Lawyers are always on a quest to get their phone to ring more. And they spend money on things like Google Adwords and other services to get those phone calls.
The simple (and expensive) truth is that the bulk of attorneys shouldn’t start with increasing phone volume (which is something we’ll go over today).
They need to convert the calls they’re already getting. Right now, you’re probably saying, “But I’m good at conversions!”
But from a friend to friend, I’m going to be honest: The chances are that you’re probably not as good as you think at converting phone calls into clients — and you don’t even realize it.
I co-founded SEO for Lawyers in August of 2013, after having helped several colleagues get their law offices into high gear. In early 2013 I helped a family law attorney in town who thought his entire problem was a lack of phone volume (most attorneys think this is their only problem).
He ran a small operation and was doing about $10,000 a month in revenue. In my first week of consulting, we focused on converting the calls he was already getting, and that week yielded $7,000 in revenue (70 percent of his typical monthly total).
The first month I was there, his revenue was well over $20,000.
When he asked what I had done to get the extra phone calls, I explained the simple fact to him: All we had to do was convert the calls he was already getting into consultations.
I’ve had conversations with lawyers since then who say they need more calls.
I ask if they’re following the conversion methods we’ll talk about in this article.
Most of these attorneys end up getting a rude awakening when they find out how they’re actually doing when it comes to conversions.
Before we get into all of this, I want you to ask yourself a question: If it turns out you’re not converting the calls you’re already getting, why would you waste money to get more phone calls? If you’re not already getting conversions, more calls aren’t going to change that.
So let’s keep you from spending needlessly and increase your revenue at the same time. It’s time to make a move towards prosperity by increasing your call conversions.
How To Increase Client Retention For Your Firm
A business that can increase its customer retention by 5% can increase profits anywhere from 25% to 95%. This makes nurturing your law firm’s leads with care ever so crucial for your firm’s growth.
Imagine for a second that I wanted to give you a few thousand dollars; would you make it difficult to do so?
Most people would say no, but strangely enough — this is precisely what most lawyers end up doing. They do this by making prospects jump through hoops just to get through the doors.
Let’s look at some examples.
I’ve worked with plenty of attorneys who receive lots of email inquiries through their websites.
Many respond by telling the person how he/she can help, provide a few specifics, and then tell the person to call the office to schedule a consultation.
But there’s a better way to do this.
That potential client was on their website and had a choice to call the website’s phone number or send an email. And even though they’ve reached out to the lawyer once, they’re forced to do so again. And get this, if someone called you on the phone, then the phone is probably their preferred communication method.
So with that in mind, I hope you wouldn’t tell them to email you just to schedule the consultation because it’s the exact same thing. This is just one example of making someone jump through hoops to get scheduled.
People calling you want to pay you money — don’t make it hard for them to get scheduled and follow through with it.
If someone emails you through your website, and they provide a phone number, then your office should pick up the phone and call them — not the other way around.
If they don’t provide a phone number, then the response should be to get them in the door and not to tell them to call you.
Don’t add extra steps to making more money.
An All-Too-Forgotten Step: Confirm Your Appointments
Adding extra steps isn’t the only way that attorneys fail to boost their retention.
First, many lawyers don’t confirm their appointments at all, which is a massive mistake.
Most people are nervous when it comes to seeing lawyers. Whether it’s apprehensions about the cost or, in areas such as family law, they’re afraid to initiate legal proceedings.
They might call your office and schedule a consultation, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t on the fence.
Getting that confirmation can be just the nudge they need to get through the door. And if you don’t, there’s a decent chance they’ll blow the whole appointment off.
When you book the consultation, let them know you’ll confirm the day before and ask if they prefer a text message or a phone call. Most will prefer a text.
“But texting a client to confirm is unprofessional!” That’s what a lot of lawyers say about the idea of texting to confirm.
But here’s the thing: Texting has become many people’s preferred communication method and, again, lawyers are infamous for making things difficult for prospects.
Just remember, most people will be more likely to respond to a text.
Finally, people aren’t going to have your number on their cell phones, and likely won’t know who is calling when their phone rings from your office.
Many people ignore calls from an unknown number (so they won’t even know you’re calling to confirm). Sure, you could leave a voicemail, but who the hell checks their voicemail anymore? These are just two glaring examples of how many attorneys ignore what people prefer and make the process difficult.
The next big step in improving retention is how offices handle telephone and email inquiries.
We’ll look at those in our next blog post.
Before you say, “We’re good on the phone! We know how to talk to people,” you may want to consider that the attorney I mentioned above (who doubled his revenue in a month) said the same thing.
Action Items: How To Earn More Business
How successful you are is up to you.
Before you spend money on additional advertising, implement these two things:
- Be proactive when a client reaches out to you. Don’t put the onus on a potential client to contact you. If they reach out to you, it is now up to you to “guide” them into the office.
- Start confirming your consultations the day before. When you book the consult, ask the client if they would prefer a text, phone call, or smoke signal (just kidding). Conform to their preferred method of communication.