Gaining clientele is as essential for law firms as any other business. To establish a successful firm and keep it growing, lawyers must develop reliable methods to generate leads and understand how to maximize them.
This starts by learning to follow leads effectively and knowing which resources can help you decide what potential cases to pursue.
Be Clear About Services and Expectations
Whether you’re a DUI/OWI attorney or practice exclusively in family law, you should understand what you’re marketing and advertise appropriately. By being forward about what your potential clients can expect from you, you eliminate many erroneous leads before sinking too much time into them.
That’s not to say you should turn away every inquiring client if what they’re searching for doesn’t 100% fit your services. Just because they don’t need a personal injury attorney now doesn’t mean they won’t need one in the future. By treating them courteously and letting them know you’ll be available in the future, you could plant the seed for future business.
Find Better Ways to Connect & Communicate with Clients
Understanding the client’s needs and how you can connect with them is crucial. A popular study asking clients about “Hiring an Attorney” showed that when clients initially contact an attorney, they hope to speak directly with an attorney, either in-person or on the phone.
However, most respondents said they don’t want a video call (Skype, FaceTime, etc.) as their initial contact. Also noteworthy is that “live chat” representatives were their second least-preferred method of communication.
Knowing the best ways to stay in contact, whether that’s a text, e-mail, or phone call, can help when following a lead. For instance, including a submission form on your site for them to share their preferred contact method and information might encourage them and allow you to reach them at their convenience.
Create More Opportunities for Leads
If you can simplify how a potential client can contact your firm, you’re setting up a lead with more significant potential. A click-to-call button on your website can facilitate clients and track how many callers reach out to you.
Explain on the website what the callers can expect and what any potential follow-up will look like. Setting expectations for potential clients can reassure leads that they won’t be left behind.
You can cast a wider net by accommodating more people with more options, like a submission form, direct messages, or voicemails.
Automate Contact Methods
Automating how you respond to potential clients can help you build a better base without spending time replying to each inquiry while still engaging with leads. That’s not to say you should employ a spam bot and flood potential clients’ inboxes. Instead, you should create a system that answers their questions and lets customers know you have their best interest at heart.
An e-mail system, for instance, will allow you to create correspondence that thanks them for their initial request, a message that offers answers to questions they might have, and a statement that supports your firm’s consultation on their case.
In a world of spam messages, crafting genuine responses that stand out from the masses can create good leads.
Know How to Respond & Build a Connection
The “Hiring an Attorney” study also indicated that potential customers don’t always go for the first attorney they find online. Many check with more than two before making their selection.
Knowing you need to make an impression can remind you that you aren’t the only option for clients seeking help. This means you need a balance of persistence and understanding. You don’t need to be pushy, but you should work to understand their concerns.
If you can communicate with them to understand their needs, you can build a rapport and connect with them. You can stand out by going beyond what a typical attorney in your area might do—for instance, creating a quick guide on handling misdemeanor charges. By being approachable and going beyond just being sympathetic to a client’s situation, you become a concrete option for them to resolve their case.
Loyalty and Longevity
There’s a chance you’ll be able to generate more leads from one client’s positive experience. Even if you’ve closed their case, you can gain more prospective clients by treating a customer with loyalty and being attentive to their needs going forward.
The secret? Referrals. Signpost found that referrals impact future sales for businesses, specifically smaller firms. For example, 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know, and customers referred by other customers have a 37% retention rate. It can be a positive feedback loop, using customers to find more customers.
Know How and Where to Advertise
It might seem obvious but placing your law firm’s ads where people can see them and interact with them is key to creating leads and can help you close deals. To avoid throwing ad money everywhere to find what sticks, conduct a little research or speak with a professional. But it is a good idea to direct your ad budget towards where you’ll get successful leads.
Once you know where you’re getting hits, like social media or search engine results, you can pursue those avenues without spending more than you should elsewhere. It isn’t impossible to get leads from low-hitting advertising options, but it shouldn’t be a focus.
How Do Clients Find Attorneys?
Understanding how prospective clients find lawyers tells you about their behaviors and what they deem essential in a law firm. Knowing the most popular search methods can influence how you build your firm’s visibility. For example, most customers seeking a lawyer turned to online review sites or directories in favor of organic search and family referrals.
Keep your directory listing and GMB information accurate. You’ll be able to capitalize on your ratings and include them in your marketing.
Stop Chasing Leads — Start Closing Cases
With these basics in mind, you can find a suitable method to handle your leads. As your firm grows, you can expand and explore other methods. Eventually, you’ll be able to stop chasing leads as business drives itself to you.
Stay updated with new ways to develop and gain leads, as they’ll keep evolving. Otherwise, you’ll risk stagnating.
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.