How To Build a Profitable Intake SystemBuilding an effective, efficient intake system will do more for your firm’s bottom line than just about any other legal marketing activity. The money you spend on generating leads is wasted if calls to your firm go unanswered, unreturned or answered improperly.

Last week, Adam Warren penned a post on the National Trial Lawyers Association blog on In House Client Intake vs. Call Centers. Adam has years of experience in lead generation for mass torts attorneys through his firm, The Sentinel Group. Based on that experience, Adam writes that acquiring cases is much better when a firm has an in-house call center to handle leads.

Here are his 10 rules for success in building a profitable intake center for law firms:

  1. Answer the phone with the name of the firm stated clearly.
  2. Test several versions of intake scripts to see which perform best and train your operators thoroughly on those scripts.
  3. Use intake specialists who can speak clearly.
  4. Always be polite.
  5. Do not engage in any arguments.
  6. Strive for efficiency but don’t be short. If it’s clear the call is going nowhere, politely end the call.
  7. Answer on the first two rings.
  8. Do not use a computerized system to segment calls (“press 1 for…”) — most people will hang up.
  9. Be sure your intake center is working 24/7.
  10. If you are driving gender-specific calls, have a person of the same gender answering the phone.

We routinely “secret shop” law firms, posing as potential clients to gauge the effectiveness of a law firm’s intake process. Based on hundreds of these calls over the past year, we have developed a list of 12 best practices to improve your legal intake system which I wrote about in a post entitled, 12 Tips to Improve Your Intake Process.

Your intake process is the first important step in having a lead conversion system that delivers a steady stream of new clients to your firm. Use Adam’s tips and mine to review your current process and see where improvements can be made. I guarantee your bottom line will benefit.

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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!

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