When attorneys first start practicing, they’re typically eager for clients. This can help build income, experience and reputation—but just because you can represent a client doesn’t always mean that you should. Pre-qualification for law firms is one of the easiest ways to improve your marketing ROI, both in the short- and long-term.
As you attract potential new clients, it’s important to make sure that they’re the right clients for you. Here’s how pre-qualification practices and software can lead to better lead management.
Identify ideal clients
The idea behind creating marketing materials for your law firm is to generate leads—and often, the more you get, the better. The biggest issue is what you do with your leads after you get them. How do you turn leads into paying clients?
Pre-qualification helps whittle down leads into the most promising candidates. Whether you use pre-qualification software or another method, you can get an immediate idea of whether your firm can serve their needs.
Potential clients fill out a short form for you or your staff to review. Instead of focusing your time on leads you won’t be able to (or don’t want to) convert, you can specifically target the most promising ones.
Dismiss the wrong clients
In addition to finding the right clients, pre-qualification helps you quickly dismiss the wrong clients. It typically doesn’t make sense to schedule every potential client for a consultation, since there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to help.
For example, one of the most basic pre-qualification questions is what kind of issue the client needs help with. A family law case is not suitable for a personal injury firm, and a criminal defense lawyer is probably not equipped to help with forming a corporation. By asking a series of pre-qualifying questions, you’re far less likely to find out that potential client actually needs services you can’t provide.
Again, this saves valuable time. You won’t spend billable hours on consultations that go nowhere, because you’ll identify and dismiss the leads you cannot assist.
When you pre-qualify your leads, it’s easy to identify the most promising potential clients and dismiss the wrong ones.You’ll also have a better idea of what the basic issues are and how your firm can help.
Clients can fill out a simple form to describe the nature of their problem, their background, their desired timeline and what they’re hoping to gain from representation. Questions like “who, why, what, when, where and how” are the key to determining which clients are right for your firm.
Once you have this basic information, your time-to-conversion rate is likely to drop significantly. In other words, you’re wasting less time consulting with inappropriate clients and focusing on the leads that are most likely to turn into paying clients. The less time you waste and the more clients you convert, the better your marketing ROI.
Grow your firm’s revenue
Obviously, converting leads into clients is the key to firm growth—without a steady influx of new and returning matters, your firm will stagnate. When you use pre-qualification lead management for your law firm, you’re better positioned to bring in the business you need. As your business, reputation and experience improve, you’ll be able to expand the firm with more attorneys or into new practice areas.
Pre-qualification doesn’t only help your realize short-term marketing ROI. It also helps you make the right choices for long-term growth and profitability.
The key to better marketing ROI
Pre-qualification for law firms is one of the simplest ways to streamline lead management and generate more business. Whether you’re considering new law firm marketing techniques or want to make the most of your current lead generation efforts, consider investing in pre-qualification software.
Implementing a pre-qualification process can transform the way your firm does business. Free up more attorney time, streamline your workflow, improve your cash flow, grow your firm and improve your marketing ROI—all by asking a few questions at the outset.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What does pre-qualifying mean?
Pre-qualifying clients is similar to pre-qualifying for a mortgage. Just like mortgage companies ask for financial information to determine whether a customer will qualify for a loan—and how much they qualify for—law firms can find out what the client needs, whether there are any conflicts of interest, how urgent the matter is, what their goals for representation may be and why they need help.
The goal of pre qualification is to both rule out non-ideal leads and expedite time-to-conversion for those with highROI opportunity. A law firm should ask five different categories of pre-qualification questions, to get a well-rounded picture of their lead:
· Why: Why does the client need a lawyer?
· What: What has the client done to address the issue so far?
· Where: Where did the incident happen or issue arise?
· When: When does the client need legal services?
· How: How did this issue or incident happen?
Why should law firms pre-qualify leads?
Pre-qualifying leads is the best way to improve your marketing ROI. You’ll be able to identify the right (and wrong)clients, reduce conversion time and position your firm for better growth in the long-term. In short: you’ll spend less time on leads that don’t pan out and more time on those that bring revenue into your practice.
Pre-qualifying is also a great way to track which marketing techniques are working for you. When you track leads—both good and bad—you’ll have a better idea of where you should focus your marketing efforts and what needs re-thinking.
How does pre-qualification for law firms work?
Today, pre-qualification software likeLawbrokr makes vetting clients faster than ever. Potential clients can fill out a simple web form with your custom “why, what, where, when and how” questions.All you have to do is review the responses and identify the ideal candidates for your firm.
Lawbrokr allows firms to quickly build forms and track leads from anywhere clients find you. Plus, the robust integration options make our pre-qualification software ideal for reducing workflow time and improving your lead management techniques.