Your ability to successfully convert leads starts with your intake process. Typically, the firms that struggle during the intake process are failing not because their people do not care, 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.
Essentials to Implementing an Effective Intake Process
To avoid this from happening to your firm, here are things that you absolutely must have to implement an intake process that will help you convert leads:
A Dedicated Intake Team
Depending on the size of your law 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!
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 must 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 or you are interested in learning more about intake training for lawyers, I recommend you register for our Rainmaker Intake University.
The more time that passes between initial contact and law firm follow-up, the more likely leads are to jump ship. Conversion rates drop from 78 percent in the first 5 minutes to a mere 22 percent after just 15 minutes of lag time. Ideal client interactions begin with picking up the phone on the first ring to avoid the dreaded prospect of voicemail.
Today’s clients are notoriously unwilling to put up with even the slightest hint of inconvenience. They don’t have to acquiesce to your demands—another law firm is only a phone call away. The easier the process, the less likely they are to seek counsel elsewhere. Every step should be as quick and as seamless as possible.
Your efforts to overhaul your law firm’s intake process may seem overwhelming at the outset but trust us, improved intake will pay dividends down the road. Invest in better intake now, and you’ll enjoy impressive conversion rates and stronger relationships with your clients.
Contact The Rainmaker Institute for Help with Intake Training for Lawyers
Our greatest insights related to client intake are distilled in the Intake University program. In it, we teach law firm intake staff how to convert contacts into contracts, using many different learning mechanisms. All these techniques complement one another, showing your intake staff how to boost your firm’s conversion rate.
Whether you choose to attend one of our live events or want a free, confidential consultation, we are here to help with intake training for lawyers and your staff!