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Turn Your Small Firm’s Leads into New Clients

Dana Moran

Written by

Dana Moran


February 28, 2022

Turn Your Small Firm’s Leads into New Clients

It’s always exciting to see a prospective client pop into your leads management system. But don’t start celebrating just yet — there’s plenty of work to be done before contracts are signed. Your small firm needs to set up an appointment, learn about the client’s needs, outline how your firm can help and get them to commit. 

In other words, you need to nurture your leads.

This is often where firms come unstuck. The average law firm conversion rate is currently estimated at 2.6% — meaning firms, on average, only convert one lead out of a potential 38. 

With that statistic in mind, your small firm can’t afford to let a single lead slip through the cracks. Take these proactive steps today to effectively nurture your future clients.

Tweak your approach according to your practice area — and client needs

Given the wide range of legal practice areas, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to your firm’s leads management. 

For example, real estate attorneys can generally exude an excited attitude from the get-go. Whether they’re helping a client buy their first home or offload their current property, it tends to be an exciting moment — so attorneys should reflect this when they get in touch with new leads. However, if you’re a family lawyer helping a new client initiate divorce proceedings, you shouldn’t immediately adopt the same tone.

But no matter your practice area and your clients’ typical attitude, read the room and tailor your approach accordingly. A real estate client could be selling because a parent has passed away; a family law client could be thrilled to divorce their spouse. Practice empathy with all of your clients and consider the reasons they need your help and expertise before responding appropriately. This is especially important if a client is going through a tough time and desperately needs your support.

Your practice area will also dictate the next steps once a new lead comes in. A corporate client looking for M&A support probably will want to schedule an in-person consultation. If a prospect has been arrested and is calling from jail, you can probably bypass the initial consultation. 

Respond promptly and thoroughly

No one likes to be left in the dark — especially prospective legal clients going through a stressful time. In fact, responding within five minutes of a lead’s inquiry increases lawyer conversion rates by 391%. Better still, it boosts trust. New clients will know you’re attentive and quick to respond, increasing the chance of building a solid working relationship. 

Legal practice management software features like Smokeball Communicate allow you to respond to new leads anytime, anywhere. All messages are encrypted, ensuring complete privacy from your first interaction.

Of course, attorneys can’t always drop whatever they’re doing to respond to an inbound lead.  What if you’re busy at court or in a meeting?

Here’s where automation steps in. With Smokeball, you can set up automated workflows to instantly send new leads an email confirming you’ve received their request. Or go one step further and include a link to set an appointment.

Prospective clients will be impressed by your instant, thorough response, and you can move on to the next step (a face-to-face or phone-based consultation) without lifting a finger.

Use a lead management tool

Software also helps ensure all your leads receive appropriate handling and consideration.

Smokeball’s advanced Leads Management lets you manage all leads and clients from a single source, streamlining your relationship-management efforts. All conversations and notes about clients’ preferences are automatically saved to the relevant matter: what they need help with, their personal context, how they like to communicate and more. 

And this information stays with your lead as they move from prospect to client within the Smokeball platform, ensuring a seamless experience for both client and firm.

You can even step back and run reports on your leads: how many you attracted in a given time period, your conversion rate, types of leads and more. This data affords key insight into your marketing performance, helping you identify your most fruitful potential prospects.

Turn lead management into a competitive advantage

Lead management has a profound effect on your firm’s long-term success. There’s no point spending time, money and effort on marketing if you take weeks to respond to inquiries.

By tweaking your approach by practice area and client need, responding promptly and consolidating your lead management, your firm can quickly convert more leads, reduce unnecessary manual tasks and provide an enhanced prospect experience. 

RELATED: Now that you’ve retained a new client, learn how best to support them inside and outside the courtroom.

If disaster strikes, is your firm prepared?

Join Attorney and Smokeball Legal Technology Advisor Jordan Turk for our next FREE CLE webinar on December 15th at 1 PM CST.

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