Let's say you're a true wiz when it comes to marketing your law firm, and you regularly field inquiries from prospective clients—via phone, email, instant messages or just “meet-and-greets” outside your office. You may feel as if you're doing everything right.
Are you really? The fact is that if you don't convert potential clients into actual clients at least 85 percent of the time, you're leaving a ton of money on the table.
A Prospective Client Is Interested. Now What Do You Do?
It's amazing how often an otherwise self-assured lawyer will drop the ball when it comes to actually signing up a given client. Yes, that person went out of his way to contact your office, but he will quickly go on to the next law firm on his list if you:
- Mishandle that initial phone call, and treat the potential client in a way he interprets as rude or brusque.
- Do not have a system in place for instantly replying to a potential client's instant message, or responding to an email within a couple of hours.
- Don't give your full attention to the initial consultation, leading the person to believe that you have better things to do.
- Minimize the gravity of the potential client's legal situation; it may be run-of-the-mill to you, but to him, it's a life-changing event.
- ”Bait and switch” the client into representing him for something else; say, he calls about a fender-bender, and you find out he's filing for divorce.
You Only Have One Chance to Impress a Potential Client
No matter how good you are at marketing, promoting and advertising your firm, if you don't turn potential clients into actual clients all that effort will be for naught—and you'll be sending that person away with a dim view of your law firm, which he may relay to his friends.