Real-time law leads are highly sought after as prospects are more likely to convert into fee-paying clients when they can be contacted in the midst of their search for legal services. This is true of real-time leads in almost any market, but it's especially important for the legal services industry. There are relatively few opportunities in this type of marketing, as law firms must instead rely on business to business referral networking, advertising that is hit-and-miss, and a social media presence that point more to future gains rather than immediate growth in your client base.
That said, effective marketing strategies will generate a certain number of leads from prospective clients who are actively seeking legal services. From law firm websites to online directory listings, legal clients may be able to find you directly during their search for a local law practice. However, as important and valuable as this marketing can be, most firms won't capture enough clients through this strategy alone to find success.
Live-Call Referral Services
This is the traditional way to generate real-time law leads and is still a popular method used today. Live-call referrals are precisely what they sound like. A prospective client calls an advertised referral service, provides very basic information about their legal needs, and then the referring agent connects them to a qualifying lawyer in their database. It's important to complete all due diligence before joining one of these referral networks. You need to be especially careful that you're contracting only with companies that are certified by your state-bar association to avoid running afoul of ethical rules that govern non-lawyer fee-sharing. Likewise, many states have placed tough restrictions on the ability and practices associated with these types of referral services.
As you might expect, this type of referral service is more expensive than general law firm marketing but also creates a more reliable stream of prospective clients. Aside from this trade-off, however, there are certain drawbacks to live-call client leads. For one thing, somebody has to be there to answer the call. If a client's call goes to voicemail, he or she may simply move on to the next law firm. Likewise, although each prospect you receive should be qualified for your legal services, the client and case profile must often be built from scratch. This adds to the cost of fielding and pursuing these referrals.
A Different Strategy for Real-Time Law Leads
Online lead generation companies, like Total Attorneys, have created a new solution that strives to retain the advantages and minimize the drawbacks of real-time law leads. Consumer sites and online service request forms deliver leads that include pertinent information that helps you more easily manage client profiles and case evaluations. You still receive the lead as soon as the request is submitted, and with an automatic email responder, you can immediately make contact at all hours of the day without incurring additional operating expenses. You can follow up the automatic email with a phone call. With the prospect's preliminary information in hand, you'll be prepared to make the best possible sales pitch. Altogether, it's simply a more effective and efficient way to pursue leads.