Legal Intake: The Key to Increasing Conversion Rates

If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know I work in a variety of industries and with many different companies in those industries. At first, when new companies are going to engage with me, some will ask what kind of experience I have in their specific vertical. My answer is always the same: sales skills and best practice selling techniques are transferrable. Core inside sales skills and strategies work in all industries (that is why they are foundational) and can be adapted to work effectively in other industry.


And this is especially true in the legal field. For over a year now, I’ve been training some of the largest and most successful legal firms in the country and helping their intake teams dramatically increase their conversion percentage of inbound leads.

The clients I have worked with have seen as much as a 30% increase and more in conversion percentages using the proven inside sales skills and techniques I’ve perfected over the last 30 years. I’m going to list three of those techniques below, and I want you to ask yourself how many of these techniques and skills you (or your team) currently use when selling your product or service over the phone.

Skill One: Build rapid rapport with your prospect. In the legal industry, the calls are inbound-for the most part-and while you might think this would make them easy to handle, for some reason many of the intake specialists handling these leads treat them very much like a cop who pulls you over would. “It’s all about the facts, mam.”

You’ll hear many intakes start with, “And what is your name?” “Address?” “Phone number?” “And what happened?” etc.

The first thing I recommend to the teams I work with is to get on a first name basis with the caller. It starts with, “And may I call you by your first name? Great. And my name again is… “

Getting personal as soon as possible builds a bond with the caller and this instills trust. And trust is crucial for converting any sale.

In addition, there is a surprising lack of ongoing warm, of empathy, and genuine concern. Just little phrases I introduce make a huge difference in the overall feeling of the call and, more importantly, in getting buy-in from the caller. Things like:

“I’m so sorry you had to go through that!” And:

“Well you’ve called the right firm today, and I’m going to do everything I can to take care of you. Now let me ask you… “

These-and many other phrases and statements-instantly build rapport and trust, and this sets the tone for building investment throughout the call.

Skill Two: Getting the caller to act during the intake to increase their investment in the intake process.

This is an important component in any sale, but especially true in intake. The more things you have the caller do, the more invested in the intake and in your firm, they are.

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