23 May 2016 by Kelly Mills
In my experience Solicitors believe that simply being an expert is enough. Being an expert helps you know the law. Being personable and an expert, helps you get referrals. But learning key sales techniques can help you convert initial consultations to clients. Too many firms look to increase their marketing and advertising spend, long before they take a hard look at the conversion rates of their initial consults.
9 initiatives to convert an initial consult into a client.
Recognize that you need to sell your product, which is you. I'm not saying don't give advice, in an initial consult, just that it's not all you need to do. The longer you believe that the initial consult is purely about giving advice, the longer it will take for you to start converting more initial consults to clients.
Start measuring your results. You can’t see or celebrate your successes unless you measure your results.
- How many initial phone calls turn into initial consults (and who takes the calls)
- How many initial consults turn into clients (clearly define when a client becomes a client) – no fudging.
- How many of these clients do you see to the finality of their case including paying all bills
You are an expert only if you say you are On the premise that you are a good lawyer, you need to tell the client that you are good at what you do, with confidence, in a matter of fact tone, then it will be so. When you can achieve this, you will see the power it has!
- I know I am the best Solicitor for your case, my expertise is second to none in this area
- I’m glad you came to me, I am an expert in this area of law, engaging me will make a big difference to your case.
- ‘I know’, never ‘I think’
Don’t make excuses for your costs - Never apologise for how much or how you charge. Educate the prospective client on your values, by indicating that you don’t charge if you have a casual chat, because building a relationship with them is valuable to you etc.
Separate yourself from competitors even if you aren’t doing that much differently, simply pointing out what you do or your passion for what you do will set you above competitors. Examples;
- Our communication with you throughout your case is guaranteed. Our firm will give you a brief weekly update on your case by email, at no cost to you; this gives you peace of mind and understanding on how your case is progressing.
Create urgency - Where possible create urgency, sometimes urgency in certain cases doesn't feel natural, so predetermine ways in each type of case on how you can do this appropriately;
- We have to move on your file straight away, pro-activity will give you an edge in this case. I will run through the cost agreement with you in detail, and if you are satisfied we can start.
Close by asking for the business - closing is a talent, but it can be learnt. You need to step up and ask for the business. You can do that in various ways;
- Let’s run through this cost agreement, it’s important to me that you are fully aware of each part so that you are comfortable moving forward. After explaining agreement, ask if they are comfortable to move forward. If you feel the need give them 5-10 minutes alone to review the document.
Follow up - if you can’t close on the spot, tell the prospective client you are going to call them in 1-7 days, and then actually call them. Ask how they are going with their decision, and express your interest in moving their case forward. If they still haven’t made a decision ask permission to call them in say 1-3 weeks, it will surprise you that they will give you permission, and then call them again, and so on, until they actually say they aren’t going forward with your firm. You need to hear a NO.
Get the right tools - Make the most of your Legal Software, enter prospective clients and diarise follow ups. Better still if you have a system that allows you to create a Workflow from initial call/ consult to client, for all new business, you will be able to track your results and the system will prompt you to make calls and follow up.