Many law firms are ramping up their investment in bankruptcy leads so as to offer legal services to those who are struggling with burdensome debts. Despite the size of this market, however, it’s paramount that you deploy your marketing budget with savvy and then optimize your returns with an effective sales funnel. Here are six steps we recommend to get more from your marketing budget:
- Find Bankruptcy Leads: You can’t optimize leads if you don’t have any. Effective marketing and advertising is crucial to generate productive phone calls and emails from prospective clients. A dedicated, web-based lead generator service that captures local, online consumers is also a huge asset and indispensable marketing tool. Aside from the fact that consumers are increasingly looking for and finding professional services through these online service request portals, this strategy helps put new, independent, and smaller law firms on a level playing field with larger, more established practices.
- Contact Prospective Clients ASAP: The sooner you make contact the better. Whether you’re in direct competition from other attorneys in the network or simply run the risk of the client looking for legal services through an alternate portal, you don’t want to let a potential client slip through your fingers from simple inaction.
- Create Customizable Message Templates: Ideally, you’ll want to contact bankruptcy leads not just quickly but with some type of personal, customized message. The best online generation services offer detailed client profiles that allow you to respond with these types of messages. If the service request indicates the client is being harassed by creditors, for example, you can point out that you will ask for this harassment to stop immediately while the best path forward is determined and that, in some cases, creditor actions may even be unlawful.
- Qualify, Advance, and Convert: From both the initial client information and your follow-up contact, you should aim to “qualify” the lead, which means simply to confirm that the party is capable of becoming a billable client. Next, it’s typically best to set up a time to get the prospective client into the office to further discuss the details of the case, to recommend immediate actions that should be taken, to discuss your fees and services within the context of the bankruptcy process, and finally to convert the prospect into a billable client.
- Lead Mining and Networking: Not all bankruptcy leads are qualified for your firm, but that doesn’t make them worthless. A distressed homeowner may make a request for bankruptcy services. Upon reviewing the case, you may find that the client is a better candidate for loan modification or even mortgage fraud than a bankruptcy filing—services that your firm may not offer. At this point, you might make a referral recommendation but also point out that you’d be happy to offer a similar assessment for any friends, family, or neighbors who are also behind on their mortgage or who have other significant debts.
- Use an Integrative Data Management Platform: This software solution should allow you to collect, organize, and pursue all of your bankruptcy leads through a single dashboard and data management application. Your office staff can input the data from phone calls, while software offered through an online generation service may automatically import its leads into the platform. Versatile solutions will also enable you to create and submit invoices, as well as receive online payments.