Whether you are new to web-generated leads or have actively been using a lead management system for years, a question that often comes up is “How quickly should I contact a potential client?” The answers to that question vary and the rationalization for each answer is mixed.

Generally, the rule of thumb is that you should call potential clients back as soon as possible in order to catch them while they are available and actively seeking help. This is also a better time because the reason for their call is still fresh in their mind. Additionally, calling a potential client right away sets a good first impression about how well they can expect you to communicate going forward. A quick and positive first contact significantly increases your chances of setting up an appointment.

Regardless of your approach, it is important to recognize that timing is critical when dealing with inbound queries from individuals seeking legal help. If someone who needs legal services does not hear back from your law firm, he or she will simply find another firm that gets back to them more quickly.

Every Minute You Wait to Call Reduces Your Ability to Convert

A recent study from Lead Response Management shows that if you try to contact a potential client within five minutes of receiving an inquiry, your chances of connecting with that individual increase by 100 times. If you contact potential clients within the first five minutes, the odds of getting a conversion are 21 times higher than if you tried to reach and convert them even just 30 minutes later.

Interestingly, the probability that someone will contact a potential client at all decreases by over 10 times in the first hour. The probability of qualifying them decreases by 6 times in the first hour. After 20 hours, every time you attempt to reach that potential client, you are actually hurting your ability to contact and qualify them.

What is the Best Day of the Week to Contact a Potential Client?

There have been many studies to assess which days of the week are the best days to call back a potential client. The collective data from those studies show that the best days of the week to call and qualify inbound queries from potential clients are generally Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with Thursdays ranking higher than any day of the week. Fridays are just too close to the weekend, and many people are probably already considering their weekend plans.

These same studies show that the best hours to contact potential clients are in the late afternoon, between the hours of 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. That said, does this mean that if you receive inbound queries from potential clients on a Monday at 10 a.m., you should wait until Thursday at 4 p.m. to contact or qualify them? Of course, the answer to that question is no.

According to a study defining best practices for lead response management by the Harvard Business Review, companies that try to contact potential clients within that first hour of receiving queries are 6 times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with decision-makers than those who try to contact them after that first hour.

Despite these findings, statistics show that only about 37 percent of companies respond to inquiries within that first hour.

Gaining That Conversion Edge Over Your Competitors

If your firm is not part of the small percentage that is returning a potential client’s inquiry within an hour, it is time to implement a more effective lead management system. By creating an actionable plan for following up with potential clients in that first hour, you will know your firm is taking every opportunity to maximize the online lead opportunities you receive.

Law firms that consistently follow up with potential clients in that first hour have a good opportunity to get that conversion before their competitors. However, the opposite is also true. If you do not follow up quickly with a client who is actively seeking legal help, they will simply move on to another firm.

At PMP Marketing Group, we understand what it takes to generate more visitors to your site and the best practices for following up with those potential clients. We have spent years perfecting our strategy, and we are ready to use these proven methods to help you take your law firm to the next level of success.