Let me ask you a question. If you called your firm and pretended to be a client, would you hire your firm? Or would you be a little freaked out? About 80% of the prospects who were contacting your firm are not building a personal connection with the person at your firm that was taking their call, which means a lot of law firms are losing a lot of opportunity. And we’re going to show you how to fix that right now. My job is to work with law firms to fix their intake process, but also help them convert more leads.
What We Know!
Here’s what we know after working with 1000s of law firms across the country. We know that when prospects call your firm, they’re emotional and they’re scared. They’re scared of lawyers. You guys are scary people! This means that the most critical person in your firm who can literally make or break your practice is your intake specialist. We want to explain exactly how your intake process can build a relationship with your caller, show them that your firm is not scary, and that they don’t need to go anywhere else for their legal problem. The reason why this is so important is because only 20% of the prospects that contact your firm feel any kind of connection, they don’t feel like you understand them, and they don’t know that you have the expertise to help them. So they’re going to continue their search for another law firm because you haven’t shown them that you’re the one.
Where To Start With Your Intake Process
You have to put yourself in their shoes. Chances are, when prospects are calling you, they’re emotional, they’re stressed out, they don’t know who they can talk to you. They don’t trust anyone else. They’re looking for a solution to their legal matter. For the last decade, we’ve secret-shopped thousands of law firms across the country. What we saw is that they don’t feel energy. Instead, they feel like a number. They don’t feel like the person who’s on the other end of their call is really invested in what they need. Think about it: Have you ever received a cold call, you didn’t connect with the person on the other end, you didn’t move forward, you didn’t do any business with them? Because you didn’t feel that connection. The first thing you want to make sure is that you have the right person for the job.
Remember, they are the face and the voice of your law firm, and they can literally make or break your practice. And so if they are eager, and they’re driven, and they’re confident, and they love working with people, you’re on the right path. The two most critical skill sets that you want to hire for are natural empathy and the right mindset. You can’t teach empathy. Someone is either naturally empathetic or they’re not. It’s part of their natural personality. As far as the mindset, you need someone that has more than the basic mindset. But as an administrative assistant, you need someone who has a business mindset as well as a sales mindset.
Roleplay With Your Team
The next thing I would do is schedule some time with your team to do some roleplay showing empathy, see how they show empathy in these kinds of difficult situations, and teach them that they can insert really simple phrases such as “I’m really sorry that you’re going through this right now,” or “This must be a really difficult time for you,” or “I’m sure this is extremely frustrating for you at this time.” One of the key parts of showing empathy is simply pausing. Take a moment instead of rambling on and continuing on to the next step, the next qualifying question, or the next piece of order, take a moment to pause, help that prospect feel that you understand them and that you are really listening to what it is that they’re dealing with.
Another thing you can do is get creative! Create some kind of bonus or incentive package that really motivates your intake team to ensure that they are handling every single one of those prospects in such a way that is really maximizing every opportunity. A few years ago, I was working with a family law firm who decided that they were going to fix their intake process. So, at that time, what we really focused on was making sure that the intake team simply paused. They threw in some of those questions to show empathy and really connect with the prospect. What they saw over time, even though it didn’t feel quite right for them initially, is that they started to get more comfortable, and they started to build more confidence. They started to connect and build relationships with those prospects much easier than they had before.
When I started working with this law firm, they were converting about 42 appointments a month. After 90 days of working together and simply just pausing during intake, throwing in some of those empathetic phrases and really connecting with their prospects, they saw an increase in where they were scheduling about 87 appointments per month. Now, when we looked at the conversions on the bottom line, this also contributed to a huge increase in the number of clients because they had already built a connection. We made some changes in their overall process, and they converted more leads every single month.
Intake Growth Is Your Future
If your law firm is currently converting less than about 70% of your qualified prospects into a consultation, then I strongly encourage you to take a good look at your intake process to fix it. Put some of these things we’ve talked about here into practice. If you’d like some help with taking a look at your intake process and fixing some of those problems that are getting in the way of signing your client, or if you simply need a system to look at all of your leads coming in and really identify what’s going on in your firm, please feel free to reach out to The Rainmaker Institute. We’d be happy to help you and improve your intake and your conversions.