Most attorneys acquire cases through referrals or word of mouth advertising. This is why it is important to have a good reputation surrounding your firm. Even if you aren’t able to help with a potential client’s case it never hurts to offer up some crucial advice during your consultation that can help them as they search for the right attorney.
No More Autobiographical Voicemails
Let’s be honest, nothing is more annoying than listening to a 10 min voicemail especially from a stranger. Attorneys like quick and to the point messages that last no longer than 30 seconds. Instruct potential clients to leave voice messages similar to this…
“Hi, my name is [insert name], I think I have an [insert case type] issue. Can You give me a call back at [insert contact info]? Thank you for your time!”
Most attorneys do not want to know their life story, especially in a voicemail, this is a major turn off and will result in no callback or a pity meeting, where they quote a large retainer in hopes that the client doesn’t move forward with their council.
Don’t Bring The Whole Family To Our Consultation
If you have an appointment, you don’t need anyone else in attendance at your meeting, especially during the current Coronavirus pandemic. In the past attorneys typically didn’t mind if one other person came along but now you have to take social distancing into consideration. If your potential client plans to bring someone else, ask them to let you know in advance, due to office and lobby restrictions. Explain to them that the main reason for showing up to their consultation solo is because the extra bodies tend to draw focus away from what you are meeting about. It’s quite simple: If they do not add value to the case, then leave them at home.
First Impressions matter! Credibility is very important during consultations, in the courtroom, and during depositions. Let them know that their first line of defense is their appearance. It sounds very superficial but it’s the hard truth. If your client enters the courtroom in loungewear, is unkempt or in too provocative clothing, they will be judged partially on their appearance.
Tell the Truth
Encourage your potential client’s to be as transparent as possible because Honesty is the best policy. Let them know that even though little white lies are human nature, that this is not the place for them. Every detail counts and is important, so if a lawyer doubts them in the consultation, or doesn’t think they have a case, getting over initial disbelief is very hard. Remind them that you are their advocate, NOT their witness. So be sure to urge your clients to bring as much proof to insure their case. If you aren’t able to convince your attorney that you’re telling the truth, the odds are that you won’t be able to sway a courtroom.
These suggestions apply directly to every potential client you might acquire and should be established during or before your consultation. They are good benchmarks for establishing a good “attorney-client” relationship. It’s important to go into any partnership with a clear understanding of what is expected from both sides. Once you land your new client check out some great tips on how to maintain a happy client-attorney relationship. It’s also a nice gesture to refer your client to another attorney that will better suit their needs if you are unable to assist.