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Training Your Staff to Sell Over the Phone
Tip #4: The Intake Process

(In today’s tip, we include a part of the script we use at Charles V. Hardenbergh, PC. Feel free to steal it!)

Before our paralegals speak with a client, they will have the client’s case information on their computer screen. That’s because our IT team has built a great case management system (CMS), so our staff no longer have to use the court’s website to obtain case information. If we have sent the potential client a direct mail letter, his information will already be in our system.

“Hi, John. My name is Teresa. How are you today? I understand from [name of person who transferred the call] that you were charged with Reckless Driving in Hanover County, 86 in a 70. Is that correct? OK, I’d like to get some information about you and your ticket so that I can explain the representation process and answer any questions you may have. I’ll make sure you have all the information you need to get the best possible result in your trial.”

Teresa then begins the interview, asking questions about the client’s age, occupation, car, passengers, and the traffic stop. She types all of his responses into the CMS. These are all “qualifying questions” that allow us to make sure the client has a case we can handle. Although it is rare, we have actually used these questions to determine that people did not need a lawyer and have encouraged some to represent themselves.

Teresa is ready to tell you more about our Intake Process and using direct mail to attract your ideal client. Call her today at (844) BUY-CAMS.
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Training Your Staff to Sell Over the Phone
Tip #3: Telephone Etiquette

Answer the phone promptly. It should not ring more than three times. If you are unavailable and the call goes to voicemail, return it as soon as possible.

Smile when you answer the phone. Yes, callers can tell the difference between people who are happy to speak with them and those who consider phone calls an interruption of their day.

Introduce yourself and ask, “How can I help you today?”

At this point, the caller most likely will begin to explain the facts of his case. If your receptionist has answered, she should reassure the caller that he will be transferred to someone who can answer all of his questions, whether that person is you or a paralegal. The receptionist should be responsible for the correct spelling and pronunciation of the person’s name, as well as verifying the charge and jurisdiction.

To learn more about using a script to land your ideal clients, call Teresa today at (844) BUY-CAMS.
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Training Your Staff to Sell Over the Phone
Tip #2: Use a Script

At Charles V. Hardenbergh, PC, we use a finely crafted telephone script to communicate with clients. That may sound cold and clinical, but it’s absolutely essential. In addition, we record incoming calls and use them to train new staff.

“The number one thing you want to do is communicate to clients that they made a great decision in calling your firm,” says Van Hardenbergh. “That communication process beings with your receptionist. She is your Director of First Impressions. She must be trained to answer calls. You can’t just put a headset on someone and expect her to be successful.”

Automated phone systems are convenient but impersonal. Remember that someone who is calling your office needs help—and they want help now. Don’t make callers jump through hoops to reach you or a paralegal who can answer questions about the case.
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Training Your Staff to Sell Over the Phone
Tip #1: Advice from Van Hardenbergh

I use a hand-picked staff of paralegals who are specifically trained to do one thing very well: sell over the phone. I must insert a disclaimer here, because you absolutely must recruit only the most outgoing, friendly, charming, talkative, and persuasive people to do that. You also have to spend time training them about your firm’s specialized area of practice. Once you do that, you are free to spend your time on other areas of your practice, such as marketing. Having a well-trained team of superstars has changed my practice and my life!

To learn how you can use direct mail to get great clients, call Teresa at (844) BUY-CAMS.
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What’s Your Plan for Disaster?

This past summer the stock market went on a roller coaster ride, swinging hundreds of points during a volatile session, driven by the fears of the weak Chinese economy. The media went wild with this “crisis,” just like they always do. But Van Hardenbergh wasn’t worried, because he has invested in his businesses. Rather than worry about the vagaries of the market, develop a plan of action. If you get all your business from one source, diversify now. If an employee of your team is dragging you down and holding you hostage, fire them. Get control of your funds and accounting, and take control of your practice and your life. You’ll be glad you did, and you will be safe and secure when the next crisis happens.
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See You at the Great Legal Marketing (GLM) National Summit!

The GLM Summit is the premier event for attorneys looking for realistic strategies to improve their marketing, practice management—and their life outside the office. Luckily for us, the Summit is held right here in Virginia. Led by legal marketing pro Ben Glass, a team of experts presents insights, advice, and guidance specifically geared toward small and solo law firms. This year’s Summit is October 23-24 at the Renaissance Hotel in Arlington. CAMS will be a vendor, so if you plan to attend, be sure to stop by our booth to meet the team. We’ll be rolling out our Virginia Case Search, which unshackles Virginia’s General District Courts’ criminal and traffic data. If you can’t attend, look for coverage of the Summit in upcoming issues of the CAMS Newsletter.
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Want to find out someone's arrest history? New Virginia Case Search website provides FREE instant statewide results going back as far as 10 years. Don't search one city or county at a time on the Courts website, get ALL their information in one quick easy search. Find out about dates, employees, tenants, exes, relatives, applicants, defendants, or anyone else with a history in Virginia. Sign up for the FREE Beta test right now and get access right now!
www.VirginiaCaseSearch.com
Virginia Case Search
Virginia Case Search
virginiacasesearch.com
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Van Hardenbergh to Present CLE on Ethics of Advertising and Direct Mail

Are you advertising and marketing your services within the rules of the Virginia Bar Association? Join Van in Charlottesville on October 31(the final day to complete your annual CLE requirement) for a seminar on the ethics of advertising and direct mail. This isn’t just any seminar—the $200 fee also includes a ticket to the UVA/Georgia Tech game at Scott Stadium. Space is limited. If you are unable to attend, there is a live telephone option for the seminar ($140).

Van plans to cover the following topics: disclaimers; blacklists; endorsements; false or misleading statements, cumulative case results, identity of the attorney; and relevant legal ethics opinions. For more information, visit vacle.org.
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Our team of writers have been hard at work! You should start to see updates and articles from our CAMS team "soon"!
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