What to do when a potential client says no


You meet with a prospective client, diagnose their problem, propose a solution, and quote a fee. They need your help, but tell you they want to think about it. They don’t call.

What should you do? How can you get them to hire you?

Sorry, bub. It’s probably too late. “I want to think about it” usually means no. It’s an excuse for some other objection.

They aren’t convinced they need a lawyer’s help. They aren’t convinced you’re the one they should choose. They don’t have the money. Or they need some else’s permission.

By and large, these objections should be dealt with before the client calls for an appointment or before they meet you.

You post information on your website, so they know why they need a lawyer and why they should choose you. You post detailed answers to FAQ’s, about your area of the law and the available options you offer.

You don’t quote fees online (or on the phone), but provide guidelines, so people have a general idea of how much they can expect to pay and what payment options you offer. They know they can’t hire you for $1,000 but it won’t cost them $100,000. They know they don’t need to pay 100% up front but they know they have to pay something.

Do this and when they call, they will already know that they need a lawyer and that you’re the one they want. They’ll know they will probably be able to afford your fees.

When they call to make an appointment, you make sure they bring their spouse or partner or other decision maker, or that they otherwise have the authority to hire you.

Now, when they’re in the office and you diagnose their problem, propose a solution, and quote a fee, you have eliminated most or all of their reasons to say no. If there are any remaining objections, you find out about them and deal them when they’re sitting in your office.

This way, they don’t have to think about it.

You deal with objections before they arise. You eliminate reasons to say no before they are said. After the fact, there’s not a lot you can do.

When a potential client says no, or I want to think about, or otherwise does not hire you, don’t blame them, and don’t chase them. Put them on your mailing list and stay in touch with them because they may hire you some day or refer business some day. But probably not today.

Learn what to put on your website to eliminate objections before they arise. Click here.