Lawyers know the ins and outs of the law, but they usually don’t know much about marketing. For this reason, many lawyers make a number of mistakes when marketing their firm.

Here’s a look at 8 common legal marketing mistakes that could be costing you business:

1. Failing to Treat Leads as Urgent

People who are in need of legal services want to talk to a lawyer immediately. These potential clients do not want to leave a message or wait days to hear back from an attorney—they want help with their legal matter right away.

Because of this, it’s important for lawyers to treat every lead with a sense of urgency. The leads that are not treated in this manner will most likely contact another lawyer.

2. Failing to Train the Person Handling Leads

The person who answers the phone at your law firm—usually the receptionist—needs to be thoroughly trained to learn how to handle leads. This individual must communicate to the lead that they understand the urgency of the situation.

If a lawyer is not available to speak to the lead, the receptionist should ask for the lead’s contact information and tell the lead when to expect him to return the call. If the receptionist simply sends the call to voicemail, this lead will probably search for another lawyer who is ready to help now.

3. Using Call Menus/Phone Trees

People want to connect with someone right away when they call a law firm. If your law firm is using a call menu or phone tree, this could frustrate potential clients.

Many of them will hang up the phone if they become impatient or confused. Law firms should get rid of this system so anyone who calls the firm can immediately speak to someone.

4. Not Using An Answering Service

Law firms often receive calls after hours, but no one is there to answer them. Instead of sending leads to voicemail, hire an answering service company. This will give leads the instant gratification and immediate satisfaction that they demand from lawyers.

5. Recording A Weak Voicemail Message

Leads should never hear your law firm’s voicemail message. But, it’s possible that they will if there’s a technical glitch. Be prepared by recording a strong message.

Apologize for your absence, ask for their contact information, and tell the lead when to expect a return phone call.

6. Not Obtaining Client Reviews on Google and Yelp

People who are in need of legal services often look at law firms’ online reviews before deciding who to call. If you do not have reviews, this will negatively impact the lead’s perception of your firm.

7. Ignoring Negative Reviews

Every business should expect to receive negative reviews. Respond to these reviews instead of pretending they don’t exist. Apologize to the client and ask if you can contact them to discuss the matter further.

This response should not be seen as an attempt to win the client’s business back, but rather to show leads who are reading these reviews that you care about clients.

8. Believing Prospects When They Say They Have No Money

Leads often tell lawyers that they need legal advice, but can’t afford legal services. Don’t believe this lie.

Prospects will find money for an attorney if it is their only chance at achieving their desired outcome. Show these leads why they can’t afford not to hire your law firm.

Are you making any of these marketing mistakes? If so, now is the time to make a change so these mistakes don’t hold your law firm back any longer.