The initial client consultation is an area where elder law attorneys devote a lot of time and attention. It’s one of the most important strategies for elder law practice success. But the reality is that many of these meetings turn out to be fruitless, or they don’t set the stage to maximize your practice’s profits.
To capitalize on this meeting it’s important to understand that, in the minds of most prospective clients, this is where 80 percent of the value is. This is their first impression and in reality, the initial client meeting is where they’ll size you up and where you will set the value expectations that determine what you can charge, or more specifically, what your clients believe you are worth and are willing to pay you.
With every first meeting you need to be thinking about how you can retain elder law clients and turn them into those that will be profitable for the long term so you can continue to grow your practice. Improving the first client meeting will also help you learn how to minimize the time you spend in situations where it quickly becomes evident that a prospect is unqualified.
Using the client intake form to your advantage
The client intake form presents a great opportunity to collect the information you need in order to anticipate what your client will find value in during your first meeting. Not only will the intake form help you build rapport, it will also help you gauge their mindset and perception about elder law planning issues before they ever set foot in your office.
Armed with this information you can tailor your initial consultation to provide the most value to a potential client. Right away you’re setting the stage for how much your clients will pay for your expertise going forward. This will also help you avoid the painful two- or three-hour consultation and make the time you spend with prospects shorter, while exponentially more productive. This is sometimes known as “front-loading” the initial consultation.
Of course, none of this preparation takes the place of being present and engaged during the consultation. This is where you can hone in on the specific reasons your prospect is there and wants your services.
By transforming the initial consultation you will ultimately provide a better customer experience that will lead to increased profitability and referrals in the long run. In our Symposium session, you’ll learn about common pitfalls in the elder law initial consultation process, and 10 ways you can improve these meetings to maximize profitability.
This flowchart might also come in handy when talking to new clients about protecting assets in the event of a health care crisis happens down the road.