Even a firm’s rejected leads need love. When rejecting a lead, it is important to remember that this lead is still a person with a very real need. And while this time their case may not be the right fit for your firm, you still want them to think of you positively next time they or someone they know need a lawyer.
That’s why your firm should consider providing them with something of value to help them during this time of need. Doing this when you inform them that you won’t be taking their case is critical to any future relationship with this lead and future referrals. By offering some direction and care, you still make a connection that could potentially make them a lifelong fan.
While you consider the ethics surrounding your firm’s communication and relationship with rejected leads, contact your ethics counsel to ensure you know the rules in your state.
In the meantime, here are some things you should think about when developing a respectful rejection strategy:
- You MUST send a rejection verifying that you ARE NOT representing them. There was a case where a potential client called a law firm, assumed because they had called and spoke with someone that they were under representation. That person did not call anyone else for help, and they needed it. The firm did not send any communication letting the client know that they were not able to help with the medical malpractice claim, and the client was awarded damages from the firm because there was no communication from the firm that they could not assist them.
- In the rejection process, your state may recommend that you stop short of citing the actual statute of limitations for your state. They may instead recommend that you remind the potential claimant that all cases have a statute of limitations for which to bring a claim and failure to bring a claim or file a lawsuit prior to that date may result in their claim being ineligible.
How to Create Affection with Your Rejection
Now that we have those specific ethical considerations out of the way, let’s talk about how to properly reject the claim in such a way that the potential client will still be a raving fan of your firm.
- Include a useful piece of information around their specific type of claim. For example, if it’s an auto claim, you could include a worksheet on how to settle your own property damage claim without a lawyer. If it’s slip and fall, you can share the top three things you should make sure you do after a slip and fall.
- Include a statement that resembles the following: Unfortunately we cannot take every case with which we are contacted. We are not saying you don’t have a valid claim. This is just not one that we can help you with. If you feel strongly that you have a claim, then please seek a second opinion.
You may be thinking: “I don’t want them to call another lawyer.”
TRUE—but remember you are giving Ritz Carlton service by providing them something useful, and your competitors are probably not. They will remember that.
- ASK FOR REFERRALS. Something like this will work: Smith, I know we weren’t able to help you with this claim, but we may be able to help in the future. If you, a friend, or family member are ever injured in an accident in the future, make us your first call. Just like in the case of your current claim, we will always tell you if we can’t help. But we’ll help you find someone who may be able to help.
You should develop a template for every case type you handle and then one for the type of cases you don’t handle. Keep track of the most frequently sought-after representation and develop a referral partnership that you can give them as a resource.
A Little Effort Goes a Long Way
All of this may seem like a lot of work, but once you create the documents, emails, and videos to cover these topics, you won’t have to do the work again for years!
After you make the call, just be sure to keep their email address in your database and put them on your regular correspondence emails from your firm.
As always, if you’re a cj client and would like to brainstorm ideas, you can reach out to me or your Brand Strategist. And if you aren’t a cj client, please reach out anyway. We’d love to hear from you.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.