How To Improve New Business Management & Increase Profitability
Does your law firm ensure that every new enquiry it receives is processed effectively ensuring that you maximise every opportunity that arrives in your firm for new business?
One of the most significant challenges any business faces, including law firms, is the generation of new business and clients. It is therefore surprising that quite often the process for capturing and managing a new enquiry is not sufficiently robust to ensure each enquiry received has the maximum chance of conversion.
Implementing a process for the management of new business enquiries is not complex and is the starting point to ensuring that your firm maximises very opportunity that is presented.
Whilst there are a number of hurdles to overcome in the conversion of new business, firms needs to start with the fundamentals. Stay tuned for our upcoming article where we explore the task of engaging with clients.
The new business process fundamentals should include as follows: -
Where and how do new enquiries arrive and who is responsible for capturing the information for processing. If you do not have a system that is capable of capturing new enquiries - devise a process (even if this is an excel spreadsheet) that ensures every enquiry is dealt with quickly and efficiently with the core information needed recorded.
Ideally a person or team of people will have the responsibility of capturing new business enquiries and updating your system. Consistency will improve performance and ensure the information obtained is correct, enabling the enquiry to be processed effectively and increase the chances of conversion through better service quality.
When the enquiry has been captured it must be processed quickly. Once an enquiry has been passed onto the firm to provide a quotation or speak to the client, ensure this happens. Too often, an enquiry that is passed from reception to a fee earner does not get processed or is processed late, resulting in the loss of the client.
Agree an internal Service Level Agreement and empower someone within the firm to chase down new enquiries to ensure they have been processed and managed effectively and importantly the client has been contacted. That person (or people) should not fear chasing more senior staff, if they have been tasked to make sure every enquiry is managed properly, ensure that have the authority and understanding to get their job done.
Practical quotations should be followed up in writing or at least written acknowledge of the enquiry. This ensures the person who made the enquiry has a record of your quotation and/or company details and also the firm has a record. When a quotation has been sent (for most work types) a process should then be adopted to follow up on that quotation and for different areas of law that follow up may be a matter of hours or it may be days. However, a follow up in most cases is always appropriate.
Following the issuing of a quotation, making a friendly follow up is appropriate in most cases. Time scales may differ and for certain law types it may not be practical to follow up. However, where it is practical, a call to the client to gain their feedback will produce better results than a latter. If the client has been to another firm for a quote this gives your firm the chance to compete or at least find out what the competition is doing. You are entitled and should want feedback on your quotations and it is a perfect opportunity to re-engage the client.
Regardless of the outcome of the enquiry and whether you are instructed or not, the enquiry must be closed with the outcome recorded for future reference and intelligence gathering. Firms will be surprised how much can be learned from reviewing quotations and the journey they went through and this understanding will provide impetus for changes and training within the firm.
These processes are not complex to implement and are effective. Firms that have implemented a more robust process for management of new business enquiries will enjoy an increased conversion rate with results being up to 20% more clients engaging.
Showing clients that your process for the enquiry is efficient and following up to ensure they have received and understood the quotation demonstrates that you value their business. It also enables you to collect key information and data on which you can base future marketing and business development decisions.
Every enquiry reaching your firm from any source (phone, email, and website) must be seized and managed effectively to a conclusion, whether that is a conversion of a client or not.
At the very least, if you lose out on this client, they will remember your journey and may well return!
At the Strategic Partner we work with firms on training of new staff to assist in providing a smooth new business process. Our training is specific and directed to each of our member firms and we will ensure you gain a useful insight and full benefit for the future running of your firm.
We also provide additional training courses, including:-
- Data Protection (Inc GDPR)
- Digital Marketing and Marketing Techniques
- Solicitors Accounts Rules - An understanding
- Solicitors Code of Conduct - An understanding
- Anti-Money Laundering
- Human Resources Policies and Procedures
- Lead Generation and Client Conversion
- Client Care
- Partner training
- Succession planning
For more information on our service you can make an online enquiry, call us for a confidential conversation on 02078421830 or you can email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we will call you.