A major complaint many lawyers have is that after having initial, positive meetings with prospects and sending proposals through, nothing happens. Some feel they have simply been played against other lawyers and participating in ‘beauty parades’ does not give the results expected from the effort put in.
Now, many lawyers will be used to the RFP process and pitching for new business. In fact, I’d argue that those who are specialists in their fields will get through this pretty well.
The problem many lawyers face is how to follow up with prospects once they have submitted initial proposals. Calls that go along the lines of “… so I was just touching base to see if there is any more information you need or concerns I need to address” can go nowhere, which is really frustrating given the time and effort already put in.
For many prospects, their choice of lawyer comes down to selecting the one they feel can get them their ideal result for the least amount of money possible. With so many lawyers to choose from, picking the right one is tough because of the high value atached to buying legal services.
Given this, very few lawyers have thought about how to follow up with prospects and add value at each stage. Those that do also understand the need to overcome buyers remorse, that feeling clients have once they have signed on the dotted line when they worry if they have made the best choice.
So what kind of follow up steps should lawyers consider in order to make their marketing more effective?
Before giving some examples, the first thing they should consider is their sales funnel.
This is important because it outlines the steps lawyers will take to communicate with prospects BEFORE they even write proposals, and what is expected after proposals have been submitted.
It is better to submit a proposal to a prospect that has been following you and who you have communicated to already than to someone who knows nothing about you or the value you provide.
Some examples of what lawyers could include as part of their follow up communications strategy include:
- Invitations to attend seminars or webinars on topics prospects would be interested in;
- Sending links to blogs, articles, podcasts or news stories that are relevant to the prospect;
- Sharing a report that helps educate prospects about how to solve their problem or mistakes they need to avoid;
- Showcasing how other businesses have solved their problems.
The whole point about these is that there is always something valuable for prospects to consider, and helps them in their decision-making process.
It also helps lawyers to get prospects to commit to a meeting to discuss proposals. Leaving this as a ‘hope to have’ instead of something that prospects have to prepare for is one of the reasons many lawyers fail to get the sales conversions they really want. If a prospect does not want to commit to a follow up meeting to discuss the proposal you prepare, you need to consider whether it is worth spending the time doing so in the first place.
The communications channels used as part of the follow up campaign should also vary, from social media to traditional mail. Using a multi-channel strategy effectively is something every law firm should aim for as they can test the various response rates from each.
To summarise… all lawyers need to have a systemised follow up strategy in place following the submission of proposals. This helps strengthen their proposal if value is added to each interaction and makes it easier for the prospect to select the lawyer to help solve their problem.
It also means new clients have more confidence in their choice of lawyer as they have been put in a better position to make an educated guess about the services on offer and expected client service levels they will get.