One thing I have learned over the last few years is that many lawyers take the opportunity to earn someone’s trust and business for granted.
There are two primary reasons for this:
- They don’t believe they can close the client.
- They believe that more clients are coming, which diminishes the value of the individual sitting in front of them.
(If you doubt your ability to close a new prospect or even your ability to deliver a quality service to your clients, this article isn’t for you, but message me right now so we can discuss how I can help you with your mindset.)
The easiest way to know whether or not you are taking your opportunities to onboard new clients seriously is by breaking down the process you go through with each prospective client.
Do you have a specific plan when you sit down with a prospective client for your law firm or do you just wing it?
Simply put, the process you use to close new clients should be systematic, repeatable, and have a high conversion rate.
A Systematic Approach
This is one of my favorite questions for attorneys: Do you use a questionnaire during your initial conversation with a prospective client, or do you just play it by ear?
As you can imagine, most just say they play it by ear and let the conversation flow naturally.
There are two major problems with this approach:
- If you are striking out on closing clients, you have no idea why.
- Without structure, we tend to dominate these conversations by talking WAY too much.
The best thing you can do to help close more clients is to develop a questionnaire for each area of law you practice.
Here are a few benefits of using a questionnaire:
- As you think through your client’s pain points, you can write intentional questions that get to the heart of their issue.
- A questionnaire gives you the freedom to shut up and let the client do the talking. (Your goal is to let the client do 80% of the talking!)
- If written correctly, you will never miss out on the important information you need in order to truly help your client.
I use the term “pain point” constantly because it is the most important thing for you to identify when talking to someone who is in need of your legal services.
They are in your office or on the phone because of a specific problem and this problem has a real tangible and emotional effect on them.
If you spend the bulk of the meeting talking about your experience or telling war stories, you will not truly understand their problem. This means that the client is more likely to balk at your hourly rate or fee for the needed service.
Being equipped with solid information also allows you to handle any objections the client may pose.
In law, the problems and challenges for each client rarely change. Yes, the details are different, but, more importantly, each client is different.
A well-crafted questionnaire allows you to speak to the client and not their situation, which greatly increases your odds of closing.
A Repeatable Process
For most attorneys, the sales process is much shorter than a traditional business.
In many cases, you are fast-tracked to the presentation process because the client has a significant, time-sensitive need.
That being said, having a sales process that is repeatable is one of the most important things you can do for your law firm.
The same questionnaire should be used followed by a scripted presentation that highlights the client’s needs while also addressing their specific pain points.
If the client has any objections during or after the presentation, you simply need to point back to the pain they are experiencing and leverage your experience in order to dismiss them.
The process will be much more refined for attorneys and the sales cycle unless you are dealing with corporate retainer clients, be very fast, but establishing a repeatable process will position your firm for success.
High Conversion Rate
Why are the questionnaire and a repeatable process so important?
Because you should be measuring your close rate and it should be very high!
But if you are struggling to close clients who have a real need, examining and tweaking your process is the easiest way to see improvements.
The key is being able to track what you are doing and changing one variable at a time.
If you have questions about crafting your law firm’s pitch or sales process, shoot me a DM and let me know. I’d love to hop on a call and see if I can help.