28 Sep Improving How You Manage Inbound Calls from Potential Clients
21 tips for increasing your phone call effectiveness
Talking with inbound calls from people interested in filing bankruptcy can be a stressful situation, especially for attorneys that don’t feel as confident talking on the phone. Many attorneys struggle to develop effective systems and strategies to turn these golden opportunities of interested callers into paying clients.
Whether or not you have a plan in place for handling phone calls from prospective clients, here are 21 tips for using phone contact with your potential customers as an effective sales tool.
Tips for Using Phone Calls Effectively
- Use call tracking. Nowadays, it is easy and simple to set up call tracking, which will help you monitor and record phone call volume, length of phone calls, when people call, how well the conversations went, and where the phone calls came from (Ex: your website, print ad, etc). Set up unique call tracking numbers as appropriate on your advertising and marketing messages.
- Set up a whisper message. Most call tracking companies offer whisper messages, which are brief “heads up” messages that play prior to the caller talking to you. For example, when answering the phone, the first thing you hear may be “Potential bankruptcy client from your website”. These messages (which you can create yourself) will help you put your game face on as you prepare to engage with potential clients.
- Create an excellent voicemail. Since sometimes people call outside of business hours or on weekends, make sure that your voicemail is excellent and not ordinary. Your voicemail essentially becomes your makeshift salesperson and secretary. Make your voicemail concise, yet powerful in establishing trust, likability, and confidence with your callers.
- Use your cell phone when appropriate. Sometimes, you may want to have incoming leads call your cell phone directly to avoid the friction of going to your secretary and being put on hold. With call tracking numbers, you can easily have callers forwarded automatically to your cell phone. Your number will remain private and will not be seen by callers.
- Use your secretary wisely. Often times due to busyness, you can’t answer the phone. Who is your backup? Your secretary often fills this role, meaning you need to help and train your secretary on effective ways to handle calls in case you are unavailable.
- Drive phone calls as the main call to action. On your advertisements, by including your phone number and by encouraging people to call, you can increase the amount of calls that you get.
- Establish and report metrics to measure success. If you report on phone call metrics, you will find ways to improve. Therefore, make sure to record key metrics, such as number of phone calls, phone call length, number of set appointments, number of follow ups scheduled, number of closed sales, and quality of phone calls, on a monthly basis.
- Set goals. Using the metrics that you have defined, set goals for what you hope to achieve with your phone calls.
- Introduce yourself and have them introduce themselves. Too often, attorneys jump right in to talking about finances and bankruptcy without establishing a solid personal foundation. Often times the caller doesn’t even know who they are talking to! Briefly introduce who you are and perhaps a few things about yourself, such as how long you’ve been practicing or why you enjoy helping others with bankruptcy. Invite the caller to introduce himself/herself.
- Help them feel comfortable. Many people feel nervous about talking to attorneys, especially since most are hesitant and nervous about the bankruptcy process itself. Do your best to help them feel comfortable talking to you by being personable and friendly.
- Show interest, concern, and empathy. Often times, consultations can become robotic, with a question and answer session that feels more like an interrogation than a conversation. Make sure that callers know that you care about them and that you have their best interests in mind.
- Stay upbeat and optimistic. Bankruptcy conversations can be a real downer. Callers may feel like they are confessing their “sins” as they reveal their challenging debt situations. Remember to stay positive and help them see that their future can be bright. Callers will appreciate the hope and encouragement that come from your good attitude.
- Establish trust and credibility. Help callers see that you are experienced, skilled, and masterful at helping others with debt. Share past success stories and highlight your experience so callers see you as a valid legal expert.
- Listen to their situations and assess their needs. An effective phone call should be mostly you listening to the callers, and not vice versa. No one likes to be dominated in a conversation, so make sure that you ask good question that get callers to open up instead of talking too much yourself. Your questions and listening will lead you to understand their needs clearly and make a better presentation of bankruptcy’s capabilities and benefits.
- Sell the benefits of bankruptcy. Specifically, explain how bankruptcy will help them with their specific debts. People often don’t realize how bankrutpcy works or how exactly it helps. The clearer you present bankruptcy as a service, the more excited callers will become about how bankruptcy can change their finances.
- Explain what makes you different from (and superior to) your competitors. Remember that you may not be the only law firm that callers will contact. This is completely logical, as bankruptcy filers compare attorney options and prices in search of what is best for them. This is why it is crucial that you highlight what makes your law firm unique and why someone should choose to hire you instead of one of the other 25+ attorneys in your area.
- Choose the appropriate call to action. Few people are ready to sign on the dotted line and start the bankruptcy process after one phone call. Invite them to take the appropriate step forward, based on their disposition and circumstance. Some will be ready to hire you and file immediately. Some may need more information about bankruptcy. Some may want to file months down the road. Some may want an in-person consultation. Whatever your invitation is to your callers, make sure it is appropriate for their needs.
- Offer them useful materials to help them decide. Many callers will want or need more information about bankruptcy before deciding whether to file. Offer them information that you have created, either in digital or print format. Refer them to your website, eBooks, videos, or offer to mail them printed materials.
- Request to follow up with them. Schedule a follow up call or in-person consultation with them at a time that is convenient for them.
- Always get their information. Too often, attorneys or secretaries forget to take down the person’s information! Good luck contacting them without it. Make sure to get their name, phone, email, and perhaps mailing address if you plan on mailing them useful materials.
- Offer special prices or incentives. When appropriate, offer price discounts (Ex: We’ll pay for your credit counseling class, $150 off attorney filing fee, etc) to get callers to act or at least to strongly consider hiring you later on.
Remember, phone calls are one of your most potent marketing weapons. Use them wisely and you will reap the rewards.