Growing a law practice requires hard work and determination on all fronts. But in any line of business, the most effective means of growth often comes down to increasing your sales. Law is a business just like anything else. And although there are barriers against certain traditional selling techniques like solicitation, there is still a legal sales process and chances are you can probably improve yours. In general, the goal is simple: generate more leads and close them more effectively. This post contains a breakdown of the legal sales process to help get you started.
Understand the Basic Legal Sales Process
Before you can improve your sales, you need a firm grasp of how the legal sales process works. Below are the 4 basic steps to selling legal services:
The legal sales process begins when a potential client interacts with you somehow. It may be the client calling your office, meeting you at an event, or something much smaller like visiting your website or connecting with you on LinkedIn.
Any type of interaction with a new client prospect should be considered the start of a potential legal sales cycle. The more interactions you create, the more new leads you will generate.
The next step of the legal sales process involves the client reaching out and seeking help or advice from you. I’ll refer to this as the client “engagement” step because this prospect is now actually engaging with your firm on a more professional level.
Sometimes client engagement happens immediately along with the initial interaction, such as when a client calls you or contacts you through your website. Often, however, this step happens weeks or even months after the initial interaction. For this reason, it’s imperative that you are keeping track of your contacts and following up regularly.
Once a prospect has reached out to you for help and it’s clear that there is an actual legal issue that needs to be addressed, this is where the actual selling begins. This is your time to shine and close the deal.
During the intake step, you will need to get as much information about the client’s legal issues as possible in order to properly advise them. At that point, you’ll come up with some type of proposal about how their issues can best be resolved along with an explanation of your pricing and billing method.
The intake process is a crucial part of selling legal services. Don’t just haphazardly throw together a proposal. You should have a consistent process in place: a systematic approach that emphasizes efficiency and professionalism. Intake is where you reiterate your trustworthiness to the client, and where you demonstrate your value.
Finally, assuming your proposed resolution and fee structure were deemed reasonable to the client, the last step is to actually close the sale and formalize the engagement. Normally, you will want to have the client sign an engagement letter that lays out the terms of the attorney-client relationship and receive an upfront payment.
But the sales process doesn’t stop there. Your job isn’t finished yet. You see, the legal sales process is a cycle. You should consider each and every client you retain as a source of future referrals. These referrals are crucial to continued law firm growth. Getting more referrals is the easiest and most cost-effective way to increase your law firm sales.
During the fulfillment step, your quality of work and customer service are what drive referrals. These referrals create more interactions with prospective clients, and the four steps begin once again. So don’t overlook the importance of providing good quality work, and especially top-notch law firm customer service.
That concludes the first of our three part series on the legal sales process. We hope that breaking down the legal sales process in this way helps you get a clearer picture of how you can use sales to grow your law firm.
Now that you understand how legal services are sold, it’s time to look more closely into how legal services are purchased by clients. Read part two of our three part series to find out.
Also, be sure to join our email list so you don’t miss out on part three of the series, which will be published in the coming weeks.