Looking for ways to convert leads into actual paying clients and thereby grow your business? In your legal practice, achieving The Perfect Client Life Cycle™ (PCLC) involves not only getting the leads but also turning those leads into appointments and making sure they show up. In this article, Richard James, the master of lead conversion, gives an overview of four ways to acquire prospects, engage unconverted leads, increase your show rate, and make those prospects retain your firm.
The Perfect Client Life Cycle™ is a process that leads to more referrals for your new business. The PCLC stages are Leads, Appointments Set, Appointment that Shows, Shows that Hire (retain the firm), New Clients who pay their bill in full, and Referrals. The key here is the conversion from Leads to Sets, Sets to Shows, Shows to Hires, Hires to Paid in Full cases, and to Referring Clients. The first stage of the cycle, leads, is concerned with attracting your target market using various marketing strategies. The next stage involves making those new leads set an appointment with you. BY following up and nurturing those leads, you can then move to the next stage to turn into appointment shows. Eventually, those shows would convert into hires, you will get paid, and when your lead management system is efficient, you will get the referrals that would spur the cycle once again.
Let’s look at four general ways you can use to increase the number of leads that schedule meetings with you. Remember, the goal is to make prospects feel nurtured and guided toward the “next step” in your client lifecycle.
Structure Your Calls
Efficient lead management utilizes different forms of communication such as text, email, or chat, to increase conversion rates. Make sure that outbound phone calls are one of them. Why are calls effective? First, it requires a deliberate response from the other person. Second, unlike emails or texts, it is a bit more difficult for the unconverted lead to keep saying “no” or ignore you. Moreover, calling your leads is a more personal approach as it shows effort on your part. This is important since lead conversion hinges on building relationships.
When you do talk to an unconverted lead to set an appointment or close a deal, make sure that you follow a certain structure. For every client call you make, your goal should be to transfer them into the next stage of Perfect Client Life Cycle™. In that sense, each call could target a specific goal, such as having the lead set an appointment, or retain your law firm. You can even create a script to help in this process. Scripts are also useful if you want to qualify leads and say, target a specific demographic, or prioritize certain clients over the other.
If you have a script to use, then make sure that you train employees to become your phone specialists. Of course, you will need to make sure they are clear on the goals you have set and the things they can and cannot discuss over the phone with clients. For instance, will it be alright to quote prices over the phone? What kinds of personal information can they collect? When should they schedule leads for meetings? Emphasize that the goal is to nurture leads such that potential customers or clients will take the next step.
Follow Up on Your Leads
Phone calls. How many times should you reach out to a client before you can expect a response? Definitely not always on the first call! A good number to keep in mind is that it takes between 7 to 10 contacts before they make a decision to hire you or not. Of course, to be able to use this approach, your lead management system should keep track of contact information. You should have a database for your lead lists with their corresponding email addresses and phone numbers. So if you still don’t have an outbound call program in your law firm, you better start one soon.
Emails. Aside from harnessing the power of outbound phone calls, another means you can use to automate your business process is email. Use emails to support your phone call efforts and continue your communication with your prospects. You can create email templates to send out to your leads across the state, and following a set timeline. For instance, you can send an email after they inquire about your product or service, after the appointment is set, the day before the scheduled appointment, and the day of the meeting. This can be similar to the marketing email campaign you send out to create leads, but this time, personalize the messaging structure by using the prospect’s first name.
Direct Mail. Another method you should also take advantage of harvesting unconverted leads is direct mail. This has been underutilized with the rise of technology, but this has actually been proven to increase show rates significantly. Make sure you will not appear to be harassing them. One way to avoid this is to come up with a visitor tracking system to know which leads are receiving which kinds of mail. Aside from long letters, other direct mail items you can explore include the following:
- Instructional packages – tell clients ways they can meet with you or how they can schedule appointments.
- Printed newsletters – provide useful information relevant to your target client’s legal concerns
- Promotions or incentives – encourage unconverted leads to give your legal office a call
Bringing a positive attitude can make or break the rapport building with a prospect. One tactic you can utilize to connect with your lead is to talk about what is going on within the community. This can help them see that you can relate well with them, understand their situation and that you are a genuine and authentic person–not just a staff reading out a scripted call.
Once you have built a relationship with a lead, make sure to continually send reminders and make sure that they do not forget to show up on their scheduled appointments. Don’t be afraid to give your client more than one call. Although you may appear aggressive, phone blasts and text reminders do increase show rates. Why? Because you cannot assume that people simply decided not to show up in a meeting. Sometimes, they genuinely forgot their appointment dates and it is your job to make sure that won’t happen, and they will thank you for that!
What to Do After Converting Leads
The goal is to make unconverted leads confirm their appointment and show up using all available forms of communication you can get into. Once you’ve done that, the next big step is for you to make converted leads hire you as their lawyer. To do that, you will need to provide them a satisfying client experience:
- Response to their inquiries as soon as you can
- Make your meeting room comfortable and your office clean
- Address clients by their name
- Choreograph the process
With regard to the last one on the list, choreographing the experience means training your staff on the specific steps you want clients to be taken to as soon as they enter your office. This helps them see that you know what you are doing and that you value their time.
Want to know more lead conversion tactics? You can train yourself in the fundamentals of law firm ownership by going through Richard James’ Your Practice Mastered Toolkit. The toolkit provides you with exclusive access to videos, audio files, and printed materials to help you build your law firm practice.
If you want more in-depth training on how to handle your firm, you can also schedule an appointment with Richard James.