In this week’s edition of Things I Wish I Knew, Joleena Louis discusses how she started converting more leads to clients by implementing a system for initial consultations.
Like any busy solo, I am constantly looking for ways to get more clients. As my practice gets busier, it’s harder to get more clients by simply spending more time on marketing. There are only so many hours in a day.
Over the past year I have taken a serious look at my processes in hopes of making my practice more efficient, especially my marketing > consult > closing > onboarding process. By doing this, I am able to get better results with the same amount of lead traffic.
Last week I discussed how my phone and email follow-up system helps me close over 60% of leads. This week I want to share how I built my initial consult system.
Having a well planned out consultation process enhances my marketing strategy, and is key to efficiently closing new business for my law firm.
Here’s what I do to increase my lead-to-client conversion rate:
The consultation is an important part of my brand experience since it introduces the prospective client to the type of service they can expect if they end up retaining my services. In order to fully understand my follow-up process, it’s important to know what happens before the consult as well.
Once the consultation is scheduled I immediately send a confirmation email that includes: confirmation of date and time of consultation, address, directions to my office, a list of documents to bring and an intake questionnaire.
I also send a copy of my retainer for review. If we have not discussed a fee I will leave that section blank, but will still have them review the agreement so they can come prepared with any questions about the terms of representation.
I’ve found that this confirmation email makes my consultation more effective, because I spend less time during the consult gathering preliminary information, and more time focusing on the the potential client’s major concerns. By giving them the opportunity to review the retainer before the consultation, they are more likely to sign it in my office after we discuss the fee, thereby increasing conversion.
After the consultation, the same day, I send a follow up email. What it includes depends on the situation:
I’m not interested in the case.
If I know I can’t help them or I’m not interested in taking the case, I’ll let them know during the consultation. Immediately after the consultation I’ll follow up with an email confirming the discussion, and I will refer them to a colleague if it’s appropriate.
They need a few days to think about it.
Prospective divorce clients often hesitate to pull the trigger on moving forward. They know they need legal representation, but for various reasons the decision to hire an attorney can be a slow process. My strategy is to give them the information they need and let them know I am here when they are ready.
The same day as the consultation I’ll send an email summarizing our discussion with instructions on moving forward. The summary will reiterate my understanding of their concerns and goals, and outline how I can help. I want them to know that I understand what is going on and what they want to achieve.
I’ll also ask if they want to be added to my email list for more information and tips about the New York divorce process. If they agree (and they usually do), they will be added to a list where I periodically send targeted emails that are of interest to them. This way I’m regularly in their inbox, but not in a pushy, salesy way.
They signed a retainer at the consult.
If they signed the retainer at the consultation, I’ll send an email summarizing the discussion and letting them know the next steps.
I’ll also attach my welcome packet which includes a copy of the executed retainer agreement, my policies & promises and links to helpful resources (books, blog posts and websites).
I like to use email because I feel it is less pushy. Although, I’ll certainly follow up by phone if the prospective client prefers. I use a template for all of these emails and personalize it for the specific recipient.
Having a system in place has streamlined my consultation process. After the initial setup, it only takes a few minutes after the meeting to complete. I consider it successful since most prospective clients that don’t retain me right away often do so within two months.