Here are 5 tips to help improve your close rates and boost your law firm’s bottom line.
Converting leads into paying clients is a challenge that every lawyer is going to face day in day out. In the past, lawyers built a book of business by advertising in the yellow pages, direct mail, radio, newsletters, cold calling, and word of mouth. Today the main and most effective method of marketing is either online marketing or networking. And as a result, those who are looking to hire a lawyer are spoiled with access to tons of information. Meaning they are already more informed than before and as a result, the sales process is going to need to change too.
So why doesn’t every lawyer have great success with closing these new Internet leads? Here are 5 tips to help improve your law firm’s close rates and boost your bottom line.
Define your Firm’s Unique Selling Position (USP)
Before you try to convert any lead to a client, you need to determine your firm’s unique selling position and why that will matter to your potential client. What is ist about your and your law firm that is going to make someone want to work with you? What do you do that makes your practice a better choice than its competitors? Your unique selling position gives your law firm the value that makes your service worth your rates.
Note that your unique selling proposition is not the same as a slogan or tagline, although there can be overlap. It may be explicitly stated, but it doesn’t have to be. What’s important is that your value proposition is clearly conveyed to your target market, using language that resonates with them and positions you as the right lawyer for their needs.
When a new lead fills out an online form and wants to schedule a consultation, they probably expect a quick response, either by email or phone call. This is why you must incorporate a CRM into your sales process. Not only to ensure your leads and sales funnels are organized but to also set up automated emails and messaging systems to start the sales process as soon as the lead comes in.
When you reach out to a potential client quickly, you demonstrate your responsiveness to them and their needs. It goes a long way toward building a relationship and closing the deal. Essentially you need to treat every lead you get like someone has walked into your office. Don’t make them sit and wait an hour or two because they will lose patience and move on.
Ask Lots of Questions
Many of your website visitors and new leads are going to have one thing on their mind – What is the price? If you give up that information in the first sentence, they can move on to get the next lawyer and start again. Instead, take a few minutes and ask as many questions as you can about the prospect’s specific situation.
Essentially get them talking and show them that you care enough to listen to every word. This will not only help you gain critical information that will allow you to customize your proposal but also help to build a strong and trusting rapport. Plus you can use this time to upsell your practice, experiences, and services. For example, if they are interested in security then tell them how you plan to keep their data safe.
Remain Persistent and Follow Up
While most leads are usually available to talk when you call right away, that won’t happen every time. If you want to improve your sales number then you can’t let one missed call or email turn you off from the lead. Keep at it and try repeatedly to connect with these leads, which may mean multiple calls and emails. Don’t forget to reach out at different times of the day.
You will also need to develop a thorough follow up process. No lead should be treated casually. Lawyers who are also great salesmen are always organized and rigorous with their follow up process. This is the single most important aspect of the sale. To help ensure your follow-ups are successful, you must take notes throughout the entire sales process. Follow-ups can be about anything, and often the most successful follow-up messages are the ones that have nothing to do with closing the deal. For example, if your lead mentions an upcoming vacation, be sure to ask them later how it went, or send them restaurant recommendations for them while they are away. Those little touches will go a long way towards converting a lead into a paying client.
Study your Competitors
Competitors. Whether you want to admit it or not, they’re out there and they’re hungry for the same clients as you. While it might seem unfair given everything else you need to keep on top of when it comes to improving your sales numbers, you must also spend time and energy into keeping tabs on your competition too.
Analyzing the competition will help you improve and create new unique selling points at the same time. For example, if another practice in your area is emphasizing a new location in New York City, this may prompt you to do the same, that way your potential clients don’t think you’re lacking or behind the other firm’s.