I love the smell of electrons in the morning

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I can’t remember the last time I printed anything. My work and personal life are now almost completely digital.

And I like it that way.

If you’re like me and your practice is nearly all-digital, there is a time when I encourage you to go retro: When you’re signing up new clients, give them some papers to read, fill out and sign.

There are two reasons.

First, it gives them something to do, which helps to relieve some of the natural tension they experience by being in a lawyer’s office and contemplating their legal situation, not to mention the money they are about to spend to deal with it.

Busying themselves with reading and writing helps distract them from their concerns. There’s something familiar and relaxing about the process of filling out paperwork.

You can do this even if you’re not paperless.

If you or your staff ordinarily do all of the information gathering and paper filling-out for new clients, consider amending that habit somewhat and having your clients do some of it.

The second reason you want the client to fill out at least some of the paperwork is that in doing so, they take a step towards becoming a client. The physical act of filling out paperwork is a subconscious signal that they’re doing so.

Psychologists tell us this makes it more likely that they will act congruently, that is, do whatever else they are asked to do to actually hire you.

Asking them to fill out and sign some paperwork is a form of a “trial close”. It’s like asking during the consultation, “Where would you like us to send copies of your final documents?” If they tell you the address they want to use, they are one step closer to becoming your client.

If you mail prospective clients forms to fill out before their first appointment (or put them on your website), you’re using the same strategy.

Ask prospective clients to do things that are consistent with them hiring you and you’ll get more people hiring you.

Use your website to pre-sell prospective clients. Here’s how

 

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