How to Turn Phone Calls into Paying Clients, with Steve Riley

In this episode of the Elder Law Growth Podcast, Jim welcomes back author, coach, and attorney Steve Riley. 

Steve deep-dives into the importance of creating a positive first impression for potential clients, from the initial phone call to the workshop experience. 

He shares his insights on effective lead intake strategies, the power of storytelling in workshops, and crafting strategic calls to action. 

You’ll also learn valuable tips for conducting consultations that convert and build lasting client relationships. 

If you’re looking to attract more clients and grow your practice, don’t miss this episode!

Learn More about Steve here:⁠

Some Resources to Check Out:

👉 Atticus Lawyer Coaching (

📝 My Great Life™ Planner (

🎙️ Great Practice. Great Life. Podcast (⁠

📕 The Busy Lawyer’s Guide to the Laws of Practice Growth eBook (

📘 The Busy Lawyer’s Guide to the Domestic Assistant Advantage eBook (⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠)

Episode Summary


In this episode of the Elder Law Growth podcast, host Jim Blake welcomes back Steve Riley, an author, coach, and attorney. Steve shares valuable insights on lead management, phone etiquette, and the significance of first impressions. 

If you missed the first episode with Steve, be sure to listen to it for more great advice on the struggles attorneys face and how to effectively follow up with potential clients.


Lead Management and Phone Etiquette

Steve discusses the importance of first impressions and how they can impact client retention.

He recalls an event where he coached attorneys on phone etiquette by conducting live intake audits.

These audits revealed a wide gap between what lawyers expected and what actually happened during initial client interactions.


Creating a Great First Impression

First impressions are crucial, especially when a potential client contacts your firm for the first time.

Steve emphasizes the need for a warm and inviting environment.

This involves training your intake team to be friendly and professional, ensuring that every interaction reflects well on the firm.


Handling Initial Consultations

Steve explains that a significant portion of an attorney’s work occurs before the initial consultation.

He advises lawyers to focus on creating a positive experience for potential clients during these initial stages.

The initial consultation should clearly define the client’s problem, explain the process to solve it, and outline the cost involved.


Training and Supporting Your Team

Regular training and support for your team are essential.

Steve highlights the benefits of having a well-trained team that understands customer service.

He shares his approach of using a scorecard for intake audits and offering bonuses for exceptional performance.


Strategic Calls to Action

During workshops and webinars, it’s essential to integrate clear calls to action.

Steve recommends three calls to action: one at the beginning, one midway through, and one at the end.

This ensures that attendees know the next steps and feel encouraged to take action.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Steve shares a story about a law firm struggling with intake issues due to an unhelpful receptionist.

He emphasizes the importance of having the right people in the right roles and being willing to make changes if necessary.

A single negative interaction can significantly impact a firm’s growth and client acquisition costs.


Actionable Tips

  • Implement Effective Intake Audits:  Conduct regular intake audits using a mystery shopper to ensure your team meets your expectations. Create a scorecard to evaluate performance and identify areas for improvement.
  • Train Your Team Regularly: Invest in ongoing training for your team to enhance their customer service skills. Ensure they understand the importance of first impressions and how to create a positive client experience.
  • Use Clear Calls to Action: In your workshops and webinars, include clear calls to action at strategic points. Make sure attendees know what the next steps are and how to proceed.
  • Monitor and Improve First Impressions: Pay close attention to how your team handles initial client interactions. Ensure they are friendly, professional, and prompt in their responses.
  • Be Transparent About Pricing: Consider discussing price ranges during workshops to set clear expectations. Use comparisons to relatable costs, like nursing home care, to help potential clients understand the value of your services.


Closing Thoughts

This episode of the Elder Law Growth podcast highlights the critical role of effective lead management and the impact of first impressions on client retention.

By implementing strategic calls to action, training your team, and maintaining a positive client experience, you can enhance your firm’s efficiency and growth.

For more insights and resources, connect with Steve Riley on LinkedIn or visit

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