Josh King of Avvo recently wrote a great article for ABA’s GPSOLO eReport on the importance of immediate response to potential clients. I couldn’t agree more with his description of a problem that affects a lot of solo and small firms.
So, if the problem is lengthy response time then what’s the solution? These ideas aren’t revolutionary, but they’re effective, inexpensive and underutilized.
Be as accessible as possible. If your cell phone is not your published number then make sure that all calls are forwarded to it. Sure, you’ll have some unwanted calls, but the added clients will be worth it.
Obviously you’re not always able to answer your phone. For occasions when you are in court, meeting with a client or just trying to unplug for a few, use a 24-hour answering service. Just make sure that the provider you choose is able to text or email you call details as soon as the call wraps up. While there still may be some delaying in getting back to the prospect, you have at least eliminated the problem of someone hanging up when they hear a voice mail message.
If you are fortunate enough to have a full time assistant or paralegal make sure that they are copied on all web based leads to help capitalize on the incredibly short life of a lead. If you aren’t so lucky, make an effort to check your inbox at a consistent interval (preferably not once a day).
The overarching message is that generating inbound traffic is truly only half of the battle when it comes to gaining new business. A valid prospect can become someone else’s client faster than you could imagine.