SmallLaw Pick of the Week #4: On Converting Inbound Leads Into Appointments

This article received the SmallLaw Pick of the Week award as a must-read for solo practitioners and those who manage and work in small law firms.

SmallLaw, a popular email newsletter for solo practitioners and those who manage and work in small law firms, reviews hundreds of articles published every week. From these articles, they select one as their SmallLaw Pick of the Week — something they feel is a must-read for this audience.

While I’m making merry over the holidays, I’m going to reprint the posts that have earned us the SmallLaw Pick of the Week. Here’s the 4th one:

4 Steps to Convert Inbound Leads to Appointments

Many of our clients come to us because they have a real problem turning inbound leads into appointments. In almost every case we see, the firm lacks a process for following up on leads. When these firms take the necessary steps to implement a process and start seeing the results, they understand what a waste of time and money it’s been to let those leads fall through the cracks.

Establishing the right system to follow up with inbound leads and automating as much of the process as possible will help you capitalize on the money you are investing in lead generation and turn those leads that are falling through the cracks into dollars that fall to your bottom line.

Here are four steps you can take tomorrow to increase conversion of your inbound leads into appointments:

  1. Delegate each lead to a specific person. To have an effective lead conversion system, you must have a process for following up. Just plotting them on a spreadsheet is no good unless you make someone specifically responsible for following up. More leads fall through the cracks due to lack of follow-up than for any other reason. Why would you spend money on generating leads that never get followed up on? Stop wasting your money and make the proper assignments to ensure those leads get a call or email back quickly!
  2. Qualify each lead. The first thing you need to determine is if the lead is a good fit for your firm. If you haven’t developed an ideal client profile, you must do that. Make it as specific as possible — company size, type of business, income level, age — whatever makes someone a good client fit for you needs to be identified and written down, then handed to your sales team to help them qualify each lead.
  3. Personalize your response. Once you have qualified a lead and find it a good fit, you then need to personalize your response to them. How did they reach out to you? If they came to you via your website, your response to them should mention this. Also mention any specifics about why they reached out to you — i.e., “I understand you need help with child custody” or whatever their problem may be.
  4. Keep following up. Persistence is important when following up with any lead. Research has shown that many sales people give up after 1-2 tries — this is simply not enough. People are busy and sometimes no matter how much someone wants to move forward with something, life just sweeps them away and it gets placed on the back burner. Remember they have a legal issue that needs to be handled.This can be scary for them and quite possibly they want to put their head in the sand and ignore it. It is your responsibility to communicate with them and get them to take action. Contact them a minimum of 5-7 times before giving up. Of course, attorneys should always delegate this follow-up task to a member of their intake team to be sure it gets done.

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