The Power of the Free Consultation- Part 3 of 3
Once you have perfected the process for scheduling Free Consultations, you will then have to deliver. Inexperienced attorneys often get bogged down in the details of the case and miss some of the most basic components of the Free Consultation.
What a Free Consultation Should Look Like
A Free Consultation should be nothing more than a “getting to know you” session. It is imperative that you maintain control of the conversation. The best way to do this is to set the expectations for the Free Consultation upfront.
When the client arrives, greet them warmly, introduce yourself, and let them know what will be covered in the Free Consultation. Inform them that the purpose of this meeting is to determine if you are a good fit to work together, and that you will gladly answer any questions that they have regarding your experience, style, and processes. Apologize that while you will listen to the details of your case and let them know if you can assist them, you are not legally allowed to provide them with advice until they retain you as their attorney.
Your Free Consultation should cover ONLY these items:
- The amount of time you have available for the free consultation- typically about 30 minutes.
- Who you are, your experience & background. Tell them why they should choose you.
- Whether their case is in your wheelhouse, and examples of similar past cases where you have had success.
- Your Fee Structure, and what they can expect to pay for your services.
- Your process and what they can expect from working with you, as well as how communication should be handled, and any policies they should be aware of.
- At the end of the time you have allotted, politely let them know that their time is up. Ask them if they would like to retain your services, and schedule a paid follow-up for a more in-depth discussion. If you have blocked out available time after their meeting (which we recommend), offer to continue the meeting immediately, at your agreed upon rate, so you can discuss their specific case in more detail.
Retain More Clients & Grow Your Bottom Line
Whether you like it or not, sales is a numbers game. The more people you get in front of you, the more clients you will be able to retain. The growth in both your client load and your firm’s bottom line is greatly determined by how well you handle the Free Consultation process. Get good at it, and demand your staff to do the same.
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