There are many benefits to sending your new clients a "welcome" letter.
- It allows you express appreciation by saying "thank you"
- It shows that you are organized, which reduces anxiety and inspires confidence
- It lets you assure clients of your commitment to helping them achieve their desired outcome
- It lets you tell them what to expect, avoiding surprises and allowing you to deliver more than they expect
- It orients them to office procedures (hours, whom to call, where to park, etc.), reducing confusion
- It allows you to encourage the client to ask questions or express concerns
- It can inform the client about your other practice areas (cross-selling)
- It can let them know that you appreciate referrals
- It let’s them know more about you, adding to your developing relationship
Your welcome letter should make the new client feel truly welcome, appreciated, and empowered. It should calm their fears, inspire their confidence, and innoculate them against negative consequences. They should conclude, upon reading it, that they absolutely made the right decision in choosing you as their attorney.
Welcome letters should be signed with an original signature, not a photocopy, or worse, left blank. Add a personal note, handwritten at the end of the letter, adding a comment about the client’s situation, family, or business, or an additional word of encouragement. Show the client that you took the time to personally ackowledge them, rather than asking your secretary to send out a form letter.
For a unique twist, consider an "audio letter". Simply record your welcome message and burn it onto a CD. You can add audio greetings from your partners and staff, too. If you really want to go crazy, you could record a video welcome letter onto a DVD. Take the client on a video tour of your office, introduce them to staff, show them your library, and so on. You should do this with them in person, of course, but this is nice added touch.
Is your welcome letter doing everything it could? If not, take the time to make it better. You won’t get another chance to make a first impression.