Virtual consultations are a major part of today’s modern law firm, follow these tips to ensure they are more enjoyable and productive for both you and your clients.
A lot of lawyers are spending more time in virtual consultations versus in-person ones, and odds are the this won’t change for a while. Since we are in this new form of normal, it is going to be worth your while to ensure these virtual meetings are more enjoyable and productive for everyone.
Virtual consultations, whether they are via a video chat or conference call are mentally draining. Likely due to the fact that most are not well executed or engaging.
The goal here isn’t to make virtual consultations more like their in-person counterparts. The goal is to make them better. Follow the tips below to improve your law firm’s virtual consultations and make sure the experience is more productive and enjoyable for both you and your potential clients.
With any virtual meeting, the biggest challenge is a lack of engagement. That’s probably because it is so easy to zone out, work on something out, browse social media, or look at your phone. Especially if you can’t be seen or see the other members of the call (i.e camera is turned off or if you’re on a conference call.
If the members of your consultation aren’t engaged then how productive is this conversation really going to be? If you’re the only one talking then that’s a problem.
Obviously, your consultation will result in your potential client sharing their story and why they are there to see you, but if you find yourself talking too much and dominating the conversation, the best way to get them back into the conversations is to ask questions. Call on someone else that hasn’t shared much and ask for their thoughts, then sit back and let them go. Encourage others to build off each other’s responses and see where that takes you.
Not only will this help to create more meaningful conversations, but it will also help you to build a stronger connection and rapport with your leads. Remember, people will want to work with lawyers who ask about them and listen intently.
Keep Meetings Short and to the Point
Virtual meetings are nobody’s favorite things to do. They’re not fun, there, I said it. But while they are not as fun as sitting back and watching The Office, there are some things you can do to make it a more enjoyable experience. One option is to schedule meetings for the least amount of time needed to accomplish the objective. If your consultations can be done in less than 30 minutes, then make the meeting for 30 minutes maximum.
Set a strict schedule and stick to it. If your conversation is running long then schedule a new one for later that day or tomorrow. That way you are increasing the odds of keeping everyone’s attention and having a productive conversation. Then on the other hand, if you get done sooner than you expected don’t continue talking just for the sake of talking. Wrap the consultation up and give their time back to them.
Have a Purpose and an Agenda
Face-to-face interaction is almost always the most effective form of communication, but right now we all have to make the best out of the current situation. Still, that doesn’t mean every decision or conversation requires a Zoom meeting or conference call. Meet via video chat only when it’s necessary.
When you do meet though, make it clear to everyone what the purpose of this conversation is. If you’re not clear on what that is then you are already off to a bad start. To help, send an agenda or a schedule for the conversation via email in advance of the call. You can then also share the schedule again once the call starts just in case they don’t receive the email. Plus then they will know approximately how long the meeting will take.