By Tiana H. Hardison, Esq

Your Grandma can help you get MORE Personal Injury cases. No Joke. I’m not talking about your Grandma handing out your business cards (although most proud grandmas probably would if you asked them!) And I’m not suggesting you bring your grandmother into your law firm’s next Marketing meetings. But your Grandma DOES hold the KEY to Doubling – or maybe even tripling your law firm’s conversion rate! Let me explain. 

Getting MORE LEADS is the sexy part of marketing. Many lawyers consider getting more leads as the key to law firm growth. Many lawyers are keen on spending MORE money to get more leads, thinking that’s the secret to law firm growth. And who doesn’t like a quick fix? A simple solution? A done-for-you answer to the problem of how to get more cases. 

But here’s the rub: As some of you reading this may have figured out, you can increase your lead generation marketing 100 percent but that doesn’t mean you will see a 100 % increase in signed cases, does it? Getting MORE LEADS – even good leads, doesn’t mean your firm signs MORE Cases UNLESS your firm can CONVERT your leads into cases, right?

Getting leads in today’s digitally driven and glutted Internet landscape is expensive, too. Competition is fierce and requires a full-court press of Marketing tactics and money. But all that effort, energy, and expense are wasted if you can’t convert your leads into clients. When many personal injury lawyers want to see law firm growth, they focus their energies on getting leads thinking that’s the solution. But paying for leads and marketing designed to produce more leads is like throwing cash down the drain if you don’t have strong Conversion Strategies in place. 

You see, conversion is all about your Intake personnel. If they have empathy, patience, and a warm but professional demeanor, there’s a really good chance they will convert your good leads into cases and clients. On the other hand, if your Intake personnel are impatient, unsympathetic, or sound like they are trying to rush a potential client off the phone dismissively, you’ve got problems – and your conversion will suffer. 

The truth: Many lawyers assume that they just need more leads. They assume that they automatically sign all the good cases that meet their firm’s criteria. But that’s where they are wrong. Dead Wrong. PILMMA (Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association) has been working with lawyers all across the country for years and here’s what we’ve seen over and over again: Lawyers pay PILMMA’s President, Ken Hardison, to go in and conduct an expensive CONSULT to evaluate the firm and help them come up with a winning strategy for law firm growth and as soon as he conducts Ghost Calls (Secret shopper calls to the firm, posing as a potential client) they find out the truth.  Over and over again, the law firm’s intake department drops the ball. You may be thinking, “That’s not my problem at all. I sign every good lead I get.” Oh, if that were only true… But the cold hard truth for 98% of law firms is that regardless of how well you think your Intake department is handling your firm’s calls, they likely are not – not every call and not all the time. 

Let’s do some simple math together. Let’ assume your average personal injury fee is $5,000.00/ case (and for lots of you, the average fee is much, much higher but I’ll let you do THAT math…). If your Intake Department is missing and failing to convert even 1 good lead, you are losing $20K/mo. In just one year, this means you’ve lost $265,000! A quarter of a million dollars down the tubes. If they are failing to convert just 2 leads per week, now we’re up to half a million dollars… and so on. 

So, this assumption that “I automatically convert and sign all the good leads I get” could be costing you millions of dollars in lost fees. Fees that at this moment are going straight to your competitor’s bank account!

The Law Firm Reality:  Your Intake staff gets busy. They have “bad” days. They get “distracted.” Or perhaps they have other job responsibilities in the firm, and they begin to feel overworked and undervalued… Any of these scenarios can result in a phone demeanor that doesn’t bode well when it comes to connecting with your leads over the phone or in the office. Here is where YOUR GRANDMA can save the day and your leads. 

When attorney and PILMMA President, Ken Hardison, was growing his law firms, he came up with a secret that I want to share with you in this blog – and it is a GAME CHANGER. When he listened to his Intake department’s calls, he realized that they didn’t consistently speak to potential clients with the empathy and patience that clients respond best to. They didn’t foster warm relationships with the callers. They didn’t strive to connect. It was obvious that they were dropping the ball at this critical juncture. 

So, Ken came up with a plan to help his Intake department communicate better with potential clients (and existing clients, too.) He asked them to speak to each and every caller in the exact way that they would speak to their own grandmother. This analogy was GOLDEN and helped his intake staff INSTANTLY understand the tone they needed to take with the firm’s callers and the level of warmth and connection needed. It’s one thing to say to your Intake staff “You need to be nicer, and don’t sound so impatient or rushed or condescending. You need to be more respectful.” Oftentimes, they will nod their heads in understanding but still continue to be dismissive with callers, even when they think they are not. 

Make it clear for them: Every staff member in your firm has or has had a grandmother. They understand how they should talk to or with their grandmother. Respectfully. Patiently, Empathetically and with the utmost Kindness. Once they think of every caller as a grandmother or, more specifically, their own grandmother, that changes the game. So here was Ken’s admonishment to his staff: “If you wouldn’t say something to your grandmother, don’t say it to the caller. If you wouldn’t take a certain tone with your grandmother, don’t take it with the clients or callers. Treat every caller like they are your grandmother. Period.”

This Strategy worked! His staff immediately understood his expectations and were much better able to adjust accordingly. And to bring the point home further, he made sure that his staff knew that he would be conducting Ghost Calls periodically. There is no substitution for accountability, and the law firm owner must regularly inspect their expectations. IF you want to stand out from your competition and sign all the good leads that come into your firm – it starts with your Intake Staff. They hold the keys to the kingdom.

Make sure that you know how they are handling your precious leads. If you need help with inspecting your intake calls, PILMMA’s program: Lawyer Ghost Calls can help. Just go to: www.lawyerghostcalls.com We make the calls for you, analyze them, and send the recording and analysis straight to your email inbox. 

If you want more Strategies like the GRANDMA analogy for Increasing your Conversions, join PILMMA. We give lawyers tons of Strategies for LAW FIRM GROWTH. www.pilmma.org And if you want to give your INTAKE DEPARTMENT a jump start to INCREASE your Conversions dramatically, then Check out Intake 2.0 the new Online Course that Ken designed for Intake Staff. It’s a done for you, quick, and easy video training course that will give your staff the tools they need to help you Grow your Law Firm and sign MORE cases. Just click on the PILMMA store at www.pilmma.org