Stop wasting money on marketing your legal practice
You should stop wasting money on marketing until you fix this â€˜leak' in your practice, writes Michelle Peters (The Business Instructor)
If you want more clients for your legal practice, then it’s a natural reaction to start planning more marketing and business development activities so that you can bring in more enquiries for your services.
But you could be wasting time and money on your marketing and business development if you haven’t first checked how well you’re doing at turning enquiries into clients (often referred to as your conversion rate).
If you don’t have a good conversion rate, then doing more marketing and business developement is like trying to collect water in a leaky bucket by just turning on the tap more fully. Yes, you will have more enquiries coming in, but a large proportion will be ‘leaking out’ through the holes or gaps in your conversion process and be wasted.
So it makes sense to fix the holes in your conversion process before spending more money and time on any kind of marketing.
The way enquiries are answered by phone or by email is one of the most critical parts of your conversion process. Get this wrong and enquiries will ‘leak away’ before a fee earner ever gets to speak to them.
The other key part of your conversion process is your initial consultation or meeting with a prospective client. Whether it’s a free session or paid for, for most firms this is a key step in turning an enquiry into a client.
There are many reasons why solicitors often don’t get as many clients from these initial consultations as they’d like, but they mostly relate to the fact that most of us don’t like to ‘sell’, and almost no one likes to be sold to.
So what happens is that many solicitors avoid selling by, instead, giving away lots of free advice to try to ‘impress’ the client with their knowledge and expertise. The result? Clients leave the initial meeting (which was often free) with lots of information, saying ‘I’ll call you if I need you’ or ‘I’ll think about it’. But too often they don’t come back because they (mistakenly) think they now know everything they need to know about their issue.
If you don’t want to sell, and don’t want to give away all your advice for free as a way of impressing the prospective client with your knowledge, then you need a different approach.
Positioning is key
One of the most important changes you can make to your initial consultation process is to switch your focus from selling or impressing to getting your prospective clients to want to buy your services.
The key to this is positioning the initial consultation correctly in advance.
For example, don’t call it a ‘free advice’ session as that will set the wrong expectations.
Instead, position the meeting as a chance for the prospective client to get something valuable – but which is something you know will help them understand why they need your assistance. For example, offer to help them identify the pitfalls or challenges they are facing in their current situation. That way, the value for them is that they can make an informed choice about whether they want your help to avoid those pitfalls and challenges.
When you position your initial consultation or meeting correctly, you’ll set the right expectations for your prospective client. But, more importantly, you’ll also increase the likelihood that the client will understand the need for your help, and will say ‘yes’ to instructing you at the end.
Good positioning is the second of the five steps to getting more clients from your initial consultations or meetings. To find out what the other four steps are, download your copy of 5 Essential Steps To Get More Clients From Your Initial Consultations.
Michelle Peters (The Business Instructor) is a former Magic Circle solicitor who helps lawyers to get more clients and increase their profits without working more hours. Find out more about Michelle, and download resources to help you grow your practice, at www.thebusinessinstructor.com