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Tips for getting retained on phone leads?

Maybe some of you veteran attorneys can provide some guidanc shitlawjedi07/30/18
The reality of family/criminal law clients is a sizable port pauperesq07/31/18
Promise results and scare the chit out of them - "You'll be jd4hire07/30/18
Get them in the office to close tttsolo07/30/18
Before you even go to the sales pitch, you need to "qualify" jeffm07/30/18
What I’ve learned is to not spend more than five minutes o themapmaster07/30/18
you're phrasing it wrong. Just ask something along the fo dingbat07/31/18
As my practice has grown I am now losing most of the cases t dakotalaw07/31/18
Not to be harsh, but I'd question the quality you are provid jd4hire07/31/18
They aren’t leaving, they never get here. I’m asking dakotalaw08/01/18
If they’re not being screened, Is assume most calls are ti dingbat08/02/18
What type of tactic is best to take? I don't like the idea o dakotalaw08/02/18
the clients know they need an attorney. They just want one dingbat07/31/18
I don't get how you are getting these handfuls of leads. Are cranky07/31/18
People don’t buy with their head but with their heart. Te dingbat07/31/18
The truth is that most family/crim clients don't have the mo guyingorillasuit07/31/18
Credited. esquirewalletsmatter07/31/18
shitlawjedi (Jul 30, 2018 - 3:10 pm)

Maybe some of you veteran attorneys can provide some guidance here-

I recently switched from a firms where I was doing mostly contingency fee cases to a family law/criminal law scenario where I have to get up front retainers in order to make my money.

They provide a handful of leads for me to call each day, and I follow up on those, but invariably it seems that once I get to the point of quoting the retainer I get the "Okay, I'll get back to you," or whatever.

I realize a certain percentage are just lawyer shopping, and another portion of them really don't have any money to pay a lawyer to begin with. Having said that, I'm getting somewhat discouraged and wondering if there is something I could improve in my approach to these calls?

Does anyone with more experience at "landing the retainer" than me have any tried and true tips you've learned over the years to reel in the cases that really are seeking counsel? Apart from quoting the lowest retainer in town???

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pauperesq (Jul 31, 2018 - 11:05 am)

The reality of family/criminal law clients is a sizable portion of them are just kicking the tires with you so expect a lot of "I'll get back to you" without a return call.

That said, I agree with the poster below who said get them in the door. It's much easier to blow someone off on the phone than in person. Most people have no problem taking 10-15 minutes of your time on the phone, getting a quote, and then hanging up to call the next attorney on their list. People that take time out of their day to drive to you are more likely to give you their business.

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jd4hire (Jul 30, 2018 - 3:12 pm)

Promise results and scare the chit out of them - "You'll be in jail in no time." "You'll never see your kid again without hiring an attorney."

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tttsolo (Jul 30, 2018 - 3:39 pm)

Get them in the office to close

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jeffm (Jul 30, 2018 - 7:55 pm)

Before you even go to the sales pitch, you need to "qualify" the client. This is just like being a car salesman. You don't want to waste an hour trying to hard-sell anyone who can't afford you. It's futile.

Know the case enough to get a feel for what it should take. You aren't going to convince a person to pay you a bunch of money for all your great litigation skills in a no-contest divorce or a trivial criminal matter where nothing serious is on the line. You can't go telling them you need $5k to paper a quick and easy agreed divorce. (I know, there's no such thing as an uncontested divorce, but you get the drift).

On the flip-side, there are cases that need some special attention. Good litigation skills are required. Do you possess strong litigation skills? If not, it's going to be a little tougher to sell them. If you do, demonstrate it to the client, making it very clear there's no way on earth the client can do this himself. Always let them know that they get value for their money with you in terms of solid work without a bunch of procrastination and delay.

I don't know if this adds anything to what you already know. Maybe you could detail the attempts you've made and allow people to critique them.

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themapmaster (Jul 30, 2018 - 8:13 pm)

What I’ve learned is to not spend more than five minutes on the phone with a lead. Five minutes is a sufficient amount of time to understand how complex the case is and quote a retainer. After that talking to these people is a waste of the lawyer’s time, unless the callers appear to be extraordinarily wealthy , which if you are starting up a practice, would be rare.

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dingbat (Jul 31, 2018 - 12:09 am)

you're phrasing it wrong.

Just ask something along the following:

1) what's your issue?
2) what's the worst that could happen?
3) how would that make you feel?
4) how would it feel if I could make it all go away?*
5) Is that worth $$$?

Basically, make them visualize the worst-case scenario, and give them emotional relief right away. That feeling of relief that the problem goes away, that's what sells. If they say it isn't worth the money, you know it's over. If they waffle, go back to the pain.

*don't overpromise. If they think the worst is 20 years in supermax, suggesting 5 in club fed is a huge relief.

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dakotalaw (Jul 31, 2018 - 10:03 am)

As my practice has grown I am now losing most of the cases that I lose to other firms, so the client is already sufficiently scared and understands they need a lawyer.

Any advice for people in my situation?

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jd4hire (Jul 31, 2018 - 2:20 pm)

Not to be harsh, but I'd question the quality you are providing if you are losing clients to other firms. Try and figure out why they are leaving - high costs, poor communication, lack of updates, poor results, etc. Lack of communication and lack of effort to resolve whatever issue is at stake are the biggest issues I see.

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dakotalaw (Aug 1, 2018 - 1:59 pm)

They aren’t leaving, they never get here.

I’m asking about first impression sales over the phone. I only bring in about ten percent of these cases.

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dingbat (Aug 2, 2018 - 2:01 am)

If they’re not being screened, Is assume most calls are time wasters. Unless other people in your office are doing much better, I wouldn’t worry about it.

If they are being screened and/or other people in the office are doing much better than you, the problem lies with you. (Not trying to be insulting). That’s good, because you can work on getting better. Record a few of your calls, critique yourself. Do mock calls with someone who can spot your mistakes. Get a coach. Train yourself

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dakotalaw (Aug 2, 2018 - 11:04 am)

What type of tactic is best to take? I don't like the idea of hard selling or scaring clients. Right now I'm going to focus on 1) insisting they come in the office whenever remotely possible and 2) building a limited rep package to get them signed up with the firm.

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dingbat (Jul 31, 2018 - 4:58 pm)

the clients know they need an attorney. They just want one they’re comfortable with.

One thing I keep reminding myself before every consultation is to teach less - the client doesn’t care about minutia, they just want to know they’re in good hands. Listen to them, ask questions, chat for a bit on common interests - make them like you

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cranky (Jul 31, 2018 - 1:52 pm)

I don't get how you are getting these handfuls of leads. Are they people who have already come in for an initial consultation or called for some info, and then never hired the firm? It's not you, it's them. If the person really wanted to hire an attorney, he or she would have already signed on the dotted line and provided a retainer deposit right away, or at least called back to make an appointment (with a consultation fee-- you gotta have that so you get paid for your time and they respect your expertise).

In family law in particular, you get some wishy washy people who aren't certain about whether they want to go for a divorce, & others flat out don't have the money and are digging for free advice, trying to compare prices with different attorneys, or trying to figure out how to do it themselves. I would not promise anyone that I can make their problems go away, but you could point out some obvious things, such as, "Judges dislike it when parties are pro se and don't understand the rules of evidence."

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dingbat (Jul 31, 2018 - 4:55 pm)

People don’t buy with their head but with their heart.
Telling them stuff they already know doesn’t seal the deal. Getting them to fear pain and feel like you have their back, that gets them to cough up cash

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guyingorillasuit (Jul 31, 2018 - 4:28 pm)

The truth is that most family/crim clients don't have the money to pay a lawyer. Be especially careful with a client who is broke, has a nasty family law case, and says that he/she can borrow $5k from a family member. In a case with a lot of fighting, you need to figure out up front whether or not the potential client has the ability to finance the litigation.

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esquirewalletsmatter (Jul 31, 2018 - 7:56 pm)

Credited.

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