Follow-Up: Why Your Law Firm Must Be Better Than A Car Salesman

A couple of months ago I wrote about the need for law firm owners to “think like a salesman” if they wanted to grow their caseload.

It means thinking like anybody else who runs a successful business, whatever the industry. You have to think traffic, leads, follow-up and conversion.

The alternative strategy, followed by many law firms, is one I don’t recommend. I call it the strategy of “hope and prayer”.

Hope and Prayer

With the “hope and prayer” strategy, a law firm owner is hoping and praying that a potential new client will land on their law firm’s website and then magically decide, on the spot, to phone up their office and hire them.

I like reliable, dependable, consistent results. Hope and prayer doesn’t cut it for me.

What does work reliably, dependably and consistently to generate new clients and cases is a proven system. I’m talking about a system of traffic and lead generation and follow-up to convert potential new clients into signed cases.

In the last article in this series I explained how to turn your law firm’s website into a lead generation machine.

Follow-Up Increases Return On Investment

Following up with leads will transform your conversion rate, generating more new cases. If somebody didn’t hire you immediately, it doesn’t mean they’re not going to hire you at all. Following up gets more people to say “yes”.

Everything you invested in your marketing, all the money you spent to get that traffic and those leads – it’s spent. Gone. Sunk. But it will pay you back MORE when you follow up with your leads.

It means a much better return on your investment.

Leads are expensive. Follow-up is not expensive.

Follow-Up: Real World Example

Let me give you some real world numbers that prove my argument.

When I opened my Social Security practice in Myrtle Beach, SC, I followed a very simple marketing strategy that generated new cases for $150 each.

Now pay attention folks, because what I’m sharing here is a strategy that, if you tweak it successfully for your own law practice, will grow your caseload and your public profile, and inexpensively. This is a killer strategy.

I ran a 30-minute infomercial that promoted my free book, “The Ultimate Guide To Winning Your Social Security Disability Claim”.

I hand picked the digital TV channels and shows for my 30-minute and short ad slots. I primarily chose the nostalgia TV channels that showed “I Love Lucy” and “The Andy Griffith Show”. I was targeting people who needed to claim SSD, remember?

Just the infomercial and the book alone were so effective that it accounted for 2/3 of our new cases each month.

Now remember, our ad and 30 minute infomercial was to promote our free book. In those 30 minutes, we’d discuss different issues involved with an SSD claim. And our only call to action was “Call and get a free copy of our book, ‘The Ultimate Guide To Winning Your SSD Claim’”.

We never said in the ad or infomercial, “Call to hire us”.

And from sending them the book – just that – we got 2/3 of our clients.

Those are great numbers already. That’s some successful marketing.

The Follow-Up Difference: 50% MORE Cases

Of course, I could have stopped there.

I could have just run the TV ad and infomercial, send out books to all those who requested it and bank the new cases.

But even though I negotiated a great rate for my TV spots, I was still spending good money on that airtime.

By following up, I could increase my return on investment.

So I did follow up. With a 9-step follow-up. And I got 50% more cases.

Two thirds of our cases were generated by our TV spots and mailing out the book. One third of our caseload was generated by our follow-up.

That’s 50% more cases, because of inexpensive follow-up.

That’s how I got to $150 per opened SSD case-file, for a total new caseload of 40 cases each month. Like clockwork.

Follow-Up Better Than A Car Salesman?

So why did I call this article, “Why Your Law Firm Needs To Follow Up Better Than A Car Salesman”?

It wasn’t clickbait.

I was thinking about my experience buying a new car, which I’ve written about previously. In April, based on that experience, I wrote about a strategy for personal injury law firms to target new car buyers.

Once I really understood sales and marketing, the car industry started to amuse me with how they play the game. And it’s really relevant for this subject.

How often is the average American in the market for a new car? Every 3-5 years maybe?

And yet, all the car companies really focus their attention and their marketing on the 8-week window when you’re ready to buy a new vehicle. They don’t spend those 3-5 years keeping you informed, or salivating over your next vehicle like a teenager with a Ferrari poster. Although perhaps recently, with Social Media, this is starting to happen.

And the follow-up! Since we’re talking about follow-up, let’s talk about car salespeople.

Persistence

I said, “Think like a salesperson”. Car salespeople are persistent, that’s for sure.

They. Keep. Following. Up.

But it’s a terrible follow-up.

“Mr. Hardison, have you made a decision about the Chevy Yukon?”

“Not yet.”

A week later, the exact same conversation.

“Mr. Hardison, have you made a decision about the Chevy Yukon?”

“Not yet.”

What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing, over and over, expecting a different outcome.

It was always the same. I’ll buy when I’m good and ready, thank you.

What They Didn’t Do

What nobody ever did was try to change when I was good and ready. Nobody ever offered me the opportunity to be more educated about my potential purchase.

Here are some of the questions they could have asked me, that might have made me more eager to purchase, or which might have told them what would have made me more eager:

  • “What are the other vehicles at the top of your comparison list?”
  • “What’s the biggest hang-up you’ve got, comparing the Yukon to the other vehicle at the top of your list?”
  • “Are you familiar with how environmentally friendly the new model Yukon is?”
  • “Are there any extra’s you’re debating with yourself about adding?”
  • “Would you like to take the demonstrator for a weekend, to see if it fits in with your lifestyle?”
  • “Can we send you away on a guided adventure weekend with the Yukon, hotel on us?”
  • “Can we send you a video of new Yukon buyers talking about how much they prefer their Yukon to a Mercedes sedan?”
  • “Can we send you our coffee table book, ‘27 Amazing Places To Find A Working Chevy Yukon’?”

More to the point, they could have just sent me all of that as a persistent but clever educational “drip” follow-up campaign.

Asking leads if they want more information is good for engagement, and identifying people who keep raising their hands.

But sending it out as a follow-up, even if they didn’t ask for it, works too.

Just imagine if the local Chevy salesperson had sent me all of that. The coffee table book, the offer of an adventure weekend, information about environmental impact, and on and on.

Imagine that they had sent me all that, while the other dealerships did what they always do: persistently pester and otherwise do nothing.

All those reminders, whether in the mail, by email, by text message or even smoke signal, they would have made me think more about the Chevy Yukon, and how it fits in with my needs.

If I’d taken it for a weekend adventure, I would have started to visualize myself owning one. That’s powerful stuff if you want to make a sale.

But no, they didn’t do that.

They persistently pestered me.

“Mr. Hardison, have you made a decision about the Chevy Yukon?”

Imagine how many more cars a smart salesman could shift with a clever and systematic follow-up campaign.

Be Better Than The Car Salesman

To grow your caseload, to attract people to your firm instead of the competition, to convert fence-sitters and procrastinators, you’ve got to have a good follow-up.

Your follow-up has got to be a lot better than the car salesman. Persistence is good. But don’t pester.

A good follow-up means offering more of what the lead will say “yes” to.

What do potential clients say “yes” to?

  • Greater understanding
  • More information
  • Positive experiences
  • Free guides
  • Explanatory videos
  • Free case evaluations
  • FAQ’s
  • Checklists
  • Home visits

The follow-up that I implemented in my SSD practice gave our leads what they wanted. It enabled them to keep saying “yes” until they hired us.

Our follow-up increased our caseload by 50%. One third of our cases were generated by our follow-up.

And our follow-up was everything the car salesman’s follow-up wasn’t. Yes, it was persistent, but it kept offering more helpful information; more understanding for the potential new client.

Whether it was an info-graphic, a checklist or a free report, it was all designed to keep reminding the lead about our firm, but in a way that helped them make an educated decision to hire us.

Follow-Up Works For Everybody

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about the importance of systematic follow-up. It works for every law firm. It’s an easy win.

It’s even more important when you discover that despite large case fees, your firm isn’t making any money.

Whenever I’ve been asked to help a law firm improve their bottom line, the first thing I want to know is whether or not they’ve got a systematic follow-up with each lead.

In every single case where they weren’t following up – and I fixed it by getting them to follow-up repeatedly and systematically with helpful information – it had a massive effect.

Every single law firm that I have worked with has benefitted from a systematic lead follow-up campaign. No exceptions.

So if you’re not systematically following up with each lead, I guarantee you’re missing cases and leaving money on the table.

You could have a much better return on your marketing investment if you just started following up consistently with potential clients, in the way I’ve outlined above.

It’s low hanging fruit, just waiting for you to grab.

For many firms, the increase in caseload through follow-up makes the difference between breaking even (or even being in the red) and being in profit. It’s that huge.

 

 


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