Is your firm losing good prospects because your staff lacks the ability to consistently qualify callers – and turn them into clients?
By Chris Mullins, Practice Consultant
Most firms don’t even say the word ”sales” at all in their business for fear its current team, including attorneys, will be offended, rebel, sabotage your efforts, and/or quit! For those who think sales is a dirty word, it may be time to adjust your thinking. The words you and your team should get used to if you want your practice to grow and thrive are: sales, inspection, and script.
Many firms lose good leads because their staff lacks the training to properly qualify and engage with callers in a meaningful way.
You must fully commit to the concept of “inspecting what you expect.” You never stop. The focus should be on all points of communication with inbound phone calls from prospective clients, as well as live webchat communication, opt-ins, outbound prospect phone calls, and phone calls from clients. Leave no stone unturned. Every communication moment with prospects and clients are sales moments.
Below is an easy-to-implement, four-step guide to converting leads into clients by “inspecting what you expect” (monitoring calls from leads and providing feedback to your team about how they handled those calls) and protecting your brand. We also call it your “marketing insurance protection plan” for the thousands (and for some firms millions) of dollars you’re spending on marketing to get the leads to call.
1. Record Your Calls from Prospects
All inbound prospective client phone calls need to be recorded. Check the laws for recording calls in your state, and make sure your entire team – from the front to the back of the firm – knows that you’re recording phone calls. Tell them why: these recordings are part of an ongoing sales, customer service, and quality-control training tool. 2.
2. Monitor Inbound Calls, Emails, and Texts
Listen to all inbound prospective client phone calls, and read all emails and webchats. Critique each one so that you can provide valuable feedback to the team, call center, etc. These prospects are gold and what I call hyper-responsive – which means that they have already self-qualified as a warm lead for you. You won’t know if a new marketing campaign is attracting the right type of prospects until you go through the intake sales-screening process, but these are still warm leads. Don’t cut them loose, don’t take them off your list – even if your firm cannot help with their case at this time. Essentially, you’ll only remove them from your warm database if they ask to be removed or die; otherwise, keep them in a marketing funnel.
3. Provide Prompt Feedback to Your Sales Team
Provide feedback on a daily – or even hourly – basis to the intake sales specialists who are handling these prospective client phone calls and emails. By doing this, you will be able to quickly fix a problem and share the solution with the entire team so the same mistake isn’t made again by a different team member. You can also highlight exceptionally good work, which will not only keep the competitiveness within the team high, but will also lessen the fatigue that inevitably sets in with salespeople that do this kind of work every day. In addition, ongoing side-by-side feedback helps the team leader (or inspector) to keep their finger on the pulse of each team member, allowing them to identify potential problems brewing within the team.
Before the inspector offers feedback, ask the team member to critique the call. You will need to teach them how to critique the calls as if they were an inspector first, teaching them how to concisely tell you what worked on the call, identify the missed opportunities, and finally tell you how they would fix the issues so as not to not repeat them on the next call.
Create a team of “certified inspectors,” which should be a prestigious and coveted position in your firm. Look internally first; you’re likely to find a diamond in the bunch. If not, hire inspectors and get them certified.
Provide your team members with weekly, monthly, and annual sales goals, and with a measurable reward for reaching or exceeding those goals. For example, those who reach the goals get a bonus, tickets to a sporting event or concert, gift cards for a local café or restaurant, or a high score on their performance review.4.
4. Repeat the First 3 Steps Daily
Record and monitor all calls and emails from prospects, and provide feedback with the certified inspector and intake sales team on a daily basis. As long as you spend money on marketing, this cycle should never stop.
Chris Mullins, CEO of Intake Academy™ LLC, is known worldwide as the Famous Phone Sales Doctor™. With 25 years’ experience, Chris and her team of Certified Coaches have helped hundreds of law firms, lawyers, managing partners, and intake specialists improve their conversion rates by focusing on relationships. www.IntakeAcademy.com
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