In my column on the National Law Review, I talk a lot about how to market your law firm to attract more traffic and leads. And while there are plenty of ways to market a law firm, few articles explain how to close the deal once a new prospect has been found.
What every lawyer needs is a handbook of closing strategies. Closing strategies help you win more law firm clients and get the most out of your marketing spend.
Don’t let your prospects get cold – use these law firm closing strategies to seal the deal.
Effective Closing Strategies for Law Firms
You get another phone call…or an email…or fill out a contact form…but what’s your next step? Do you have a strategy for closing new deals? Or are you just crossing your fingers and hoping it works out for you?
Believe it or not, closing clients isn’t just about whether they have a record. You will have to put on your best salesman hat in order to win your customer over before they make prize purchases with the competition.
These strategies will help:
1. The consultation closes
Most lawyers are familiar with the concept of using free consultations to get a foot in the door with a potential client. But how much of that conversation is spent building a rapport with the prospect so they want to work with you? You want to assess if they have a case, but you also want to sell your skills on the call.
The key to mastering The Consultation Close is to ask the prospect lots of questions.
What is the history of your problem?
What legal services have you reviewed so far?
How did you meet our law firm?
Who are all the parties involved?
What type of result are you looking for?
What are you looking for in legal services?
This is not only an opportunity to be briefed on the details of their situation but also to find out what they are looking for in a lawyer. By asking these questions, you already have the prospect of imagining what a legal service review would look like. While many enter these conversations looking for free advice, your prospects will already be primed for the sale.
Plus, you’ll get valuable insight into what they’re looking for in an engagement so you can respond to their needs directly.
Do they want a lawyer who will help relieve the stress of the legal process? Maybe you can talk about it. Do they want someone with a lot of litigation experience? Maybe your background makes you a good candidate.
2. The follow-up fence
Sometimes you won’t close the call straight away and that’s okay. After entering their (often emotional) situation, the prospect may need time to think about next steps.
After your first call, don’t let the prospect leave without a follow-up. You can send it as a quick email after your call, then again in about a week. I recommend not following more than twice, otherwise you risk turning the prospect off.
In your follow-up email or call, you might say something like:
“Hey, Jane Doe – Thanks again for meeting [ attorney ] at [ firm name ] Law firm for your free consultation call. We are glad you have chosen to contact us and share the details of your situation. As a follow up, we would like to confirm that the next steps for working with us are X, Y and Z. Please email or call us if you would like to initiate [ step X ]. Thank you!”
3. The end of the question
“Effective salespeople focus on closing a sale as soon as a conversation with a prospect begins.” (Source)
It is a concept that applies not only to the legal field but to sales in general. In order to develop desire in the customer, you need to ask them probing questions that perceive their objections.
For example, one way to gauge a prospect’s objections and inspire engagement at the same time is to ask this question:
“What do you think hiring our law firm would help you achieve in this case?”
This question lets you know if a prospect is convinced that they hired you or if they are still testing your skills. But it also allows you to address any concerns directly on the call. Otherwise, they may never express them and you may wonder why they never hired your company.
Another good question to ask is:
“Is there any reason you wouldn’t hire a lawyer?”
It also helps you raise their concerns – whether it’s experience, cost, etc. – and answer them during the call. This question can either lead to closure (as in “None! Let’s get started!”) or more discussion (as in “I’m not sure I can afford it”).
4. The sharp angle closure
It’s no secret to the general public that hiring a lawyer is not cheap. That’s why the most common question lawyers are faced with at the end of a consultation call is usually, “How much do you charge?” »
Prospects ask this question to set their own expectations. And even if it’s a simple request, it’s important not to be caught off guard.
The key to mastering The Sharp Angle Close is to always know your numbers; that is, if someone asks you how much you cost, be sure to have your down payment and/or your hourly rate in mind.
The second secret is to have a backup response if they counter. Prospects often ask for a price reduction because they want to own the conversation. But a conversation is a two-way street, so try The Sharp Angle Close to move the negotiation forward:
If a prospect asks, “Is it possible to work for less than $1,500 a month instead of $2,500?” answer: “Of course! I think we can make it work if you are able to sign the contract today!” They’re probably not expecting this response, but they’re more likely to pull the trigger because you’re responding to their request for a lower rate.
5. Closing of the deposit
You feel the conversation is going well and have determined that the client is a good candidate. However, you both avoid the question “How much does it cost?” question and it’s time to act. How do you do that with finesse?
One option is to not invest a lot of money and have the prospect sign a commitment with an initial deposit. That way, if there’s a small price shock with your retainer cost, you can give them some time to “prepare” for the engagement by essentially paying an onboarding fee.
The goal here is to get them to commit to the deposit right from the call. Tell them you’ll send the contract and invoice within one business day. Their filing occupies their place on your calendar for a set amount of time. Then, the first full invoice will be due after your first month of collaboration.
6. Closing of the contract
Many prospects want to know exactly what they’re getting before hiring a lawyer. For those looking for this information, sending them your contract as soon as possible can be the key to convincing them to hire you.
You can detail the terms of your agreement, billing details, how communication will work, customer expectations, and more. Providing a professional contract in advance will show that you are serious, legitimate and organized. Moreover, they are unlikely to find this information by simply looking at other lawyers’ websites.
You can choose to take a deposit with the contract or not. The point is that the client knows the contract is binding and they are committed to working with you. Clean and simple, The Contract Close is the means by which many law firms bring their clients in.
Win more clients by becoming a fence pro
You don’t have to be an expert salesperson to win more customers. All you need are expert-level closing strategies used by the pros. Use the methods above to turn more of your marketing leads into actual customers for your business.
Do you also want to get more traffic and leads? Try implementing a content marketing plan to drive more leads to your law firm with online content.