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We all make reasonable assumptions in life and business. We draw on our life experiences and make assumptions accordingly.  Sometimes our assumptions are spot on.  Sometimes they are dead wrong.

But there’s one assumption – or misconception – that is costing many law firm owners loads of lost cases and profits that should be theirs. This assumption is:  “I CAN’T AFFORD INTAKE STAFF”.

The idea – or the big misconception goes something like this:  One day in the future, when my law firm is bigger, I’ll have a designated Intake person or staff. But until then, my receptionist and case managers can handle these calls for me.

You may fall into that category of law firm owners who think they simply can’t “afford” to hire designated intake staff to handle lead calls.  But here’s the truth: YOU CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO! 

Let me explain:  The assumption seems reasonable. It’s only natural to think that your receptionist and your case managers can handle your incoming lead calls. And the truth is that they can do it, but it isn’t in your firm’s best interest to assign them this task.

Your receptionist has their own responsibilities, including answering all the incoming client calls.  Their agenda is to get someone on and off the phone as quickly as possible, so they can get to the next call.  Your case managers are busy working on all the case files – trying to help you move your cases through the pipeline. They must speak at length with your existing clients, many of whom are difficult to handle. They are entrusted with the vital responsibility of getting your cases prepared for settlement or trial. Their plates are full.  Accepting new cases when they are already at capacity is not on their agenda.

Neither your receptionist nor your case managers are excited about accepting new cases, and prospective callers can pick up on this.

But even more importantly, when you don’t have a designated Intake person or staff, then many prospects that call your law firm are put on hold, and that is costing you bank. You cannot afford to lose the prospects you are working so hard to attract.  In today’s glutted market, with local and national firms all clamoring to get cases, the prospects that call your office or reach out to your law firm online have loads of options. If you don’t answer their call or respond to their text or email immediately, they will go somewhere else. They will move on to the next law firm that shows up on their Google search or whose billboard they pass on their way to work, or whose add shows up on their TikTok feed.

Even solo practitioners can’t afford not to have a designated intake person.

Think about it this way:   if your average fee is $10K dollars, and you hire a designated intake person for $40K per year and they get you at least one more case a month, you have tripled your investment. If they get you just two more cases a month, then you have increased your profit 6x! A whopping extra $80-160 thousand dollars in gross profit in only one year!

At PILMMA we have seen this truth bear out over and over again with our members.  I can’t tell you how many lawyers who take the leap and hire that designated intake person come back and tell me that it was a game changer for them in terms of increased cases and profits.

It may seem counterintuitive to hire a designated intake staff person when you are a small firm, or if you think your receptionist and case managers are adequately handling these calls. But just do it.

Hire a designated Intake person, whose primary job is to help you sign cases, and you will see that it is one of the most profitable decisions you will make in your law firm!

If you want more strategies to help you grow a more profitable law firm, then make sure you attend this year’s 2024 PILMMA Legal Marketing & Management Super Summit!

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