How can lawyers and accountants convert more leads into new work?

Have you ever wondered how lawyers and accountants could convert more leads into new work?  Let us share a something we know works well.

If you are a lawyer, barrister, accountant, patent attorney or architect at some stage you will have pitched for work whether that involved writing a proposal or completing a formal tender.  If you have, you’ll also know what an arduous process it is!  And that all too often you can invest a lot of time and energy for no reward.

There is however an easy way to increase your conversion rates.  All you need to do is embrace the concept of social proofing.

What is social proofing?

In Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasionhe describes how one of the ways we determine what is correct is by finding out what other people think is correct.  

His argument is the more we see others doing something, the more correct we will think it to be.  This is because as humans we feel we will make fewer mistakes by following the social evidence we see than we would by acting in the opposite way.

This is the reason advertisers love phrases like “fastest-growing” and “largest selling”.  They don’t say the product is good because they know we’re more likely to act it we’re told lots of other people think their product is good.  This is social proofing.

So back to the matter at hand, how can your law firm, accountancy practice, barristers’ chambers, architectural firm or intellectual property practice take full advantage of the concept of social proofing to win more new work?

You can make better use of your previous clients and credentials.

5 ways lawyers and accountants can use their clients and credentials to win more new clients

1. Ask your clients for LinkedIn recommendations.

2. Write and use short case studies on your website, in your brochures and in your pitch documents.

And when you write case studies use the CAR (Context, Action and Result) structure.

Your context is the situation you found when you were instructed.

Your action refers to what you did in response.

Your results are what happened once you’d taken action.

3. Ask clients for a 2-line testimonial (you can even add these to your case studies to give them even more wright).

4. Encourage online reviews via platforms like Trustpilot and Review Solicitors. People really do make purchasing decisions on what they find online.

5. Ask your clients to write Google reviews.

5 more ways for lawyers and accountants use social proofing to win new clients

1. Invite prospects to a social or business event so they can meet your existing clients.  They will talk positively about you to your targets although frankly, even if they don’t get a chance to speak, their presence alone will act as an endorsement.

2. When you are presenting at an event mention examples of the organisations you’ve worked (that match your audience’s profile) in your introduction. 

One word of caution here.  Make sure you use examples your audience will see as similar to them. Sometimes there is a tendency for the presenter to name drop a signature client thinking this will be impressive, but it can easily backfire if your audience doesn’t find them an appropriate match.

3. When you meet new people subtly drop in relevant examples of clients you’ve worked for.  We call this ‘selling by suggestion’.  It is much more effective that vapid elevator scripts or a self-aggrandising summary of your professional background.

4. Join the trade associations, industry bodies or networks your targets belong to.  You will be perceived as ‘one of them’ because of your association.  But don’t confuse this point with belonging to your profession’s trade groups, they will be full of competitors not prospects.

5. In your marketing communications use the language, terms of reference, and examples your targets use and understand.

If you’d like to discuss how you can put social proofing into action to help your lawyers and accountants convert more leads into new work, please get in touch and we can talk you through what we can do in terms of coaching and pitch and content development.

Published by sizetenandahalfboots

Douglas is a director of Size 10½ Boots, a specialist business development agency that works solely with the professional services, helping firms grow by winning more new clients and more work from the clients they already have. Although every project is different our work generally falls into one of three camps - strategic marketing support, BD training and 1on1 coaching and independent client research.

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