All lawyers should start focusing on intake and lead conversion, since it is the easiest and cheapest way to increase revenue. For the purpose of this podcast, lead conversion happens when prospective clients are turned into paying clients. Lead conversion is just a part of intake, the process or system that takes a potential client from the point of contact with your law firm to signing up to be a paying or retaining client. Most lawyers believe themselves to be very good at lead conversion, often boasting up to a 92% conversion rate. However, these lawyers are only counting leads that are already sitting in consultations, who need the services the lawyer provides, and with adequate money to pay for them. Actually, a lead is anyone who clicks on the law firm website, calls for information, or is referred by an existing client. If these leads are measured and analyzed properly, there are very simple changes a law firm can make based on that data to dramatically increase revenue.
In this episode of The Un-Billable Hour, Christopher Anderson interviews law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley about the importance of lead conversion and client retention, the mistakes most law firms are making, and some simple and more complicated solutions to increase intake success. Fairley defines a lead as a person with whom the firm has never done business, who needs the services they provide, and who contacts them by phone or online. Once this potential client makes contact, he explains, conversion rate drops by 400% after 5 minutes. He recommends that every firm have an established non-lawyer and non-paralegal employee responsible for responding to every lead and setting up appointments. Tracking your firm’s intake process is incredibly important, Fairley explains, because you can use the data to make small changes with big results. If a law firm is looking for a place to start, he says, they should record all contacts and hire a secret shopper to give some outside perspective.
Stephen Fairley is the founder and CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, the nation’s largest law firm marketing company specializing in marketing and lead conversion for small to medium law firms. He has developed “The Rainmaker Marketing System” which has helped more than 10,000 attorneys nationwide who have leveraged his system in building their businesses. Fairley has written two international best-sellers and is academically trained as a clinical psychologist. Prior to focusing on the legal marketplace, Fairley ran two successful small businesses and over a period of 14 years and he has become a nationally-recognized legal marketing expert. He has spoken numerous times for over 35 of the nation’s largest state and local bar associations and he has a large virtual footprint with a highly successful rainmaker legal marketing blog.