Most firms, who understand the value of marketing, are focused on getting new business. To  deliver your ideal prospects to your door, you must – determine who your audience is, find the best way to engage with them and promote your services in a way that will make them respond.

One problem with this (otherwise flawless) plan is, knowing what to do next…

With so much effort put into reaching your ideal audience, once you’ve collected a new prospect, it can be easy to forget that there’s still work to do. We’ve recognised this pattern in a lot of our new clients, and we’ve noticed most firms seem to stumble when it comes to converting leads into new business.

This blog discusses the processes that should be followed when a referral or a warm lead comes through to your firm. To begin, you must know the difference between them:

  • A referral is someone who has been suggested to your firm by a family member, friend or colleague. Following the initial recommendation, they sought to learn more about your services through your website, social media etc. Because of this they’re going to have a more personal impression of your firm. You can also get referrals to your business through positive reviews, online or in print media. These people are often known as ‘brand advocates’ and can act of their own accord (based on experiences they’ve had) or as ambassadors for a business.
  • A lead is someone who is somewhat familiar with your firm and has shown interest in your goods or services. Your business has become aware of them as they’ve given their details in exchange for something valuable you’ve offered them e.g. a guide download, newsletter subscription, consultation call or a meeting with an expert.

These two kinds of prospects must be treated very differently, as they’re entering your marketing funnel at different stages (“A model describing the various stages of a prospect’s journey”: Source Unbounce.com) and each requires a different nurturing approach.

Here are some tips for how to handle both leads and referrals;

A lead is coming in with less of a personal connection to your firm and could potentially just be browsing the market, so it’s important to note that this is not someone you should be calling up straight away with the intention of making a hard sell of your services. They might have asked for more information on your firm but could also be comparing yours to other law firms to gage which one is best suited to their company or for them personally.

Referral Process
Put them onto your mailing list for a monthly newsletter, weekly emails or something that will provide regular contact. Make sure that you are giving them useful and interesting content and not just bombarding them with information about you. Show them that you’re able to offer them genuine advice and help on their situation, this will help you to stand out from the competition.

Automated system
If you don’t have an automated system in place to regularly keep in contact with new leads, consider sending them personalised emails, something that will make your firm stand out as the ideal firm for them. You want to stay at the front of their minds at all times.

Research
If they have requested a call or meeting, schedule it with them as soon as possible, try and find out what they’re looking for in a law firm and work out the best way you can offer them what they both need and want.

Referrals require a slightly more planned out and personal approach. They’ve been told about your firm and will have researched it as well, so they will know a lot about what you have to offer.

Plan your approach
When dealing with a referral, you are in a much stronger position. The prospect is much more familiar with your firm and they’re also much further along in the marketing funnel than a warm lead. They have come to you having had a personal or professional connection recommend it, this means that you are likely to be very well suited. Depending on how they approached you, either give them a call, email them or schedule a meeting.

Preparation
Before taking the leap of faith, in selling your firm, make sure that you know all you need to on the prospect and/or company and what you can offer them. In a previous newsletter, one of our Account Executives, Jessica recently spoke about this exact topic, she said;

Too often, businesses jump in too quickly with what their service offer is and how much it costs, before making sure the prospect understands the value. This is off-putting and can push people away. Remember, value before price!”

Keep that in mind for when you are next about to make a call or go into a meeting where you will be selling your services to someone, you want to be prepared. Be sure not to rush them for a decision, allow them to come to it in their own time, you want to create a solid relationship going forward, not something based on a pressured decision. 

If you’re unsure about how the processes mentioned are implemented, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. A member of our senior staff will be more than happy to have a chat…

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