The law firm sales process varies widely by practice area but whether you’re a family lawyer or practice criminal defense, you’ll need to have some sort of a process for getting new clients.
Learning about sales funnels can help you understand and create the sales process that makes sense for your potential clients.
This post TL;DR? Here’s a video to watch instead.
Here’s the purchasing decision, or sales, funnel:
The first step in the process is ATTRACT. This is what your marketing does. You need to be the voice that talks the loudest, the one that says the right words, or just be the first result when someone Google’s “____ lawyer near me.”
The second step is CONVINCE. Now that you’ve captured someone’s attention enough to get them to land on your website or watch your Youtube video about their legal issue, the real work of getting someone to pick up the phone or fill out a contact form begins.
The third step is CONVERT. This is where potential clients become actual clients and retain your legal services.
It’s possible for someone to fall off at any point in the funnel. From clicking the link to your website and not connecting with your firm for any reason or to retaining your services and becoming unhappy with your communication or case management.
So, how does one go about outlining a sales funnel process at a law firm?
- First, define your audience with client personas or a similar methodology.
- Second, make a list that begins with how clients find you; referrals, organic search, social media ads, and the list goes on. Make sure to write down each and every marketing or advertising thing your firm does. Take a look at where leads come from. (Miami lawyer Alex Barthet shared his firm’s lead management process in episode 12 of Clienting). If almost every single client falls into a singular bucket and you need more clients, this means it’s time to put more effort into the ATTRACT process with alternative marketing, advertising, or networking efforts.
- Third, figure out what your sales process is from start to finish. This will be an ongoing process with tracking leads and asking questions to understand the reasons why people fall off your lead pipeline. I plan on writing more about this in a future post. From that initial sales list, what is the process? Do you have in-person or phone consultations or both? (Sidenote- it would be interesting to try both and see which lands you more clients). What happens after the consult- do they sign right then or visit with several other firms to choose the best fit?
- Fourth, once you’ve defined the firm’s sales process, is to figure out where you are losing people along this path.
Are you the late worm or early bird when it comes to inquiry response time? If you aren’t already, start tracking how long it takes someone in your firm to respond to each and every lead or inquiry. This is where a lot of lawyers fail– by not communicating in a timely manner and losing out to the person who answers the phone or emails back the fastest. As a solo or small, it is a reality that there may not always be a human who is able to answer the phone, and if that is the case for your firm, consider the cost/benefit analysis of a virtual receptionist.
If it’s at the consultation stage and you conduct in-person meetings– think about what you are doing or not doing to turn people off. Do you rush people through the process, are you late most of the time, do you not offer water or coffee? It could be any number of things and you’ll have a head start to the answer if you look at reviews or do any post-consultation surveys to look back on.
Spend this time looking for weak points or cracks in the process.
- Fifth, go through your customer relationship management system, practice management software, or the method you track clients to see if you’ve done any follow-up with people who said “no” or didn’t book a consultation.
- Finally, put the pieces together and see where improvements need to be made. then, actually do the things you need to do in order to boost your sales process.
- Landing pages are in high use by a variety of lawyers and are one possible way to get someone through the sales funnel. If you are going to do landing pages to gather leads from specific sources, I urge you to make sure the followup process is spot on before publishing those pages.
If you want to know more about building sales funnels or using landing pages into your sales and marketing plan, I would recommend visiting the ClickFunnels website to see what the ‘king of sales funnels,’ Russell Brunson has to say about them.
- Use more (or less, sometimes) CTA’s- call to action. Use more if you don’t have any on your website, landing pages, or online profiles. Use less CTA’s if your entire website looks like this:
Do you need to put more effort into marketing or advertising, because you simply aren’t getting leads? Do you need to hire a receptionist, virtual or in-person, to help with intake? Do you need to work on your consultation style? Is the follow-up missing, because when people leave your office without signing a retainer they cease to exist in your world?
There is going to be room for improvement in one or more areas unless you land every client that contacts your firm, you have endless positive online reviews, and you have more clients than you can possibly handle. If you do this process and think everything is great, I urge you to take the Lawyerist Small Firm or Solo Scorecard. They ask similar questions to what I have listed to help define here weak spots in your sales and marketing process.
So, how does a law firm implement a sales funnel?
To wrap this up:
In the end, sales funnel are about data, iteration, and organization. You have to understand what is happening in every step of the process to make changes, so take some time and understand what your process is, or isn’t.
Good luck and if you’ve made it this far but still have no idea where to start, hit us up. While we don’t do sales training, we can help define what could be missing from your sales funnel.