You’ve invested in a strong digital marketing platform, built an eye-catching website, written compelling blog posts, and employed live chat. As a result, your site visits and lead volumes should be increasing significantly.
Congratulations! Having an influx of opportunities is an encouraging indication that your marketing efforts are working. Yet, in spite of this success, you may find that you’re not seeing an increase in new clients. It’s frustrating to realize, but closing the prospect – even interested leads who are screaming for your attention – still requires considerable effort. And sometimes the fix is as simple as perfecting your response and intake processes.
Prospects move on if you don’t follow up. This means if you’re not following up on your prospects, you’re losing business.
For many businesses, the main problem is lacking an organized plan for how to process and reach out to your leads. And one of the key components of building a successful, next-generation practice is knowing you can’t do everything all of the time. Instead, maximize your human capital. If the volume of your leads is too overwhelming for you to handle, train one or more employees in your firm to quickly respond to leads and reach out to potential clients in a timely manner.
If you are struggling to sort through the number of contacts that you receive, you may want to rethink your digital strategy and, maybe, engage outside resources to help. Many live chat programs employ operators to collect information from your site visitors during their chat, which will quickly give you a clear idea if this is a contact that you can turn into a client. By doing some important fact-finding, you may save valuable time in vetting your prospects and offer your leads better response times.
In our blog post, “Why Lead Response Time Matters”, we discussed the five-minute rule. The optimal time for getting your prospect’s business is calling back within the first five minutes because every minute matters – waiting even 30 minutes can negatively impact prospect conversion. Following up with your prospects as soon as you can gives you a much better chance of establishing a relationship with them. If they have gone to the trouble to find you online and seek out your business, show them why they chose you and make sure you aren’t giving them time to change their mind. You haven’t secured their business just because they decided to reach out to you; they are still very much in the shopping phase.
And be persistent. If you have multiple ways to connect your prospect, use them. If you receive voicemail the first time you call, follow-up with a text message or email. You can also let them know you’ll try again in a few days.
Response time will only take you so far if your intake team lacks the proper disposition or isn’t equipped to handle the volume of your prospects. A skilled intake team will establish your company as a trusted resource for the client. If you have an intake team that can’t meet your prospect’s needs or has the wrong attitude to represent your company positively and effectively, then the money that you are putting into marketing is wasted. If you are investing heavily in digital marketing, you can’t afford to be bad at intake.
Create a written intake plan and work with your team to implement it – ensure the plan contains clearly established client acquisition goals (number of new clients, ideal client profile, etc.) as well as team-focused expectations. A written plan in which everyone participates helps your firm to deliver a consistently superior experience and increases your credibility with prospective clients. Identify your specific value proposition, how can you stand out from other firms? Find ways to personalize your messaging and intake process to create a strong impression with prospective clients.
The best time to reach your prospects is when they’re trying to find you, so give them the ability to make contact no matter how or when they choose to access your site. In fact, almost 40% of contact by prospects occur outside of standard business hours. Features like live chat, click-to-call, and text messaging allow people to reach you instantly and share information, reinforcing their decision to engage your firm. And, you can also receive information and respond to prospects right from your mobile device, ensuring immediate contact regardless of your location.
By crafting a solid intake process, training a dedicated response team, and reaching out to prospects quickly and confidently, you promote a positive client experience by building the solution around the client. You still have to do some work to convert them, but demonstrating that you value their needs is a step to building the trust that will help prospects become clients in your practice.
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