5 Biggest Mistakes Consumer Law Firms Make When Receiving a Client Inquiry
Having regularly generated thousands of qualified new client phone inquiries to consumer law firms across the U.S., here are the top five mistakes we see attorneys initially make that keep them from retaining those clients.
This is the biggest and most obvious mistake your firm can make. Even if you’re a solo practitioner without a receptionist, never let an incoming phone call go unanswered. The callers we generate to our law firm clients want to talk to someone for a consultation appointment. If you don’t answer when they try to contact you, they will usually call one of your competitors as a second choice as soon as they hear your outgoing voice mail. In today’s virtual Covid-19 world, callers may also think your firm is closed if you’re not answering your phone.
Sure, there are lots of reasons why you might miss an incoming call – but the consequences of doing so directly affect the financial bottom line of your law firm. It’s not easy to persuade new clients to call your law firm – but when they do, don’t squander the opportunity by failing to answer their calls.
Yes, we know its virtually impossible to always answer the phone, and while not every caller will hang up and call another attorney, some will leave you a message.
Marketing research has shown that the highest probability of reaching someone who has left you a voice mail or email message is by returning the inquiry within five minutes. The longer it takes you to return the message, the greater your odds of not reaching the caller at all.
But when a prospect does leave a message, time and again, attorneys don’t attempt to return the call until the following day. Or, if the message was left over a weekend, sometimes two or even three days later — leaving considerably too much time for the prospect to call one of your competitors instead.
Also, keep in mind that you may need to attempt a number of call backs until you finally reach the prospect. See our article How Many Times Should You Attempt to Call Back a Prospect.
Often, a new prospect will call a consumer law firm seeking an initial appointment. But not every person inquiring will qualify to file. Make sure you or your receptionist ask a few basic qualification questions before scheduling the consult. It could save you a lot of wasted time with the prospect down the road.
Some law firms will simply answer a caller’s questions without asking to set a consultation appointment. Always ask new prospects for the best time to schedule a consult, if a phone or video consult is not possible at the time the prospect initially called. If all you do is answer the prospect’s questions, they will usually call another attorney after speaking with you and that attorney will then get the opportunity do a complete consult and retain him or her.
Even if you do a complete consultation with the prospect on his or her first call to your firm, you need to get the prospect’s complete contact info, including full name, phone number(s), email address and mailing address. This will allow your firm to follow up with the prospect after the call to continue the retainer process, and allow you to track the contact if he or she decides to delay filing. Additionally, continued communication with the prospect after the call will help keep your firm in consideration if the prospect decides to continue talking with other firms.
LeadQ produces custom lead generation campaigns for consumer law firms across the U.S. in which attorneys pay only for the exclusive, Qualified, new client inquiries we generate to their firms. To find out more, call us at 800-662-2888.