First Impressions Matter … What Do Prospective Clients Think Of Your Firm?
We’ve all heard the saying related to the fact that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. In today’s hyper-competitive legal marketplace, this saying rings especially true and proves why, as a solo or small law firm, you need to take an active role in ensuring that a prospective client’s first impression is a positive one.
It may seem like you have your bases covered. You have a website, make sure the phones are answered and established a competitive legal services pricing model. However, having a warm body to answer the phone and a website with pretty pictures isn’t enough. When it comes to first impressions, the details matter and today’s legal customers can be fickle and unforgiving if you don’t deliver on their expectations.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to turn every prospective client into a paying client. There are, however, several steps you can take to highlight and promote your firm’s best attributes to win over prospective clients. Below are five areas to hone in on to put your firm’s best foot forward, no matter what the platform.
1. Examine Your Website
It’s not enough to just have a website. What type of key messaging, tone and information are conveyed through your site? What about the design? Is the text easy to read and logically organized? Is contact information prominently displayed? To appeal to prospective clients, your site’s messaging and design must be cohesive and on-point.
2. Put Some Strategy Behind Being Found Online
Having a beautifully written and designed website does you no good if no one ever sees it. According to Moz, between 71 to 92 percent of searchers don’t continue past the first page of Google search results – meaning you may not even get a chance to make a first impression. Having a solid SEO strategy can improve your site’s visibility and increase traffic to your site.
3. Don’t Run From Online Reviews
Did you take the time to claim and verify your Google My Business listing? What about your Avvo profile? These and other review sites are readily used by prospective clients when researching firms and individual attorneys. What about negative reviews? Provided your responses are metered and appropriate – engaging with disgruntled reviewers is often viewed positively.
4. Set Aside Time For Social
Does your firm have a social media presence? Do you regularly contribute posts to Facebook? Are you Tweeting? What about LinkedIn? Your prospective clients are on social media and using these channels can help you reach and connect with them in new ways. Make sure your messaging aligns with your broader marketing goals and take care not to offend or alienate anyone.
5. Consider The Little Things
What is a prospective client’s experience when they actually interact with your firm? Who’s answering the phone? What do they say and how do they say it? How are client inquiries handled? When talking to prospective clients, what’s your tone and overall approach? Do you treat each client and their issue as unique – allowing them time to talk about their concerns or do you immediately start talking about your credentials and fees? Regardless of their legal concerns, always treat prospective clients with courtesy and empathy.
When it comes to making a positive first impression with prospective clients, there is a lot to consider.
A great place to start? Evaluating and managing your firm’s online reputation. Download our white paper to learn more.