Following Up is Critical for Lawyers

According to the National Sales Executive Association, 80% of all client relationships begin on the 5th-12th contact and only 2% of all client relationships begin on the first contact. What does this mean? Following up, and keeping in regular contact with potential clients, is critical for lawyers.

Following up, as simple as it may seem, is a hard skill for many of us to master. Often we forget, don’t carve out the time, something else comes up or we just don’t know how to do it properly. However, when it comes to client acquisition, it’s invaluable for attorneys to follow up since most client relationships develop after 5 or more contacts.

A Good Follow-Up Does These 5 Things

Following up helps you convert people from prospects to clients, or acquaintances to referral sources. You accomplish this by keeping up consistent communications that begin shortly after you’ve made the initial contact.

A good follow-up:

  1. Reminds someone who you are and what kind of law you practice
  2. Shows why you’re different from the rest of your peers
  3. Provides valuable educational content
  4. Has a call to action
  5. And if possible – mentions something personal about the individual (like a hobby or something in which they expressed interest)

While the last one may raise some eyebrows, it is the personal touch that makes the communication authentic and less likely to be perceived as fully automated.

Accomplishing these 5 items will ensure you are memorable and increase your chances of continued interaction, while deepening your relationships.

For those of you who find that following up or staying in contact with people is difficult, we have some tips that can help you:

Use a Database

Prospective clients can come from many different places. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of where you met certain people – during a networking event, after a talk you gave, or through online interactions.

It’s important to have a place where you can easily record contact information, business interests, and other notes relevant to the individual.

You may already have a database to input this information, but there are many systems that can also help you stay proactive with following up through automated reminders, lead scoring and more.

One such system, and the system we use, is called Infusionsoft. We like Infusionsoft’s capability to track leads, as well as their mobile phone application that allows you to import a contact’s information directly into your database by taking a picture of a business card.

Infusionsoft is just one option. There are many other Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems with similar features. As long as you’re diligent about recording contact information as soon as possible after meeting someone, you can find success using automated follow-up systems. The contact will still be fresh in your mind, and you can record specific details that you may not remember down the road.

Create a Weekly Newsletter or Send Personal Emails

A weekly newsletter is a great way to stay in the minds of both prospective clients and past clients, and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming to create and send. For example: if you blog consistently, you can feature some of your latest blogs in your newsletter to provide valuable content, or include an update about news within your legal niche, or mention something new your firm is offering.

If you remember something more personal about a specific person, a personal email can go a long way. Perhaps someone mentioned an interest in fly fishing? Send that person an interesting article on fly fishing that you found.

Regardless of what you send, you should always include a “call to action” within the email that says you are available for them, when they (or someone they know) have a need.

Gain Connections by Connecting Others

A great way to deepen relationships with potential clients or potential referral sources is by helping them with their own businesses or networking. This can range from specifically crafted introductions, to group outings with people you feel may be like-minded and could help one another.

By expressing interest in others’ lives and businesses you can help grown your own business, as people will be more inclined to help you as well. The Rule of Reciprocity is invoked: if someone does something for you, you feel obligated to repay. For most, repayment is a strong need.

Pick Up the Phone

The phone has become outdated when it comes to staying in touch. People are now more inclined to send an email or a text message than to give someone a call. Scheduling some time each week to pick up the phone and call some of the people you’ve recently met to see how they’re doing can go a long way. Nowadays, it can mean a lot to someone to receive a personal call rather than a note via email or text.

Following up with potential clients or potential referral sources is a critical component of acquiring new business for lawyers. If you have any questions or want more information about how you can effectively follow up, contact us.

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