by Stephen Fairley
Attorneys are famous for wasting their time following up on bad leads. Not that we need to define the term, but bad leads are prospects who are not a good fit or who are not likely to hire your law firm. Another big mistake lawyers make is targeting the wrong market, usually too large of a market. What percentage of the people you follow up with come to your office for an official interview? And of those, how many actually sign on as clients?
Successful law firm marketing includes determining which people and businesses are not currently interested in your service and which are just not good prospects. Remove these dead ends from your contact lists and don't waste your time trying to win them over.
You probably have a very low percentage of prospects turned clients. And with the limited hours in your day to get everything done, you simply can't afford to waste this kind of time! These 5 simple steps will help you turn more prospects into clients. Incorporate these into your law firm marketing strategy and watch your conversion rate grow.
1Separate Your Contacts from Your Prospects
Learn to identify people who are genuinely interested versus those who simply are not saying "no" out of politeness. Listen for the signals that distinguish a real prospect from someone who is simply price shopping or worse (using you to obtain a lower fee from another lawyer).
Create a list of questions to disqualify contacts focusing on the criteria of "need, want, afford." Remove those contacts who don't meet these qualifications, and focus your energy on solid prospects.
2Interview Your Qualified Prospects Directly
Are you consistently talking directly to your prospects (versus their gatekeepers and time-wasters) and pitching them your services? What's your closing ratio? What percentage of people come to the interview versus become clients? Make sure you are speaking to the real decision-maker.
3Strengthen Your Presentation Skills
Improving your presentation skills will go a long way toward winning over new clients. Strengthen your phone skills and develop better phone scripts. Learn to recognize "buy questions." Be prepared to ask for the sale at the end of the presentation. Take a presentation skills seminar and focus on benefits and results more than services and features. Work harder at identifying your target's points of pain and using them clearly and consistently to demonstrate the value of your services. Become more fluent at speaking their language. Develop a list of critical questions to ask prospects you present to. Don't talk as much: listen more.
4Give Prospects a Call to Action
After an interview, do you actually ask your prospect to commit to the sale? How soon do you follow up with people after the interview? What do you send them to encourage them to buy from you versus the competitor and buy from you now versus waiting?
Make sure each prospect receives one clear call to action. Make it easy for them to follow. Ask for their business!
5Follow Up After Your Presentation
Follow up with a thank you letter or e-mail within 24 hours of the interview. Be sure to end every interview with action steps (e.g., what each party agrees to do as next steps and when they will do it by). If you agree to do something, be sure to do it before the deadline (this may be a way they are testing you to see if you will respond to their needs). If you are a business lawyer, have a process for writing successful proposals. Immediately set a reminder to yourself to contact the hot prospect in a timely manner.
Add these five simple steps into your law firm marketing plan now. You'll see.
About the Author--Stephen Fairley is CEO of The Rainmaker Institute is the nation's largest law firm marketing company that specializes in helping small law firms generate more and better referrals and create a 7 figure law practice. Over 6,000 attorneys have benefited from our proven Rainmaker Marketing System. Attorneys: claim your FREE legal marketing CD '7 Keys to a 7 Figure Law Practice' at www.toplawfirmmarketingtips.com