Do you know how many hours a day your legal intake staff spends with unqualified prospects?
If you haven’t taken the time to find out, then it’s probably not an answer you’re going to like. That’s why – unless you enjoy wasting time that could be spent on revenue generating activities – it is vital to develop a lead qualification process quickly.
Top 3 reasons consistent lead qualifying matters
- If every lead is handled differently, it is impossible to institute best practices or measure the effects of improvements.
- An attorney’s time is precious. It is best spent talking to qualified prospects. A consistent lead qualification process permits an attorney to effectively delegate lead intake to other personnel or to an attorney answering service for initial screening, information gathering, and, if a prospect qualifies, appointment scheduling.
- Consistent processes allow you to track and analyze your intake process and marketing campaign performance. See Part One for more on why this matters.
In the first three installments, we’ve shown you how to improve the quality of your leads, capture more of them, and avoid the biggest website mistake most attorneys make. Today we’re going to share with you the one surprising step that will cut in half – or more – the amount of time your legal intake staff spends with unqualified prospects.
The first step in creating a streamlined lead qualifying process is the most important. And it’s the opposite of where most legal intake firms begin.
Unless they’re reading this series, your competitors are starting their lead intake process in the wrong place. This is your opportunity to cruise past them by starting out right. Instead of focusing on what makes a good prospect, the first step is to focus on all of the circumstances under which a prospect simply can’t become a client. Consider these possibilities:
- Were they found at fault in the accident?
- Have they exceeded the statute of limitations in your state?
- Are they already under contract with another attorney?
- Are they located in an area where you can’t provide service?
Starting with the knock-out questions eliminates wasted time with unqualified prospects, freeing up more resources for the good prospects. You don’t want a staff member to spend 30 minutes on the phone with a prospect before they realize they are not qualified.
To find out what questions your legal intake specialists should be asking first, closely question your intake team about the most common reasons they disqualify a prospect. Then put those questions at the beginning of your screening process.
The next step is to ask questions that help you prioritize your leads.
- How did they find out about you? If they were a referral, this is the hottest kind of lead. Referrals are far more likely to close than any other type of lead.
- Has your prospective client experienced a serious injury that needs an urgent response? If so, you will need to be prepared to move like lightening to assist them.
- Is the type of case one of your areas of specialty?
- How recent was the incident?
- Have they already had discussions with another attorney?
Time is your most valuable resource. You only want to spend it on qualified prospects and you want to start with your hottest leads first.
Want to know more about winning the marketing game? Next month, find out why internet analytics and tracking are simply not enough… and the old-fashioned “technology” your firm needs to stay ahead of the competition.
Are you ready to give your firm an unfair advantage? Suite 1000’s24-hour legal intake service is available to discuss how our intake specialists can reduce your overhead while capturing every lead and every piece of data from every call you receive. Call now: 877-925-2324.
This blog was written by Laurie Leonard, the President of SUITE 1000, a U.S. based national telephone answering service, inbound call center and outsourced call center service. Her company has specialized in handling legal intake, sales leads, email lead response, appointment scheduling, customer service and help desk calls for over 20 years.