Where Do My Clients Come From?

As with most of our weekly questions, there's a short answer and a long answer. The short answer is this: you have to ask them. Let's dive deeper.

Marketing for attorneys is one of the most competitive and aggressive arenas for any industry in America. The time, effort and money it can take to get a prospective client to pick up the phone can be the result of a tremendous culmination of hours of planning and execution by you and your marketing team. A great marketing plan has well-defined return on investment (ROI) and lead generation goals in mind: so it is important to measure results by attributing potential leads and new clients to the medium that generated the call.

Each and every first call with a prospective client, whether they decide to work with you or not, can give you valuable information regarding your marketing efforts. It allows you to ensure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the right spots and allows you to focus on the channels that are bringing in the best results. This process begins with ensuring that you and your team have a repeatable, simple procedure to capture and review the information that will help your marketing soar. With many of the marketing goals for attorneys aimed at getting potential clients on the phone, this tracking starts as soon as your firm begins speaking with them.

Whoever Answers the Phone is Your Best Source

Whoever speaks with a potential client first is the best person to gather information on how that potential client found the law firm. If you plan on asking the client later, you risk the potential that you never talk with them again, if they don't hire you, or that faulty memories will come into play.

Whether the phone is being answered by an attorney, in-house receptionist, paralegal or reception service, it's important to have a simple and repeatable process that can be followed each time a potential client calls. This is perhaps best accomplished by having a call sheet near each phone in the office. (Learn more about answering the phone here)

The Call Sheet Process

ReceptionistHaving a predefined system or process that each call goes through allows the person taking the call to interact with potential clients in a personable way — and not focus on whether they are remembering to ask all the right questions. Each time a new client calls, you, your receptionist or other team member(s) should be prepared with a call sheet that's within easy reach to ensure that every client gives all of the correct information. We recommend that you record the following:

1. Name

2. Phone Number

3. Marketing Channel

"How did you learn about our firm?" is a question that many consumers are used to hearing, and the responses will teach you a tremendous amount about your advertising. These should be from a selection of checkboxes for common referral sources and mediums where you currently advertise.

BONUS: this is great way for to you discover and thank referral sources that are actively promoting your firm to their friends.

Once you get really good about asking how a caller heard about your firm, take it one step further: particularly if they found you on the Internet, find out what they searched for — e.g. "Ann Arbor Divorce Attorney," "Best Business Attorneys," etc.

4. Case Type

For example, for family law you could include checkboxes.

5. Notes from the Receptionist

These notes may help you when you're about to return the call.

This system follows a Keep It Simple format — nothing more than you absolutely need.​

The Review Process

All of the information should be entered into a spreadsheet that can be easily reviewed by your entire team. With all of the information on one paper, you can easily filter and manipulate the data to see where your clients are coming from. The review will give you opportunities to improve the call sheet process as well.

When you review the call information with your team, look for the following:

  • What mediums are bringing in the most and least calls? Are there any surprises?
  • Does the above align with the cost you're spending on each channel? Are you near your ROI targets?
  • Are the types of cases you are bringing in aligning with your goals?

Keep in mind that the process isn't perfect, especially at the beginning. Customers have faulty memories and, further, may have picked up the phone due to a combination of your efforts. But you will begin to see patterns emerge that will help your entire firm.

To get you started, we've created a sample form that you can download and configure to use for your firm: Sample Client Intake Form | pdf.

If you need help setting up your firm's processes and tracking where your clients are coming from, contact our sales team at The Modern Firm today. We take your marketing beyond putting ads up — to helping your entire office work more efficiently.