Most people have never hired an attorney before. When new clients or prospective clients come to your office, they are nervous. Do you make clients feel welcome? Do you make them feel comfortable?
If you do, you take a big step towards ensuring that they like you, hire you, and recommend you.
First impressions count.
What are you doing in your waiting room to make clients comfortable? What do they experience when they talk to the receptionist? What impression do they get when they meet you for the first time?
Take inventory of what it’s like to come to your office for a first appointment, or any appointment.
Here are some suggestions:
- Greet client with a smile
- Ask about traffic, parking, weather
- Make it easy to fill out paperwork: sticky notes, highlights, clipboard, pen
- Tell them how long it will be before attorney will see them
- Offer coffee, water
- Something to read , TV–take their mind off their situation
- Kids: coloring books, toys
- Plants, pleasant decor, comfortable seating
- You come to get them
- Business attire, well groomed
- Handshake, smile, eye contract
- Greet by name, ask how they are doing
- Comfortable small talk
- Offer coffee, water, refills
- Explain what will happen at the appointment
- Free consultation: explain no cost or obligation
- Ask open-end questions, take notes, ask”confirming” questions
- 100% attention: no calls, texts, emails; continue making eye contact
- Summarize plan of action before they leave
- Walk them back to reception room
- Consider: brief office tour, introduce staff
Make clients feel welcome and appreciated. Help them relax. Show them that you are a professional and that you will take good care of them. Show them that they made the right choice when they chose you.