Does your firm’s website have a form link for potential legal clients to send inquires through to your law firm,? If so, you may be wasting your, or your assistant’s, time!
I’ll preface this by saying that many of the Internet legal client prospects you deal with in your career will likely be good, honest people. However, it seems the inquires generated through many legal web sites cause even the best, most honest, potential clients, to either intentionally, or unintentionally, waste your time.
As a professional in this industry, your time is the one thing you can’t afford to waste. If you run out of money, you can always make more. If you run out of time, all the money in the world won’t help you.
So there is a good argument to be made for the notion that time is much more valuable than money.
The impersonal nature of the Internet and ‘instant response’ culture promoted by it, can be detrimental to efficient lawyer time management.
If you have a popular legal web site, you will notice that a large percentage of the inquires requesting legal advice or opinion, can never be contacted by phone, or reply back to your emails after you have sent them their requested information.
Actually, with popular legal sites these time wasters can be a very serious problem. You’ll notice I said ‘can be’ in the preceding sentence. If you follow my suggestions below, the occurrence of this happening through your site will be drastically reduced or eliminated entirely.
#1. Show the current average hourly fees or case legal cost vs. settlement obtained for your clients.
This one step dramatically reduces the ’dreamer/spendthrift’ type of email. It also enhances your credibility to win major settlements.
#2. All inquiry forms on your site should be set up so that if vital information is omitted, the form will remind the visitor when they try to submit it that the fields need to filled in for the form to work.
What information you want is up to you. Many times, personally, I do not require the phone number. This is because I feel that many may fear unwanted ‘sales’ calls. Plus, after all they are contacting me via the Internet vs. my toll-free phone number!
I do require the following basic information:
A. Full name
C. Email address
D. Nature of case
Depending on the form, other information will be required. Keep in mind, these people know about you and are requesting your time. If they will NOT provide you their basic personal information, how serious can they really be?
Perhaps key to saving your valuable time, is my last suggestion:
Immediately upon receipt of an inquiry from your site, you or your assistant should reply with a request for some small bit of additional information. If you do not receive a timely reply to your inquiry, why invest any more time on this inquiry?
What should you ask for depends on the type of inquire. I ask for such information as:
When the situation occurred, full extent of damages/injury, and/or have they consulted any other lawyers?.
Proper time management is crucial to any successful business. Management of your Internet inquires will increase your productivity!
“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with It.” -M Scott Peck