How many times do you follow up with a new potential client?
If you’re in professional services, you’ve probably heard the phrase “the fortune is in the follow up.” But what does that really mean?
Studies show that it takes an average of 8 contacts with a prospect to finally convert them into a client. Amazingly, however, most lawyers either never follow at all, or stop at 2 contacts: (1) the initial contact (usually either through a website form or a chance face-to-face meeting), and (2) the initial consultation, after which a prospect either converts to a client, or says “no.”
This is not enough! Without additional follow-up, many would-be clients are unnecessarily lost.
The solution? Having a system to track your contacts. It’s essential to following up and winning work.
A step-by-step guide to a “winning” follow-up scenario (+ how Nexl can help!)
In this example, we’ll show you how Nexl’s contact management system for lawyers can help you follow up throughout a full client-winning scenario.
When you meet a potential client face-to-face and they show signs of interest in your services, ask for their information before handing them your business card. Ask them if they would be interested in scheduling a consultation to explore whether your services would be helpful. Then, ask them if it’s ok to follow-up with them in a few days.
Pro tip: By adding just an email address, Nexl’s data enrichment will automatically fill in all of the publicly available information about a contact, including job title, education, and work history.
Between the first contact and the agreed-upon consultation, send a quick e-mail telling them you enjoyed speaking with them. Be sure to thank them for their interest and remind them of their commitment to the consultation.
Pro tip: Nexl users can leverage the Stay In Touch feature to set automatic reminders to periodically check in with new prospects.
By the time you actually sit down to meet with them (or have your scheduled conference call), you now have made 3 contacts with this same person. Sometimes the person will be ready to move forward right away, but more often than not, additional touchpoints will be needed to secure the engagement.
Pro tip: Nexl’s Contact Manager allows you to create lists of prospective client groupings to more easily manage your follow-ups.
Regardless of whether the prospect is ready to move forward, send them an email thanking them, outlining what was discussed and confirming next steps. Ask the prospect if more information is needed or requested.
Pro tip: In the Notes section on Nexl’s contact records, record any details you learned about the contact during your meeting. Use these details to ask personalized questions during subsequent follow-ups.
If more information was requested or suggested, here’s another opportunity for a follow-up. Remember, it’s not always about about staying top-of-mind and creating familiarity.
Pro tip: Nexl’s Contact Manager will automatically count all your interactions and show you dates of touchpoints.
After a few days, call the prospective client to talk through the follow-up information and see if any additional questions have come up.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to reference your notes to remind yourself of all the personal details you’ve already learned!
At this point, you’ve set yourself up for a number of possible outcomes: (1) they are ready to proceed with an engagement, (2) they still need more information, (3) they are not the person who ultimately makes the engagement decision, or (4) they have decided your service is not for them. But, even if it’s one of the less ideal outcomes, you’ve established enough goodwill to ask for a referral.
Pro tip: Nexl’s contact manager allows you to automatically track and log referrals so that you can identify your best referral sources.
This last touchpoint can come in the form of an email thanking them for their consideration, their referral, or (hopefully) their business. If they haven’t become a client, ask if you can contact them in 6 months to see if their needs have changed. Then, in 6 months, follow up!
Pro tip: Nexl’s Stay In Touch reminders will track whether you’ve had contact with someone during your set stay-in-touch duration, and will only send you a reminder if you haven’t followed through.
If your communication did result in them becoming a new client, still contact them 6 months after the engagement and review how they’ve enjoyed their services, the results of broader initiatives, and if they have any further issues, needs or comments.
In legal services, law firms are on a continuous cycle of service, communication, and follow-ups. Your existing clients and network are the best place to find new business, so it’s essential to keep in touch accordingly.