When I start to work with a new marketing client, I hope I’m put on hold.

I hope I’m put on hold because in those few minutes of wait time I learn a lot about your marketing development, your brand, your savvy, and goals. When we are creating the right marketing campaign for you, every action you take needs to be consistently building value and designed to convert potentials into clients.  Hold music is a great example of an often overlooked tool in that arsenal.

Law practice on hold music needs to be a branded, customized message.  This design is an important call to action within your marketing campaign.  I consider myself a hold music connoisseur.  I like well-paced, educational content in place of actual on hold music.  It’s a throwback to when I was practicing and concerned about leaving free advertising space on the table without a scripted hold message.  Your hold music needs to engage your listeners so they want to learn more about you.  This is a place to share your enthusiasm for your practice, right alongside clear motivating calls to action.

Not sure where to start? Here are the top seven on my list for creating great hold messages that generate clients.

  1. Stop the silence. Never, ever opt for silence. While you may like to sit in silence, it is not the optimal choice for hold music. From your callers’ perspective, silence on the phone line makes them worry their call is still connected. When you are met with silence, do you ever find yourself checking your phone screen to make sure you are still connected?  A CNN Survey shared that without messages or music, nearly 60% of all business callers will hang up and 30% won’t call your business back.  Not good odds for getting new business or for keeping happy clients.
  1. Don’t beep. If you’ve been on the other end of intermittent beeps in place of silence then you know it really isn’t an improvement. All the beeping serves to do is verify your callers are still connected but you’re falling into the at-risk category of the hang up.
  1. Share your mission. This is captive-audience-time people! This is the perfect time for you to talk about why you do what you, about the clients you serve, and your commitment to your community.  Your callers want to get to know you and this is a logical opportunity for you to share information about your firm.
  1. Choose your voice (or voices). I find my clients are split on whether they personally talk or not. I did.  When I blind tested it with my audience, I learned they preferred my (not stage-trained) voice, but a number of my clients prefer to use a professional.  Think about who and what will best convey your message.  It could be a team member (or multiple team members) or even your clients.  There is nothing saying you shouldn’t use multiple voices and themes.  Just check out your state bar rules to make sure there are no prohibitions on using a voice not your own.
  1. Build engagement. Chances are you have some form of law firm marketing going on right now – website, social, seminars, professional groups, charitable commitments? This is the time to talk about it. When your website is designed for mobile, try to avoid a generic comment of learn more on our website. If you want your listener to go to your website, give him or her a specific page on the website to read.  You can talk about your upcoming event at the library or the great post to your Facebook wall your client made last week.  If you have an event coming up in the near future, let them know space is limited and they can sign up when you return to the line.
  1. Pay attention to the seasons. Holidays matter. Birthdays matter. The New Year matters. When you customize your message think about the holidays around you and take note. Recognizing important events should be at the forefront of your practice in all of your marketing campaigns but especially for your on hold music.
  1. Get creative. Although it may seem hard to get creative with your on hold message, you can start simple. Pick a theme and run with it.  To give you an example, on a ten minute hold time with GoDaddy last week, they kept it lively with creative ideas for me to talk about with a customer service rep. They then suggested, if I didn’t have anything pressing to talk about, they were there to listen to stories about my cat.  Now, I don’t have a cat and I wasn’t calling to brainstorm with them, but it kept the hold time entertaining. If there’s something you focus on in your practice or your community or maybe you have a pet on your team, share it.  This is a great way to boost engagement and start to build a relationship.

The right hold music can positively impact your law practice success.  Let us know what your great ideas are or if you need help developing the right message for you.