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Part 4 of Your 2022 Marketing Calendar

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In the first three parts of this series (which you can read herehere and here), we have overhauled the website and its content, and looked at how we can convert more users on the site. Now, it's time to work on converting more phonecalls into paying clients.

In this article we’ll look at your firm's sales and conversion processes.

Now you’ve sorted the website, reworked your content and improved how you communicate with clients, it’s time to really work the leads you are generating. 

One of the main barriers to growth for law firms is just this - handling leads. There’s lots of investment in marketing and plenty of thought and effort put into branding, strategy, positioning and so on, but there’s often very little put into the least appealing but most impactful part of the machine - sales.

Most law firms (in my experience, at least) view ‘sales’ as something of a dirty word. It conjures up cliched images of pushy salespeople railroading people into decisions that don’t benefit them. In the legal mind, it’s a short step from that image to things like duress, misrepresentation and undue influence.

It doesn’t have to be. In fact, done right, it’s quite the opposite. It would probably help to recategorise the process of ‘sales’ as ‘customer service’. 

This is more about meeting your clients where they are on their journey and enabling them to make informed decisions about their next step (which should, of course, include instructing you!).

So how do we do that?

First, let’s examine what people want from a law firm, in terms of customer service:

  • Information about their situation before making a purchase;
  • Communication throughout the process;
  • Guidance through the process of instructing (or from their point of view ‘purchasing’) legal services;
  • Reassurance; that this is the right decision, that it’s affordable and that you are the best choice for them.

‘Sales’ isn't about coercing clients to instruct you or ‘trapping’ them - it’s about working with them to build a solution that meets their needs. 

With that in mind, let’s look at what pieces we need to solve this puzzle...

October - Train your staff

With the best will in the world, handling incoming new client calls is often the job of the lowest-paid and least-engaged members of staff in a law firm. It’s almost always an administrative task for those who stand to benefit the least from the firm taking on new clients.

In fact, I’d suggest going one better than training staff and suggest hiring a member of staff specifically to handle and co-ordinate new enquiries. And, they should be properly incentivised to do so!

Whoever is answering calls to your firm should be able to handle questions and should undertake to handle every call with the intention of converting that caller into a paying customer. It is a numbers game and not every call will convert but putting the effort in can reap significant rewards. 

The goal here is to turn this part of your business into a repeatable, measurable and manageable process. Set targets, track the numbers and work to continually improve.

There is much, much more to be said on this subject and you can read our in-depth guide to call handling for law firms.

Also, we’ve produced a sales training slide deck and you can pinch it here.

November - Invest in a CRM

In many ways, implementing a sales process is the act of removing human fallibility from the front end of your business. As touched on above, most people don’t want to sell or be sold to. Human nature is to take the path of least resistance and to concentrate on the next ‘big’ task. What that means, is that the sales process can be rushed and vitally important elements (such as following up at the right time) can be left by the wayside.

Most of that can be prevented by putting in place a CRM or Customer Relationship Management tool.

These tools are pieces of software designed and built to enable you to implement and follow a sales process.

For the user (i.e., ‘salesperson’) they allow a process to be followed - they remind you to follow up, take notes (vital in building the relationship) and work the client down your ‘funnel’.

Simply put, CRM systems help you to nurture client relationships with new or prospective clients. This means reminding you to follow up or even automating follow up emails. This ensures that you are doing all you can to convert leads into clients and avoiding missed opportunities.

More sophisticated CRM systems use automation and 'scoring' to determine when customers in your pipeline are ready to buy your services. This takes much of the guesswork out of pursuing potential clients and allows you to understand which of your prospects are most interested in your offering.

We have recently launched our own CRM system designed specifically for law firms. If you’d like a free, no obligation demo, then please get in touch

December - Review the year

By now, your firm should be on the path to growth and you should have maximum transparency on your website, your sales process and you should be on top of your client communications.

However, your firm’s marketing is an ongoing process and one that requires ongoing care, attention and management. To ensure you’re really getting it right, we will soon be launching our Digital Marketing Competency Framework for lawyers.

It’s a comprehensive checklist designed to give you an idea of where your firm stands now in terms of digital sophistication and, much like this series, gives you a roadmap to improvement.

Stay tuned for more!

As ever, if you’d like to discuss any of these tactics further, we’re always happy to have a 30-minute, no-obligation chat. Call Chris on 03333 442 722, email or fill in our enquiry form.

Your 2022 Marketing Calendar Part 3
The Ultimate Law Firm Marketing Checklist
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