When potential clients call in to find a lawyer, these leads need to be handled with the utmost care. Many lawyers look to save money by answering the calls themselves. While some may be able to convert the leads, others fail. Legal intake specialists can be used to focus on converting leads so that lawyers can focus on working with clients.
While lawyers have a set of skills that can overlap those of legal intake specialists, it is not what is necessary to convert legal leads. Lawyers can even get training to learn about conversion but it’s not always the most effective use of their time.
Lawyers aren’t as equipped as allowing a dedicated intake specialist to handle the calls.
How Lawyers are Trained
Lawyers are not marketers. They’re not salesmen. They’re an entity of the legal ecosystem, and that’s how they have been trained since day one of law school. They know how to deal with clients, courts, and other entities.
Lawyers can be great at what they do. One may be categorized as a “real people person.” That doesn’t mean that they’re automatically able to convert someone calling in who might need a lawyer. In their eagerness to get business, they may end up accepting a personal injury case when they specialize in family law.
While there are plenty of training courses to help with lead conversion, it still begs the question of whether a lawyer should be the first point of contact that a lead has with a firm.
How Legal Intake Specialists are Trained
Intake specialists are trained to provide a unique set of intake services. This includes establishing a good first impression, screening calls, and determining what kind of legal services the caller is in need of. The intake specialists have marketing experience that lawyers don’t, ensuring that there is more of a “push” that callers need in order to move forward and take action.
Legal intake specialists take the calls, convert the leads into real prospects, and qualify them to ensure that the prospect is handed off to the lawyer who has the right area of expertise.
Additionally, intake specialists offer a professional first impression for the law firm.
What Leads Want to Hear
Leads want to hear empathy. They may have recently been involved in an accident, been accused of a crime, or had a loved one die. They’re shaken. They know that they need legal assistance but they don’t know what to expect. Rather than talking to a lawyer from the very beginning, they can talk to an intake specialist who is going to calm them down and explain the process. They are trained at providing empathy on the phone.
There’s a significant amount of psychology that goes into the first call. It’s all about providing a calm tone that ensures that a person establishes trust with the firm. They don’t want to hear about the plan to build a case just yet. They simply want to hear that they have called the right place and that the specialist is going to make sure that they get handed over to a lawyer who can answer their questions and provide the legal guidance that they need.
The Added Benefits of Working with Call Intake Specialists
While the obvious benefit of using an intake specialist is to keep the lawyers off of the phones and involved with legal cases, there are added benefits that might not be obvious right away.
Lawyers are busy with their caseloads. In order to maximize the conversion rate, calls need to be answered by the third ring. This puts an extraordinary amount of pressure on the lawyers within a firm. Additionally, it can be a cost when there’s no one to answer the phone outside of working hours.
There’s a way to maximize profit through specialization. Lawyers are trained to deal with clients, represent them in court, and provide services that are billable. As such, it only makes sense to keep them involved with actual clients and allow the leads to be handled by someone with the specialization of conversion and qualification.
A legal call center works 24/7/365 to ensure that any volume of calls is being dealt with appropriately. Every call is handled with empathy. Information is obtained in order to qualify the lead and ensure that it gets over to the right lawyer. Meanwhile, lawyers can focus on their billable hours, maximizing the profits of the firm.
Ultimately, lawyers aren’t trained on how to convert legal leads by the time they graduate law school. Lawyers within a firm shouldn’t be the one converting and qualifying leads because it takes away from billable hours. Even when layers are trained in converting calls, it takes away from their legal responsibility.
Rather than hiring an in-house intake specialist that doesn’t work after-hours, work with a legal call center. At Alert Communications, we have legal intake specialists trained on converting leads and executing retainers prior to handing the prospect over to a lawyer. Additionally, we’ll even use your firm’s protocol intake process.
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