Converting Leads: Stop Being Afraid of the Telephone

In an earlier blog post, you may recall I made two suggestions when communicating with unconverted leads:

  1. Do not rely on email alone;
  2. Utilize at least two forms of communication; and
  3. Make sure one form of communication is outbound phone calls.

The digital age has made it far too easy for us to hide behind a barrier of sorts, communicating mostly through chat, email and texting. People often feel “safer” using these outlets because we can’t see or hear the other person’s immediate reaction. However, in my experience, the most successful law firms still rely mainly on the tried-and-true, good old-fashioned telephone. If you want to mine as many unconverted leads as possible, you need to use it, too. And if you truly have an aversion to the telephone, hire someone to make the calls for you. It’s that important.

Why are outbound phone calls more effective than other forms of communication? Two thoughts come to mind:

  1. A phone call requires a response from the other person. Emails and texts not only protect you; they protect the other person, too. An unconverted lead can keep saying “no” simply by not responding to your email. A phone call requires a more deliberate response, making it slightly more difficult for that unconverted lead to give you a passive “no.”
  2. A phone call is more personal and relational. Since a phone call requires more effort on your part, the other party feels less like a number and more like an individual—especially if you set the right tone. Lead conversion rests on building relationships, and relationships are built on verbal communication (not texts).

Practical Tips for Outbound Phone Calls

Calling your lists of unconverted leads doesn’t have to be fearful or daunting. To help you get started, let me share the same ground rules I gave the first person I hired to do outbound calling for my own law office:

  1. Listen twice as much as you talk. You have two ears and one mouth. Ask questions to start the ball rolling, then shut up and listen.
  2. Work on building the relationship. Treat the other person like a person, not a lead.
  3. Never give prices or price ranges over the phone. We don’t know the price until the client comes in and gives us the details.
  4. Remember the goal is to get an appointment. Somewhere in the conversation, invite the lead to take the next step with you.

When something works, it works. No matter how advanced we get as a civilization, phone calls still bring the best results, especially for law firms. Get over your fear of outbound calling, and watch those unconverted leads turn into paying clients.

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