In the world of bankruptcy law, it’s common for new clients to dial one lawyer after another until someone picks up the phone. That firm will usually get the client, or at least the first crack at the new business.
Each time the phone rings, there’s a prospective new client on the other end of the line. Someone who needs help from you, and who has come to you for a solution to their problems.
Want to win the client’s heart and mind? Just pick up the phone when it rings.
If you don’t answer, you’re telling the world that you’re closed. This, in spite of the fact that your marketing likely tells people to call you.
That mixed message can kill your practice.
It’s not always possible for someone to be on the other end of the line – bathroom breaks, lunch, evenings and weekends are just some of the times when picking up the phone may not be practicable – but that should be the exception rather than the rule.
Make sure all of your employees are trained in how to effectively deal with a new inquiry. If need be, hire an assistant on Elance or oDesk to field overflow calls. Even an answering service is a viable, albeit secondary, option.
Think it’s expensive to hire and train an extra set of ears and hands to field new client calls?
It’s far more costly to go the other way.