4 Things Law Firms Need to Improve Their Intake Process

4 Things Law Firms Need to Improve Their Intake Process

Many law firms I know are spending thousands of dollars every month on lead generation. Some tout their ability to generate hundreds of new leads every month for their firm, thinking that number is the benchmark for success.

It’s not.

If your firm is not converting the leads you generate into paying clients, you are flushing your cash down the crapper.

Your ability to successfully convert leads starts with your intake process. Typically, the firms that fall down at intake are failing not because their people don’t care (actually, some don’t, and you need to get rid of those, but that’s a subject for another post), it’s because they lack a defined process. They keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, letting those paid-for leads slip through their fingers.

To avoid this from happening to your firm, here are four things that you absolutely must have to implement an intake process that will help you convert leads:

Intake Need #1: A dedicated intake team.

Depending on the size of your firm, you need a dedicated team or at least an intake specialist responsible for handling calls from prospects. This is not a receptionist! This is not a paralegal or an attorney! This is a person who knows how to sell over the phone!

Intake Need #2: Training for your intake team.

Training is key. Your intake person or team needs to be thoroughly trained on the following:

  • Precisely how to answer the phone (should be with the name of your firm, not just “Law Firm!”).
  • How to answer the most frequently asked questions from prospects.
  • How to explain your firm’s unique competitive advantage clearly and succinctly (no legal jargon).
  • What kind of information they need to collect from every caller — name, phone number, email address, why they are calling, etc.
  • A script for when they have to leave a voicemail message when calling prospects back.
  • 4-6 questions they need to ask to quickly qualify or disqualify a prospect.
  • Key information about your firm — website address, physical address, driving directions to your location, etc.
  • Any lead tracking software or systems they will be using as part of their job.
  • How to schedule appointments for prospects and with whom.
  • How and how often to follow up with prospects.
  • How to express empathy and support for the prospect’s problem.
  • How to control callers who talk too much — their job is to set that appointment!

If you are not equipped to train your intake team, I recommend you look into our Rainmaker Intake University.

Intake Need #3: CRM software.

If your firm is fielding more than 10 leads per week from new prospects that are coming from different sources — your website, phone calls, social media, advertising, your newsletter, etc. — you need a customer relationship management (CRM) software system to help you track and manage these leads. A CRM system allows you to track every lead and see where they are in the sales process so good prospects don’t slip through the cracks.

Intake Need #4: Key metrics.

You need to track and measure your key intake metrics, including:

  • # of daily leads
  • Lead source (phone, website, PPC, social media, advertising, referral, etc.)
  • # of appointments set
  • # of no-shows
  • Closing rate at initial consultation
  • Closing rate later
  • Individual conversion rates for each intake team member
  • Cost per lead by source
  • Cost per client acquisition by source

By maximizing your lead conversion rate, you can substantially increase your revenue and stop wasting money on simply getting more leads that don’t deliver the results you want.