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I L T A W H I T E P A P E R | K N O W L E D G E M A N A G E M E N T & M A R K E T I N G T E C H N O L O G Y 74 forum for communication about case matters. That requires legal professionals to interrupt their legal work in order to do intake work, which requires a different mindset and skillset. In that kind of system, leads are likely to be lost or ignored. 2. DEVELOP A PROCESS FOR FOLLOW-UP Map out each step of the intake process. Determine what needs to be done to adequately follow up with: • Email inquiries • Phone inquiries • Web chats • Completed intakes that have no affiliated appointment yet • Appointment no-show • Appointment confirmations • Referrals (inbound and outbound) What information do you need to glean at each step? What different pathways can your leads take? Where do leads fall through the cracks? For instance, your leads might need to enter a 'chase' phase, where staff calls every 4 hours until you get a response. When you refer a case to another lawyer, you might want to follow up about referral fees. The sheer volume and variety of intake tasks can feel overwhelming. But a system can simplify that process and make it manageable. In the words of one of my clients: "Before we had a system, my life was always in chaos. I was always calling leads and apologizing for how long it took me to get back to them. I was always stressed about what I had forgotten." A unified system eases that stress and frustration. 3. H I RE SALES PEO PLE TO MANAG E I NTAKE Every industry has specialized sales staff, separate from customer management. If legal is different, it's because we like to imagine we aren't selling anything. But whatever we call it, the truth is that the legal intake process benefits from the tools and techniques developed by salespeople. In law firms, the work of intake is often assigned to paralegals. But this requires them to switch back and forth between the legal work they're doing on current cases and the skillset needed for leads. Paralegals don't necessarily feel an impetus to bring in new cases. After all, that will only mean more work for them down the road. In some firms, the lawyers themselves follow up on leads. Except in solo firms, this makes no financial sense. It's a tremendous waste of time for someone who has been trained in law to engage in basic sales work. Firms benefit greatly by hiring intake specialists who can be focused entirely on following up with leads. With a streamlined, automated system, these employees can be trained in half an hour and ready to move your practice forward. 4 . I M PLE M E NT S O F T WARE TO MANAG E TH E PROCESS Most lawyers already know what I've been saying. They know they need to chase leads in order to win them. They just don't have the time to make these extra steps. That's where automation technology can help. Firms can now choose between industry- agnostic lead-tracking software and programs designed for the legal industry. The benefit of legal-specific programs is that they don't require extensive tech knowledge to use them. Because most systems are designed to do everything for everybody, they are far more complicated than law firms will ever need.

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