In a rapidly changing market, how do law firms connect with potential clients? This is a huge area of concern for smaller firms and solo practitioners, both of whom struggle not only to get the word out about their services but also to keep leads invested in their brand. Attorneys desire not only to attract a high volume of leads, but to attract the right leads. However, in an effort to accommodate those in need, many attorneys fall into the trap of working with difficult clients while missing out on better opportunities.
We’re here to help. In an effort to clarify the strategies associated with successful lead management, we’ve developed a concise but thorough map outlining the lawyer journey, which we printed and delivered at the Avvo’s 2018 Lawyernomics conference. Now, we’re making it available digitally.
This could be a key tool in your effort to connect with leads, qualify them, and ultimately, meet their needs throughout the duration of their legal journey. Before you get started, however, it’s essential that you understand what, exactly, our map entails and how it can help you grow your law firm.
We get it: finding new clients can be tough. Establishing a sense of trust with them is even more difficult. To succeed, you’ll need to know what makes clients tick — and how you can deliver. Beyond this, however, you also need to make every aspect of the onboarding process feel easy and natural.
What is a journey map?
Journey maps are visual representations intended to demonstrate how a particular goal can best be accomplished. As experts from the Nielsen Norman Group clarify, each journey map begins with a basic timeline, which is then fleshed out to include the user’s thoughts and emotions throughout the process. Perhaps you’ve already seen our legal consumer journey map.
Think of our attorney journey map as a blueprint for getting in touch with, vetting, and developing a closer relationship with your valued clients.
This map highlights key aspects of the legal journey as a lawyer interacts with potential clients. Each step in the legal sales funnel is clearly outlined, along with the thoughts and emotions that underlie all aspects of lead cultivation and management.
What role does this play in legal marketing or lead management?
As a practicing attorney, you only have so much time to devote to researching the latest lead management and marketing trends. No worries — this journey map boils down the processes and concerns shared by many attorneys into an easily digestible format. We highlight the most effective approaches to not only finding new leads, but also onboarding them as clients, and later, analyzing their feedback. You’ll quickly find that this journey map helps you accomplish the following:
Understand common thought processes
Attorneys — especially solo practitioners — often feel as if they are entirely alone. Anxiety is only natural in such a high-stakes industry, and yet many attorneys remain entirely unaware of the difficult feelings they share with fellow professionals. We found a variety of fully warranted emotions — and the thought processes that underlie those feelings. You’ll emerge feeling less alone and more capable of acting appropriately on your inner monologue. Where is there room to improve?
Continue to nurture leads after the case is over
What happens to your clients after their cases are resolved? A lack of follow-up can leave them feeling disconnected and dismayed. Clients feel valued when attorneys continue to check up on them from time to time. These ongoing interactions can strongly improve the likelihood of securing excellent attorney reviews or referrals, both critical elements in growing your practice.
Streamline your marketing and lead management efforts
Don’t waste valuable time on lead management strategies that fail to pay dividends. Once you understand how the process works and what clients expect, you can streamline your efforts to ensure the best possible lead management ROI. Analyze your law firm’s approach regularly — and adjust as necessary. Martindale-Avvo is here to help.
Key attorney journey map takeaways
As you reflect on how this map relates to client intake within your law firm, you’ll notice several key themes. We’ve outlined a few of these below:
No two legal journeys look exactly alike.
Each prospective client possesses a different background and different motivations. These factors can shape the client and attorney’s perceptions of one another, and ultimately, how well they work together. Furthermore, the same client could embark on completely different legal journeys depending on the situation at hand. Therefore, every case must be built from the ground up, with both new and returning clients qualified by their attorneys during legal consultations.
Attorneys and clients prefer a personalized approach.
In addition to drawing on dramatically different sources of motivation, clients may differ in their ability to pay or communicate with attorneys. In hopes of easing both processes, many attorneys are experimenting with payment methods that allow them to avoid nickel and diming their clients, and digital platforms that make it easier for both sides to keep in touch.
Clear expectations are essential.
From the very beginning, clients should know what attorneys stand for and how they operate. If expectations regarding payments, communication, and other matters aren’t examined upfront and in detail, issues with “difficult” clients may arise. These can be avoided not only through setting expectations, but also by qualifying leads in advance.
Both attorneys and clients appreciate referrals and social proof.
Potential clients increasingly seek out attorney referrals from those they trust, then they vet that information online by reading reviews. They take comfort in knowing that their peers approve of their prospective law firm. Likewise, attorneys also desire some form of social proof. Most prefer to take on leads referred by previous clients or fellow attorneys. When working with referred clients, attorneys enter the legal process from a standpoint of trust.
A little insight into the process of finding and cultivating leads could make all the difference as you strive to move your law firm forward. We’re happy to provide a key piece of the lead management puzzle.
Ready to get started? Contact us to learn more about our lead generation and legal marketing solutions.