7 Ways to Convert Law Firm Leads into Clients

By Law Firm Suites - February 24, 2023
7 Ways to Convert Law Firm Leads into Clients

You’re out there hustling for new business, but you’re not converting as many leads into clients as you would like.

Client matters take up most of your time, plus you have the “business” of your practice to run. In between it all, if you don’t find time for marketing, your pipeline of new business will run dry.

It’s the classic conundrum that self-employed lawyers face every day.

Yet, in a world where free time for marketing (and the financial resources to spend on the same) is a precious commodity, lawyers routinely blow it when it comes to converting leads into clients.

For most lawyers the explanation is easy: they’re giving up on leads too soon.

Nurture Your Leads and Achieve More With Less

Think of sales like a funnel. Prospective clients enter at the top of the funnel and exit at the bottom as customers.

You’re out there speaking, blogging, networking and advertising both online and off. This is the first point of contact with leads and where they enter your sales funnel. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the lead has reached out to you to inquire about representation, it just means that they are aware that you exist.

It’s your job to convert as many of those leads into qualified leads (those who do reach out to you about a legal need). In the sales and marketing world, the process of making this happen is called lead nurturing.

Plan on Making 8 Nurturing Contacts

Any sales professional will tell you that it can take, on average, up to eight contacts to convert a lead into a client. For some lawyers who work on high value, low volume matters, it can take many more than that to earn the trust needed for a client to hire you.

Once a prospect enters into your sales funnel, you begin the nurturing process. Use a series of “touches”, which will include a combination of emails, texts and phone calls.

Mostly Send Info that Solves a Problem

The focus of these messages should not be you asking the lead to hire you (at least not all of them), but instead, focus on adding value to the lead, while simultaneously demonstrating your competence and credibility.

So for a corporate finance attorney, send tips about the best ways to pitch investors (not how to comply with securities laws). For the personal injury lawyer, send safety ratings on child seats (not how to pick a jury that is favorable to plaintiffs). For an elder law attorney, give out a checklist on how to care for a loved one in an assisted living facility (not info on the best causes of action in a nursing home abuse case).

Of course, you should sprinkle in touches that ask prospects to hire you (or schedule a consult), but these should not be the majority of your lead nurturing contacts.

Manage your list of prospective clients

Create a way to easily keep track of the contact information of the prospective clients and each of the points of contact that you have with them. There are apps you can purchase, like Sidekick, Salesforce or Infusionsoft, but you can easily accomplish the same results using your current contact manager (in Outlook or Gmail) and a spreadsheet.

The only thing you need to do with your contacts is to set up a category in Outlook or set up a group in Gmail to keep track of your prospective clients.

Create templates for all eight touches

If you know what point of contact to use in advance, it takes very little time to execute. It can even be set up to get done automatically. The touches should be a combination of emails, calls and even snail-mail.

Create templates for all the emails, so you can load up the emails in seconds, customize where necessary, and send. If you are a Gmail user, you can upload email templates by using the Canned Response tool, which is free. Others can just be sent automatically by putting the contact on a list; for example, your firm newsletter list or an invite to connect on LinkedIn.

Have a goal for all the phone calls and script (or outline) them. For example, your goal may be to get an update on the status of their matter. The call may be to invite the person to attend a networking event that you attend regularly.

Finally, have pieces ready to send by snail-mail. These days, the only thing that people get by mail are catalogs and bills. Have something educational about each area of your practice (that solves one of the client’s problems) ready to send. If you send it together with a nice handwritten note, you will get noticed, which is ultimately the goal of lead nurturing contacts.

Schedule all the points of contact

Create a master schedule for when each point of contact should be sent.  The timing will be based on the number of days after the prospective client’s initial point of contact with your firm.

In terms of frequency, you will want to space each contact close enough so the prospect doesn’t forget about you, but far enough apart so you are not annoying.  Typically, the contacts are made more frequent in the beginning (two or three in the first week), then taper off to monthly after the first few weeks.

You will want to be in touch over the entire length of your typical sales cycle – and this will be different for every law practice. For example, a personal injury attorney’s sales cycle may be one month from the date of an injury. For a trusts and estates attorney selling estate planning, the sales cycle may be several years.

Delegate everything you can

The beauty of setting up a system is that once it’s created you can have someone else, whose time is much less expensive than your own, execute it.  Most of the points of contact can be completed automatically, and the ones that require your direct involvement (phone calls, consults and custom emails) can be cued up for you.

If you are lucky enough to have admin staff, assign anything that does not require your direct involvement to them. If you do not, consider hiring a student law clerk or a virtual assistant.

Delegating will ensure that your points of contact continue to be sent out even if you get sidelined while on a trial or a complex deal. Very quickly you will find that the increase in new business will be more than enough to justify the extra expense.

Of the universe of prospective clients for your practice, only a small percentage –  10 percent or less – are ready to hire a lawyer now. A lead nurturing system forces you to stay in front of the other 90 percent of prospective clients who aren’t ready to buy today, but who may be in the future.

About Law Firm Suites

Law Firm Suites is the leading NYC shared office space for solo attorneys and small law firms. At Law Firm Suites, attorneys get headache free sublet office space, virtual office rentals and litigation hotel services. Law Firm Suites has two locations in Manhattan, one in White Plains NY, and one in Annapolis MD. Law Firm Suites' community of self-employed lawyers are eager to help colleagues succeed, and routinely exchange over $2.5 million in legal business every year in each LFS business center. Connect with Law Firm Suites on Twitter and .

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