Follow up until they buy or die


How many times do you follow up with a prospective client? Over what period of time? What do you say, what do you do, what do you offer?

Do you call, to see if they got the information you sent them? Do you send a letter or email to follow-up after a free consultation? Do you send a note to thank them for attending your seminar?

And what do you do after that?

Following-up is different from staying in touch. Follow-up is planned in advance, a natural series of “next steps” after initial contact. When you follow-up with a prospective client (who might be a former client or even an existing client with another matter), you fan the flames of their need for help and guide them towards taking the next step.

Decide in advance how you will follow-up so you can execute without thought or delay.

Work out all of the steps. What will you say or do, what will you send them, how often?

Someone emails you or fills out the form on your website, asking questions. How will you respond? What will you invite them to do? How many times will you follow-up? Over what period of time?

Someone attends a seminar but doesn’t make an appointment. How will you follow-up? What will you offer? If they don’t respond, what will you do next?

Someone needs help but they have a small window of time. They need to hire an attorney this week or this month or it will be too late. You need to do more follow-ups in less time and you need to be more urgent. What will you say? What will you do?

Figure it out. Have the letters written, ready to send, before the next prospective client contacts you.

At some point, follow-up will blend into staying in touch. The initial courtship will have run its course and the client has either hired you or they have not. You shift gears from follow-up to staying in touch, but you don’t stop. You never stop.

You keep your name in front of them, reminding them that you’re still available to help them with their problem or with something else. You follow-up and you stay in touch until they buy or they die.

Because you never know when someone will finally be ready to take the next step.

Get more prospective clients so you can turn them into actual client. This will help 


The two stages of following up with prospective clients


So, someone is interested. You talked to them about how you can help them, they came to a seminar, or requested information. You may or may not know where they are in terms of hiring you (or not), but you understand that following up with prospective clients can bring you a lot of business.

What do you do?

Following up with prospective clients (and this can include former clients who have inquired about another one of your services) should be done in two stages.

Stage one takes place soon after the initial conversation, consultation, or request for information. How soon depends on the nature of their problem. For most legal issues we’re talking days, not months.

In stage one, you contact them frequently and send them lots of information.

Your letters and emails (and calls, possibly) have an element of urgency. If you have made an offer for a free or discounted service, there is a deadline, the clock is ticking, and you remind them about this often, right up until the deadline has expired.

You or someone in your office should call them. Ask if they want to schedule an appointment to get started. Ask if they reviewed the information you sent. Ask if they have any questions. You have to assume they will be making a decision soon and that they have or will talk to other attorneys. You want them to choose you.

Stage two follow-up is for prospective clients who went through stage one but did not hire you. They may have hired another lawyer or done nothing. The legal situation that precipitated their first contact with you has either passed or is under control. They may hire you for that matter at some point in the future, or for something else.

Stage two is your “drip list”.

You contact them less frequently, and with less urgency. You send them a little bit of information (about your services, about their legal issues) from time to time. You don’t wait months but you don’t send them something every day.

You might invite them to another event, offer them a free or discounted service (or renew your original offer), or encourage them to call with questions. You gently remind them that you are still handling the kinds of matters they first inquired about, and you tell them about your other services or practice areas.

Stage one follow-up runs its course in matter of days or weeks. Stage two follow-up takes place forever. Someone who talked to you today may hire you ten years from now, if you stay in touch with them. They may never hire you but send referrals.

Your might fold your drip list into your newsletter list. After all, they have the same purpose.

Learn more about following up with email and how to Make the Phone Ring