Convert More Calls Into New Clients with These 3 Key Tips

Convert More Calls Into New Clients with These 3 Key Tips

Every call your law firm receives from a prospective client potentially represents thousands in billable hours. So, in a competitive legal market, knowing how to convert more calls into new clients naturally represents a valuable skill. Yet every day, law firms let opportunities slip away in two main ways:

  • Letting calls go to voicemail. For busy legal firms, voicemail sounds reasonable to capture calls. Yet the sum of voicemails captured on any day may not reflect the actual number of potential new clients who called. According to Moneypenny Business Development Manager Ella Nelson in an article for Lawyer Monthly, “69% of callers who are answered by voicemail just hang up.”
  • Waiting too long to return calls. When potential new clients call, they naturally have a pressing need to speak with someone right away. Yet according to a recent article by The National Law Review, “[Lawyers] are astonishingly slow at getting back to potential clients.” Citing a recent ABA benchmark study, the article says, “42% of the time, law firms failed to respond to leads within three days,” adding, “If lawyers hope to secure a steady stream of new clients, prioritizing a swift response time to new inquiries is essential.”

The result of all this?

Ella Nelson says it bluntly: “A potential client getting through to a voicemail instead of a person is like tearing up money.”

The Good News

Turning it around isn’t difficult. Though call services serve certain law firm needs, the basic solution to landing more new clients involves taking calls directly at your firm, like founder Sam Glover did after abandoning voicemail, and even a small increase in call conversions can have a big impact on firm revenue.

The key to it all: It’s not just about answering calls. To land more new clients, it’s about making sure calls are answered in the best possible way. To help your firm do that, here are three best practices:

  1. Ask for a Caller’s Name

    According to Salesforce, 84% of people said being treated like a person—not a number—is very important to win their business, and one of the simplest ways to do this is to ask for a caller’s name and use it during a conversation. As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “A name pronounced is the recognition of the individual to whom it belongs.”

  2. Minimize Wait Time for Callers on Hold

    According to Velaro, 60% of people will hang up after one minute on hold. So, if you can’t immediately speak with a potential new client and must place them on hold, take their call as soon as possible.

    Along with this:

    • Ask permission before putting a caller on hold. Rather than saying something abrupt like “ABC Legal, please hold,” phrase a greeting in the form of permission, such as, “ABC Legal. Do you mind if I put you on hold for a minute?” Then wait for their reply. Callers may not enjoy being on hold. Yet a small consultation prior to putting them on hold lets them know you’re considerate of their feelings and helps minimize wait-time impatience for potential new clients because they’ve agreed to wait on hold.
    • Check back with potential new clients on hold to let them know they haven’t been forgotten. If a long wait time is unavoidable, apologize to callers for the continued hold and give them options like continuing to hold or calling back later.
  3. Ask for the Consultation

    Marketers convert people to clients by asking them to take an action (e.g., “Click here to order”), and the same principle applies to law firms.

    By calling, a potential new client naturally feels your firm may be able to help them, and yes. Some prospects occasionally jump right in and ask to hire a lawyer. Yet oftentimes, potential new clients are gathering information toward a decision. So, help them with that. Ask them to book a consultation so you can discuss their case and help them understand why your law firm is the right choice.

    If you use OfficeMojo for automated appointment reminders (or something similar), next ask the caller how they would like to receive a reminder. This reinforces the message that you’re there to serve them according to their needs and schedules, which is why OfficeMojo offers appointment reminders as text, emails, phone calls, and even postcards.

Other services that help convert callers:

  • Easy online payments right from your website. According to uLaw, clients value choices in payment method. To facilitate this, ProSites Legal provides law firms with an easy client payment solution directly from ProSites Legal websites.
  • Secure client portal to share information. Clients “crave the simplicity that client portals and other online solutions provide,” says Thomson Reuters, which is why many law firms trust ProSites secure client portal to work faster and more securely to exchange information.

In summary: Following a few best practices not only helps convert more callers with whom your law firm speaks. It helps land clients you didn’t even know you were losing.

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