Managing and tracking leads for law firms

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Key topics discussed

Win business by tracking enquiries

What’s the point of spending hard-earned money on new enquiries if the leads aren’t being handled properly? Increasing your call conversion rate will have an exponential impact on your turnover.

In fact, by properly nurturing prospects, you can increase conversion rates by 50% and reduce ‘cost per lead’ by 33%

Add £140,000 to your top line

You’ve set up your new website, invested in getting it to number one in Google, set up some social media accounts, taken out some advertising and then, moments later… The phone rings! A new client, right? Sadly, for too many firms, the answer is no.

Law firms invest enormous amounts in marketing and lead generation activities and invest even more in getting the best lawyers they can to do the work. Yet, most firms pay little heed to one of the most important parts of the process: converting the client from initial enquiry into a paying client. 

For example, if your average fee value is £1,000, and you convert an extra two leads per day, then you will bill £730,000 more per year. Even if it’s just two extra leads per week, that’s still an additional £140,000 per year.

How should law firms handle incoming calls?

Many firms go wrong by assigning the handling of inbound calls to a member of the admin team with loose instructions to screen or pass on. With the typical law firm losing 90-95% of potential leads, the call handling procedure must be taken seriously for business development and growth. 

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, at a minimum, your call handling staff should record:

  • The date
  • The call handler’s and caller’s name
  • The call email address and phone number 
  • What service they are interested in 
  • How they found you 
  • Next steps 
  • The date and format of those next steps (email, call, meeting) 
  • The outcome (new instruction etc) 

This might seem like a lot of information, but you should encourage call handlers to work these elements in a conversation and maintain a central database for this data. 

DID YOU KNOW: People who call are 5-10x more likely to convert than those who email or fill in forms. This makes the call handling process so important.


Six fundamental questions to ask when handling enquiries

What is the total number of leads and their sources?

Only by tracking them can you accurately discover the number that convert into new business. There are two elements to this – the means of making the appointment (telephone calls, emails, walk-ins etc) and the practice area.

How many of these leads become appointments/meetings?

Once you establish the percentage of enquiries that convert to appointments and the number of those that convert to clients, you have a baseline to measure and improve on.

How many of these appointments show or fail to show?

This is essential information in that it can illuminate a failure in your process. Are your call handlers attempting to set poor-quality appointments? Are they really working on qualifying leads or just asking people to come in?

How many return to sign up after the initial meeting?

Again, this can highlight elements of your process that are done well, or badly. To what extent are these prospects nurtured? How do you follow up with them after the meeting?

What is your cost per lead by source or practice area?

How much are you paying for each converted client per practice area? Once you know this, you can more accurately determine how profitable each client is and, importantly, how much you can invest in acquiring new ones.

How and when to follow up with prospects

When following up with prospects and enquiries, make sure you do it:


If you receive an email, a call or a web form enquiry, follow up promptly – within five minutes if you can. The likelihood of that lead converting drops dramatically if you leave it any longer.


It’s not enough to call back once or twice and leave it at that. Set in place a minimum of at least five times, with the majority made on the day of the initial enquiry. Again, the likelihood of converting is much higher if you persist.

At the right times of the night

Ringing on busy days (Mondays & Fridays) or during working hours can be fruitless. Ring between 4:30pm – 6pm and before 8:30am if possible.

Different from other firms

We recommend listing all of your legal services and sorting them from most to least desirable types of work - this lets you focus your attention on the practice area that works best for you. 

In a dedicated fashion

Try to have someone in the team whose specific role is to handle enquiries. Keeping business development and the ‘operational’ or fee-earning elements of the business separate.


Improve your law firm's enquiry handling

We’ve been working with law firms for over 20 years, helping them to generate more profitable business through the internet. If you need assistance to improve your firm’s enquiry handling, then get in touch today.

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