much, much more!

To get your free report now, click here.

 

Converting Leads Into Paying Clients Isn't Luck. Here's How to Do It

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you need the luck of the Irish to find quality leads? Does it seem equally hard to convert your prospects into paying clients? Then you’ll benefit from our on-demand video seminar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients.

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

Click on this link to receive my How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients video seminar now.

 

How to Turn Your Lead Flow From a Trickle to a Torrent

Is your lead flow system delivering a trickle or a torrent? If your law firm marketing system is working well, it should be producing a large number of lead opportunities for you. And what you do with those opportunities is almost as important as generating them.

You need to have specific strategies for increasing the number of leads and tracking them. Legal marketing can do some of the heavy lifting for you on identifying lead prospects. But going from a possible lead to a genuine lead and prospect requires a well-designed system that includes follow through.

You also need a system for tracking all incoming leads and where the leads are in the sales pipeline. Once a lead comes in, someone has to keep track of the lead status so leads do not fall through the cracks. Lost leads are lost opportunities, and are akin to leaving money on the table. They also hurt your reputation with your referral sources if they supplied the referral and you didn’t follow through.

Here are some questions to ask as you think about your lead system:

  • Who sorts the leads to rank them by priority?
  • How do we prioritize leads?
  • Who is responsible for assigning leads to members of the firm for follow up?
  • Who maintains the follow-up system and holds the firm members accountable?

Generating referrals from your legal marketing strategy is the first step in building your business. Converting those leads into clients, and ultimately referral sources, is how you grow your firm into what you envisioned when you began. 

Without a good lead flow system, the likelihood of you maximizing the possibilities of your marketing program is slim. To learn more about lead generation strategies for law firms, see below.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Seminar for B2C Attorneys: Proven Strategies to Win More Clients

Does this sound like you?

You spend thousands of dollars and countless hours trying to generate more business for your law firm. And still you end up with less business than you hoped. You’ve put “get more clients” at the top of your list, but have no time to do anything about it.

If someone calls your office and doesn’t make an appointment, what happens to them?

What if they don’t show up for the appointment?

What if they show up and don’t retain you?

What if they want to retain you and you never hear from them again?

If you answered, “I don’t know” or “We leave a message,” then this seminar is for you. Access this on-demand Proven Strategies to Win More Clients seminar, where you will learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • 3 steps for turning more leads into appointments
  • 5 ways to increase your “show up” rates
  • 4 ways to get more appointments to sign up this week
  • What to do when a prospect doesn’t sign up at the initial consultation

If you want to double your revenues this year there are 2 ways you can do it: either double the amount of leads you get each month or double your conversion rates!

Access this seminar now and discover how attorneys just like you are doubling their revenues by converting more of their costly leads into more paying clients!

 

Feb. 20 Webinar for B2C Attorneys: Proven Strategies to Win More Clients

Does this sound like you?

You spend thousands of dollars and countless hours trying to generate more business for your law firm. And still you end up with less business than you hoped. You’ve put “get more clients” at the top of your list, but have no time to do anything about it.

  • If someone calls your office and doesn’t make an appointment, what happens to them?
  • What if they don’t show up for the appointment?
  • What if they show up and don’t retain you?
  • What if they want to retain you and you never hear from them again?

If you answered, “I don’t know” or “We leave a message,” then this webinar is for you. Join us on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. ET/Noon PT for the Proven Strategies to Win More Clients webinar, where you will learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • 3 steps for turning more leads into appointments
  • 5 ways to increase your “show up” rates
  • 4 ways to get more appointments to sign up this week
  • What to do when a prospect doesn’t sign up at the initial consultation

Lead Conversion is one of the most overlooked areas at consumer law firms. You spend tens of thousands of dollars every year trying to generate more leads…yet virtually nothing to ensure you convert the maximum amount of those leads into paying clients!

Lead conversion is the 5-stage process of converting more prospects into paying clients and turning more browsers into buyers. Over the last decade, The Rainmaker Institute has become a national leader in assisting consumer law firms to rapidly and dramatically increase their conversion rates.

We have worked with all types of consumer law firms to help them double and even triple their conversion rates within 3-6 months.

If you want to double your revenues this year there are 2 ways you can do it: either double the amount of leads you get each month or double your conversion rates!

Register online for the Feb. 20 webinar and discover how attorneys just like you are doubling their revenues by converting more of their costly leads into more paying clients!

If the time doesn’t work for you, register anyway and we’ll send you the recording of the full webinar to watch at your convenience.

 

 

The 3 Key Areas Every Law Firm Needs to Focus On

At our Rainmaker Retreat in Orlando last weekend, we spent some time talking about the three key areas that every law firm needs to focus on:

Lead Generation: more people in the pipeline, more prospects, more leads.

Lead Conversion: turning more browsers into buyers.

Client Retention: creating a long-time and meaningful relationship with your clients so you get repeat referrals and repeat clients.

Of course, the one question I always seem to get is: Which is the most important?

The answer is, they are all important, but the one thing I hear most from attorneys is “I need more leads.”

In some cases, this is 100% true. But often, a law firm really has a conversion issue or a retention issue that is preventing the firm from growing or being successful. So growing and strengthening all three of these areas is ideal.

While most law firm marketers are focused on lead generation, overlooking conversion and retention is a costly mistake.  Lead generation is the most expensive of the three, so it makes sense that if you can convert a higher percentage of your prospects, you can improve revenue without having to pay to get more leads. 

And if you can enhance client retention, additional revenue will come in through repeat business from happy clients or a steady stream of referrals from past clients who were satisfied with the work you performed.

So, in essence, what we are talking about here is the proverbial three-legged stool. Take away one leg, and you’re on the floor.

If you’d like to learn more about lead generation, lead conversion and client retention, attend a Rainmaker Retreat.  

We have two upcoming sessions:

October 26-27, 2012 – Scottsdale, AZ

November 16-17, 2012 – New York City, NY

You can still get in on our Early Bird Discount for our upcoming Rainmaker Retreats, so be sure to register now to receive the $200 discount. 

Go to www.rainmakerretreat.com or call 888-588-5891 to register now.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FREE Webinar: How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle

When it comes to law firm marketing, it is truly a jungle out there! Mastering social media, SEO and Internet marketing strategies – and making sure your efforts align with legal marketing rules – can give even the most eager attorney pause.

In his new one-hour webinar, Stephen Fairley will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues. You will learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
  • What is critical to have in place today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

This FREE webinar will also give you a preview of the 65 different marketing techniques and strategies taught at our 2-day legal marketing boot camp.

Click on this link to register now for the FREE How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle webinar.

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Nurture Leads To Dramatically Increase Conversion Rates

The 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report by MarketingSherpa, which studied almost 2,000 business organizations to identify key industry trends for generating high quality leads, has found that organizations that nurture leads experience a 45% increase in lead generation ROI than those that do not.

At the Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, I share the story of an attorney who attended one of our sessions last year. After the first day, she came up to me to say that she had been hearing from us for almost 10 years, and finally decided she needed to attend our Rainmaker Retreat, and how glad she was that she did.

If nothing else, this reinforced to me the importance of nurturing leads. I had no idea it would take someone 10 years to respond to our lead generation efforts, but I’m certainly glad we didn’t drop her off our list. You never know when someone will decide they’re ready to buy, even a decade later!

Lead nurturing is simply helping people rather than trying to sell them something. It is identifying their “point of pain” and giving them the answers that help them alleviate the pain. Those answers can come in many different forms, including:

  • Blogs
  • Answering questions on Avvo, JDSupra or other forums like LinkedIn
  • Offering a free report or white paper
  • Publishing articles
  • Posting videos on your website or YouTube

The content you deliver should benefit your prospect, whether or not they “buy” from you. By having a lead nurturing program in place, the quality of your leads will increase and so will your conversion rates. Even if it takes a few years for some prospects to get there.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FREE REPORT: 8 Reasons Small Firms & Solos Should Publish an E-newsletter PLUS 3 Steps to Get Started

In less than a few hours a month, you can produce an effective electronic newsletter, also known as an “E-newsletter.”

An E-newsletter is a customized electronic newsletter that is commonly used in business, but rarely in the field of law. If you are truly interested in the long-term success and sustainability of your practice, you need to learn how to leverage technology and the Internet to build it.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • The cost benefits of an e-newsletter
  • How to incorporate your e-newsletter with your social networking
  • How an e-newsletter supports your marketing efforts
  • How to get started right away with your e-newsletter
  • And much, much more!

To get your free report now, click here.

 

Learn New Strategies for Lead Generation, Internet & Social Media Marketing at California Solo & Small Firm Summit, June 21-23

This Thursday, June 14, is the pre-registration deadline for the upcoming California Solo & Small Firm Summit on June 21-23 at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel.

You can register online now by visiting The State Bar of California’s Solo & Small Firm Summit home page.

Competition is stiffer than ever before for solos and small firms, with the rise of online legal services providers and larger firms taking on smaller clients in a strained economy. Learn what you need to know to compete using proven lead generation strategies, Internet and social media marketing. 

I will be making four presentations during the Summit:

Thursday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. -- Building the “Lifestyle Law Firm”™: Lead Generation, Lead Conversion and Client Retention Strategies of Top Rainmakers

There are 3 key areas attorneys must focus on to build a “lifestyle law firm”: 1) lead generation–attracting more qualified clients; 2) lead conversation–converting more prospects into paying clients; and 3) client retention— doing excellent work so you can get repeat business and repeat referrals. This session will forever change the way you look at converting prospects into paying clients.

Thursday, June 21, 5 p.m. -- Secrets of Internet Marketing “They” Don’t Want You To Know: Search Engine Optimization for Attorneys

Over 95% of law firms have a website, yet most of them have never generated a significant amount of revenue from their website – in spite of spending substantial amounts on it! In this critical session you will discover the inside truth about search engine optimization, how to get your website on the 1st page of Google, and critical website conversion strategies.

Friday, June 22, 8:30 a.m. -- Law Firm Marketing Strategies in a Social Media World, Part 1: Connecting with Clients, Prospects and Referral Sources

Social media is one of the fastest growing areas where attorneys can generate high quality leads and build relationships with potential referral sources. Learn the “Rainmaker Social Media Blueprint” for connecting with clients, prospects and referral sources on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Friday, June 22, 11 a.m. -- Law Firm Marketing Strategies in a Social Media World, Part 2: Using Video, Legal Directories, Landing Pages, and Blogs

In Part 2, I will cover how attorneys are using video to convert more browsers into buyers, effective use of legal directories, why landing pages are critical to your success, and how to use your blog to drive leads and develop more business.

You can register online by visiting The State Bar of California’s Solo & Small Firm Summit home page or call 415-563-2508 for more information. 

If you’re wishing you could be in Long Beach for this conference, don’t worry – we cover all these subjects and more at our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, The Rainmaker Retreat!  You can visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com to learn more and sign up for one of these upcoming sessions:

July 27-28, 2012 – San Francisco, CA

August 24-25, 2012 – Las Vegas, NV

September 14-14, 2012 – Orange County, CA

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

New Webinar: How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle

When it comes to law firm marketing, it is truly a jungle out there! Mastering social media, SEO and Internet marketing strategies – and making sure your efforts align with legal marketing rules – can give even the most eager attorney pause.

In his new one-hour webinar, Stephen Fairley will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues. You will learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
  • What is critical to have in place today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

This FREE webinar will also give you a preview of the 65 different marketing techniques and strategies taught at our 2-day legal marketing boot camp.

Click on this link to register now for the FREE How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle webinar.

 

Law Firm Marketing: Those Who Follow-up Finish First

Probably one of the biggest reasons why law firm marketing efforts fall flat is the lack of a powerful follow-up system. 

I realize that following up with prospects is probably the most difficult part of the entire marketing process for attorneys. But you won’t get to the finish line unless you do it.

If you’re like most people, you go to a networking event and probably meet anywhere from 10, 20, maybe even 30 people.  You take their business cards, you have some interesting conversation, and then you don’t do a darn thing.

But to cross the finish line, this is where you’ve got to be different. You’ve got to think differently in terms of your marketing and, significantly, you have to act differently.  And one of the best ways that you can set yourself apart is to commit to having a follow-up system.

Here’s a quick tip I use:  after I get someone’s business card, I scribble a quick note on the back – something like “hot prospect” or “referral source” so I remember and do the appropriate follow-up.  My assistant then takes those cards, enters them into a spreadsheet, and I review it for follow-up.

Who do I need to call? Who do I need to email? And if they’re actually a prospect, if they’re a qualified prospect, I send them a card or a personal note and make sure I keep in touch.

Whatever kind of follow-up system that will help you cross that finish line, you need to implement it.   It’s got to be easy to create, easy to follow, easy to implement or you just won’t do it.

But once you do, I promise you’ll see how following up makes a huge difference and a huge impact on your bottom line.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FREE "Top 10 Mistakes Attorneys Make and How to Avoid Them" E-book

In a newly revised e-book, legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley outlines 10 of the most common marketing mistakes attorneys make that can lead to the failure of their business, and provides specific strategies and proven principles for avoiding these deadly errors. 

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

Regardless of your specific situation, this free e-book will help you examine how you are currently finding new clients and recommend specific steps you can immediately start using to grow your practice. 

We have helped thousands of attorneys achieve their goals of creating a financially successful and personally satisfying legal practice. In this e-book you will discover specific principles and tools you can use to grow your practice, too.  

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Generate Leads Through Speaking

I’m in Seattle today to give the closing keynote address at the Avvocating 2012 Conference, Legal Marketing in the Era of Social Media. It’s been a great conference so far and I’m meeting lots of attorneys who are eager to learn how social media marketing can help build their practices.

Speaking at regular events—like annual conferences—can be an effective law firm marketing strategy for attorneys to attract new clients. However, there are many factors to keep in mind when considering speaking at these events as one of your legal marketing strategies:


1) Find out the average size of attendance.



2) Determine the demographics of the group.



3) Find out what are the common interests among members. 



4) Ask what topics have been covered before.



5) Find out if the group is interested in current or “hot” topics.



6) Ask who will be introducing you at the event.



7) Find out if you can have the attendees’ full contact information (name, phone, email).



8) Get permission to contact the attendees after the event.



9) Find out if you can offer a “give-away” during your presentation. (CD, book, special report).



10) Ask if the organization will publish your article in their newsletter before the event.



11) If there is a trade show attached to your speaking engagement, try to barter a booth in return for your speaking.



12) Find out who are the other scheduled speakers and their topics.



13) Know where you are in the schedule, what precedes and follows your talk. Be aware, for example, that the worst times to speak are early in the morning, right after lunch, right before or after dinner, Friday afternoon, Monday morning or as the last speaker at the event. Conversely, the best times to speak are mid-morning, from 2 to 5 PM, as the conference opener or as the keynote speaker.



As you work on your law firm marketing, do keep in mind speaking at regular events. These can be great sources of new clients.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. In a report on the influence of blogs, eMarketer.com found that 51% of Internet users in the U.S. (that’s over 91 million people) read blogs, and they project that usage will go to 60% (150 million) in the next four years!

Still think blogs are a fad?

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
  • 3 keys to successful blogging
  • 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
  • Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Manage Leads and Convert Them Into Clients

Law firm marketing is a full-circle proposition, and should include strategies for not just generating leads, but also managing those leads so they eventually transform into paying clients. 

Here are some tips on how to manage the leads coming into your law firm so you can convert them into clients:

Have a lead management platform. A comprehensive law firm marketing program that embraces multiple marketing techniques – SEO, email marketing, social media, blogs, etc. – means leads come in from many different sources. If you don’t have an automated way to deal with them, they slip through the cracks and all that hard work was for naught.

Have a lead management strategy. Once a lead comes in, what happens to it? You need a system in place that nurtures the lead through the sales process and people who are accountable for that system.

Analyze your lead sources. You need to track what programs are bringing in the most leads so you can duplicate what works and jettison what is not working.

Segment and score your leads. Not every lead has the same value. Someone who is a past client is a better lead than someone shopping around. Someone who downloaded your free report is a better lead than a website visitor. 

Circle back. There are always some leads that fall by the wayside in the sales process, but don’t automatically count them out. Circle back in a timely fashion and find out what prevented a sale from happening so you can overcome that.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers

Based on Stephen’s highly successful seminar series by the same name, this 3-audio CD program covers dozens of practical recommendations and step-by-step sales and marketing techniques for solo practitioners and small law firms.

More than 8,000 attorneys from law firms all over the country have experienced powerful results from attending the Becoming A Rainmaker seminar. It has been sponsored by more than 22 of the largest state and local bar associations.

In this information-packed audio program, you will discover:

  • How to generate more leads by using education-based marketing
  • The relationship between credibility, visibility, tangibility, and consistency
  • How to position your small firm as an industry leader
  • The importance of being perceived as a specialist
  • Why most advertising is a waste of your money
  • What to expect from a Yellow Pages ad
  • The 3 marketing strategies that will produce 80% of your results
  • How to influence the Know, Like and Trust factors
  • Common marketing mistakes lawyers make and how to avoid them
  • How to answer the question, "Why should I buy from you?"
  • Specific ways you can set yourself apart from low-cost lawyers
  • What to do with the 15% of the population that always buys on price
  • Ways to attract your Ideal Target Market
  • The 6 stage sales process you must follow for maximum success

To order yours now, click here.

 

Learn the 5 Critical Numbers You Need To Monitor To Create A Successful Law Firm at a Rainmaker Retreat

When it comes to generating leads for your law practice, there are 5 critical numbers you need to measure and monitor in order to create a successful law firm. This is what we call the lead conversion process.

At the Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, we walk you through these numbers and show you specific strategies for how you can increase your conversions at each level of the lead conversion process:

If you want to know more about getting leads and then converting them into paying clients, then I invite you to attend a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing boot camp. Here are the upcoming dates for 2012:

February 10-11, 2012 – Orlando, FL

March 30-31, 2012 – San Diego, CA

April 27-28, 2012 – Chicago, IL

You can click here to fill out our short contact form and someone will get back to you to answer any questions you may have about the Rainmaker Retreat and how attending our two-day law firm marketing boot camp can help you generate more leads and create a successful law firm.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Exclusive Rainmaker Retreat Preview Call – Learn Before You Go!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 8,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then register now for our one-hour complimentary teleseminar.

Hosted by Rainmaker Institute CEO Stephen Fairley, this teleseminar will give you a preview of the valuable material that is taught at our 2-day Rainmaker Retreat as well as teach you:

  • How to Avoid the Most Deadly Marketing Mistakes Attorneys make
  • 3 powerful strategies you must put into action in your practice immediately
  • How to set yourself apart from your major competitors
  • Secrets top attorneys are using to generate more referrals right now…
  • How attorneys are winning even in this economy by implementing this proven 8-step system

Sign up now for one of these upcoming one-hour teleseminars:

Thursday, February 16

11am PT | 12pm MT | 1pm CT | 2pm ET

Wednesday, February 22

1pm PT | 2pm MT | 3pm CT | 4pm ET

Join us and learn why the Rainmaker Retreat is the one law firm marketing boot camp you cannot afford to miss!

 

 

Law Firm Marketing: Why You Need a Lead Management System

If your law firm marketing program is working well, it should be producing a large number of lead opportunities for you.  What you do with those opportunities is nearly as important has generating the opportunities.

First, you should develop strategies for increasing the number of leads and tracking them.  Legal marketing can do some of the heavy lifting for you on identifying lead prospects.  But going from a possible lead to a genuine lead and prospect requires a well-designed system that includes follow through.

Second, you should develop a system for tracking all incoming leads and where the leads are in the sales pipeline.  Once a lead comes in, someone has to be tasked with keeping track of the lead status so leads do not fall through the cracks.  Lost leads are lost opportunities, and are akin to leaving money on the table.  They also hurt your reputation with your referral sources if they supplied the referral and you didn’t follow through on the lead.

A good lead system should:

  • Sort and prioritize leads
  • Assign leads to members of the firm for follow up 
  • Maintain the follow-up system and hold the firm members accountable

Converting possibilities and referrals into leads is one of the key conversion tasks of your firm.  Generating referrals from your legal marketing strategy is the first step in building your business.

Converting those leads into clients, and ultimately referral sources, is how you grow your firm into what you envisioned when you began.  Without a good lead flow system, the likelihood of you maximizing the possibilities of your marketing program is slim.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Learn How to Convert Leads Into Paying Client at Nov. 17 Webinar

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Come join us for a one-hour webinar on Thursday, Nov. 17 at noon PT/3 p.m. ET and learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

If you can’t sit in on the live version of this webinar, you can watch it at your convenience by registering now. All registrants receive a recording of the webinar to watch at their convenience.

Click here to sign up now.

 

Nov. 17 Webinar: How to Convert More Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Come join us for a one-hour webinar on Thursday, Nov. 17 at noon PT/3 p.m. ET and learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

If you can’t sit in on the live version of this webinar, you can watch it whenever you want by registering now. All registrants receive a recording of the webinar to watch at their convenience.

Click here to sign up now.