These days, most initial introductions to a law firm are handled over the phone. Phone interviews or consultations help save you and your potential client time, but can also present a number of obstacles that you will have to overcome when you want to put your “best foot forward” for your law firm.
Flawless phone conversations lead to enthusiastic clients, higher profit margins, and a steady stream of clients and client referrals.
Who Are You?
Can you tell me who you are in 30 seconds? Business Insider claims it takes someone three seconds to decide if they will do business with you or not.*
It makes sense. Think back to the first time you met someone; you probably drew a few conclusions within the first few sentences of conversation.
When it comes to your legal practice, your answer should always be positive and results-driven. You have a great law firm, but what does it matter if no one gets past the first call?
If the first call is immensely important, then the first lines out of your mouth are even more crucial.
A few introductions you might try…
Hi my name is Jane Attorney, do you have a moment to speak?
This might seem obvious, but opening a conversation in this manner has already made the call all about the client. You are essentially asking them to opt-in to speaking with you.
Hi my name is Jane Attorney, we’re a law firm that services (city, state, or region) and (referral source, website, etc.) let me know you would be interested in a quick evaluation on your possible Social Security disability claim.
Referencing the Social Security disability lead’s geographic area and the referral source will create a great starting point for your conversation going forward. You’ve established the reason for your call and that you are familiar with the region in which they live.
These sample introductions might seem easy, or even inherent, but reminding yourself of these formalities will help you make a favorable first impression.
Can I Ask You a question?
Have you ever been inundated with a lot of information that you can’t categorize or use? Too much information without any context or dialogue might discourage your prospect. Creating a question and answer type of dialogue will include your prospect in the conversation, rather than alienate and discourage them.
Questions are key to phone intake. Not only do they weed out undesirable clients, but they also convey your interest in the other person’s situation.*
When you’re speaking with claimants who can tell you are concerned about their conditions, they will be more open to your recommendations, solutions, and legal services.
Play to Your Strengths
Many claimants you speak with will likely have preconceived hesitations about legal representation. A savvy intake specialist can subtly flush out these concerns by asking the right questions. After identifying a prospect’s concerns, intake specialists will provide meaningful responses.
If you are looking to represent an individual for a Social Security disability, Personal injury, or any contingency-based area of the law, you will want to play to your greatest strength. This being that your firm only receives compensation if your client’s claim is successful. A no money upfront guarantee is a powerful tool.
What does your office do that sets it apart? Do you drop by clients’ houses to check on them or collect paperwork? Do you contact the SSA regarding your clients’ Social Security disability applications? Let the claimant on the other line know that you are willing to go the extra mile for your clients.
You’ve established your law firm; do not let what you’ve worked for fall apart over the phone! Having successful initial phone calls will keep your caseload full and profitability high.
*Business Insider “It Takes Just 3 Seconds To Make A Brilliant First Impression,” 2014
*Lawyerist “Client Intake is Critical to Solo Success,” 2012