9. Convert Prospects into Paying Clients
Remember, a prospect is a lead. Someone in need who knows about you (a “pre-client”) A client, on the other hand, is an individual who pays you to work on a legal case. The difference is which side of the wallet the person is on. Since getting leads is a different story than converting the lead to a paying client, let’s talk about a few conversion strategies.
- Uniqueness: Refer back to the section “Differentiating Yourself from the Competition” because it’s the basis of your brand identity. What makes you different from the rest? If you can answer this, you’re ahead of the competition.
- Price Points: As mentioned earlier, your rate can be as good as it can be bad. Come clients want to save a buck and will sign with a lower-priced attorney, so that’s a good strategy. But it comes with a downside. On the other hand, wealthy clients tend to be picky and demanding, so maybe they can pay more but they don’t want to and they can be even more difficult to manage than less affluent clients.
- Forms of Payments: This may sound petty, but some leads might be completely turned off from your services if you don’t accept credit cards. If you’re a new attorney with a new practice and you don’t have a merchant account, set up a PayPal account. But don’t lose a client just because you can’t make it easy for them to buy. It’s about making it easy to do business with you.
- Level of Ease: Nobody wants to be pressured, guilted or judged. Don’t kiss up—desperation is not attractive. At the same time, don’t come across as money-hungry. Care. Strike a nice balance between empathy and assertiveness. Establish your ethos and read the prospective client, then act accordingly.
- Close the Deal: Sometimes you just have to ask. Your prospect may be worried, nervous, mentally occupied or just simply flaky. You are their rock. Help them by asking them to get things started. Here’s an example of a soft close: “There’s a lot of work to do to make sure we can get you the best recovery possible. As soon as I have a representation agreement signed, I can get to work. I’ll send you the representation agreement now by email. Can you get that back to me today?” Sometimes soft isn’t good enough and a direct approach is needed: “I’ll need a \$5,000 retainer to get started. Do you want to pay that with a check or credit card?” If you’ve been listening to your client, you’ll know how best to close the deal.
Obviously conversion is a key step, otherwise you’re left with a lot of prospects and no revenue. Keep track of your conversion techniques. Use the ones that work and ditch the ones that don’t.