CONSULT APPOINTMENT SETTING: Time is of the essense
The longer it takes to do a consult with your prospects, the greater the opportunity for them to contact and meet with another attorney before you. Often, the first attorney to meet with a prospect will get the retainer agreement.
While it’s usually not possible to do a consult with a prospective client the same day they initially call, you should, if you can. Or, arrange to do the consult the following day. Any longer than that, and you’ve opened the door for another attorney to jump ahead, and potentially retain the client before he or she ever meets with you.
This is one of the leading causes of appointment no-shows, and is an unfortunate reality of the increasingly competitive environment your law firm deals with every day.
1. Ask the prospective client when his or her first available time is for a consult, rather than simply telling them when your next available appointment time is. This will give you a sense of how quickly the prospect is seeking to meet with an attorney.
2. If your first available consult time is more than 48 hours after the initial inquiry, consider doing a mini phone consult sooner ~ you can at least pre-qualify the prospect to find out if they are legally able to file. Waiting longer than two days to talk to the prospect will leave the door open for him or her to seek an earlier appointment with another attorney.
3. If a phone consult is done, immediately follow up with an email recap of your conversation, and include a retainer agreement to sign. The follow-up email does not have to be aggressive in tone, just prompt. Do not allow time for the prospect to meander off into another law firm.
The result? Expeditious appointments and follow-up will improve your closing rate and decrease your appointment no-shows.