One of the great truths in marketing is also one of the simplest: You are your first contact.

No matter how impressive your print ads, website, or radio commercials might be, the real proof for your prospect—whether they’re conscious of it or not—is what happens during their first telephone conversation with your firm.

Chances are it won’t be you they speak with, but a member of your small law firm support team. Do you know what will happen the next time an outside line rings? Will the caller be met with a satisfying level of professionalism and knowledge? Will your team member know what to do if a caller is upset, angry, or difficult to understand? Will the person answering the phone be able to answer that prospect’s questions or promptly connect them with someone who can?

A lot of firms suffer some degree of disconnect between the attorneys and the office staff. It’s not necessarily anybody’s fault, but as soon as a problem becomes apparent, it needs to be addressed. 

Just as you keep yourself at the top of your field by reading law journals, attending seminars, and following major cases in your practice area, your support staff will benefit from continuing education, including coaching and specialized training techniques.

If your team isn’t doing what you want them to do, it might be because you haven’t told them what that is.

Instead of feeling helpless and hopeless at the mercy of an inconsistent support staff, take the situation in hand with some of the following ideas:
  • More team involvement: If your team members were involved in the creation of a marketing plan, they’ll be more excited about it.
  • Ongoing training: Take advantage of seminars and third-party training opportunities from companies that specialize in telephone support. You might want to explore the possibility of one-on-one coaching or mentor relationships with more experienced staff.
  • Scripts: Scripts offer a great way to help everyone on your support staff stay on point. Scripts will also provide an opportunity to play out different scenarios and challenges that first contacts may present. Be sure you provide support staff with opportunities to rehearse scripts, ask questions, and provide you with any necessary feedback.
  • Accountability tools like call monitoring, video surveillance and in-person “mystery shoppers” will only offer a return on the necessary investment after your staff has had appropriate training. Introducing them too quickly or not clearly communicating their existence could create a hostile atmosphere.

Are you ready to take your small law firm advertising strategy to the next level? Great Legal Marketing might be able to help. We provide great lawyer advertising ideas to help you build the practice you’ve always dreamed of. To speak with one of our consultants, call (703) 591-9829 today.

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Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.