Why Following Up with Legal Leads is Important
In the world of sales (and like it or not, obtaining new clients is a sales activity), until a prospect pulls out the cash, he or she is still a prospect. Even after a consultation; even after free legal advice; sometimes even after they put the wheels of justice in motion a prospect is only a prospect unless they pay for your services. Maybe they’re window shopping or kicking tires. Maybe they are chronically indecisive or scared. Your objective is to convert them from prospect to client, and that might require follow-up.
When you’re dealing with leads, you might have a daytime phone number, a nighttime phone number, a business phone, a cell phone and an email. When you first reach out to a prospect, he or she might not respond to any of them. That doesn’t mean you’ve lost or you’re not wanted. Maybe the prospect is enjoying a meal, tending to a crisis or just overwhelmed. Some people don’t answer calls from numbers they don’t recognize. Remember, you’re not a pushy telemarketer. You’re a professional with the skills and talents to resolve the prospect’s legal concerns, and you’re responding to a request for help.
Leave a detailed, clear and thoughtful voice message each time you call. Don’t just wing it, but actually have a voicemail message planned ahead of time. Your reputation will suffer if you sound like a disorganized and scatterbrained lawyer. And always leave your phone number twice, slowly, as if they have a pen and are writing it down. Then immediately follow up with an email. Make it personal. Remind them that you called to see how you could help and that you left a message. Invite a call back or email response.
Even after you’ve made first-contact, don’t stop there. Some prospects are too busy taking care of life to call back right away. Some need more prodding to make a decision. One of the best closing strategies you can use is to make the buying decision easy for the prospect. If you’re calling back and others aren’t, you’re more likely to close the deal and the prospect (soon to be client) will appreciate knowing how much you care.
How you approach follow-up activities depends on how you perceive yourself. Look at yourself as a fixer, a problem solver, a stress-reliever. You have power and knowledge and tools and talents that this person needs. He or she may not know what you have or how you can help…that’s why you need to reach out, send a clear message and be available to respond. You’re doing a good thing for this person, so don’t feel like you’re intruding or inconveniencing them. Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes and you can image how good it must feel to have an excellent attorney contacting YOU to talk about ways to help.
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