You’ve got people through the door and at your desk. They’re ready to hear how you can help them. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to bring in new clients, but this last step is often the hardest one – turning prospects into clients.
What can you do to facilitate that final step? Turns out, there’s a lot you can do to help your case. It all comes down to the right preparation.
Learn about your client before the consult
You might have a perfunctory knowledge of who’s coming to the consult, but do yourself a favor: Dig a little deeper and you’ll start the meeting off with more insight into their needs. Those insights make it easier to develop a relationship with your potential clients, showing them that you’re enthusiastic about understanding their needs.
This approach may be easiest with business clients, where they have a website you can turn to for more information. However, even if you practice family or personal injury law, you can still do some discovery work beforehand. A quick LinkedIn search can provide valuable background information that will help you personalize your conversation and find common ground with them.
Develop an efficient intake process
It’s been said over and over again, but it bears repeating: time is money. Who wants to waste it on information-gathering processes if you don’t have to?
All parties want to get to the heart of the matter. One of the best ways to facilitate this is to develop an airtight, efficient intake process. And remember: the client intake process should be easy.
- Are you asking clients to go out of their way?
- Are your intake forms long and cumbersome?
- Do you require clients to print and sign paper copies during intake?
If the answer is yes to any of these, consider making changes.
Make sure you can repeat the process for each client, but also make sure that neither you nor the client is missing steps along the way (automated reminders are helpful here.)
Come up with a script
Why start from scratch each time? You’ll surely have clients come to you with a variety of situations, but there will always be points you’ll need to touch on with everyone. Scripts will make your consultations more efficient.
When you know what you’re going to say each time, you can quickly gather information. You’ll be able to tell them what makes your firm and its services unique. And it will also help you find ways to explain legal processes in plain language.
Coming up with prospect scripts also helps you refine your message over time and will be a big confidence boost, as well. After all, practice makes perfect.
Know your selling points
Are you familiar with what you can do better than anyone else? Why are you the best option for your potential client? How are you going to knock it out of the park?
Those aren’t easy questions to answer. But you should answer them. If you don’t know why you’re the best choice for them, how are you going to convince them that they should work with you?
To figure this critical question out, consider the following:
- Your practice’s mission and values
- Your area of expertise
- The needs of your clients
- What you offer
As part of this process, you should also anticipate what people’s objections may be. Are your prices too expensive? Is the process too intimidating? Brainstorm all the objections you can think of and then some and develop succinct answers to them.
Practice closing the sale
Just like you’ll profit from having a script for each client explains your services and benefits of working with you, you’ll also see big returns if you have a killer closing. It’s one of the hardest pieces of the puzzle to nail, so practice, practice, practice to make sure it comes naturally to you.
Your prospect may not jump right in with a “how do I get started?” and hand over the retainer. Prepare to formally close the sale and ask for business. A script for this might look something like:
“This has been a productive talk. We’re excited to help you resolve this issue. Your first step is to pay the retainer, which our administrative staff will send over in the next hour. Once we’ve received your payment, we’ll start by…”
Turning Prospects Into Clients
Getting people in the door is difficult, so you want to make sure you have the pieces in place to become their counsel when they’re in front of you. Make it clear how you can help, why they should choose you and then make it easy for them to go through your intake procedure. No two clients are exactly the same, but fine-tuning the process and putting a plan into place is going to increase the number of prospects that sign on with your firm.