10 minutes = $2,000? Sweet!
Dear Subscriber & Friend,
Maybe it’s because I’m a parent, but I don’t usually like to reward naughty behavior. It sends a bad message.
But in this case, I’ll make an exception.
You see, one of my attorney subscribers, Nelson from Florida, was so excited about my advice on using the appointment confirmation call as an opportunity to “re-sell,” that he decided to give it a shot on a new consultation the very next day (even though I had yet to share the formula in my newsletter).
Nelson is such a rebel!
So Nelson gave some specific directions to his assistant to not simply confirm the appointment and hang up (like she always does), but he wanted her to engage the potential client… make sure the client had perfect directions… and resell the client on how good of a decision it was to consult with Nelson. She did exactly that. She was on the phone for about 10 minutes. (Normally her confirmation call would have taken only about 30 seconds.)
The result? Client showed up early, complimented Nelson on how friendly and professional his staff was and plopped down a $2,000 retainer check. Sweet!
Nelson believes the “sticky” call (“sticky” because it makes the prospect stick to the appointment) did the trick because the client had set up an appointment with another attorney after Nelson but he obviously never made it there. (I guess that other attorney is not a subscriber of mine. lol.)
I’ll get to my 5 steps in a second… but first…
Quick Recap of Last Newsletter:
When a prospect calls your office for the first time, they want to achieve mainly two things: 1) they want to tell you about their situation and see if you can help; and 2) they want to see if they get the right “vibe” from you in order to make an appointment. Often, these are split-second decisions. So you have to address both matters. And be sure to focus more on “selling” than qualifying. In doing so, communicate to the prospect about what makes you unique, your track record (if you have a good one), other satisfied clients (without naming names), media/publicity you’ve received, etc. Relate the facts of their case with other cases you’ve successfully handled. Do this and your consultation booking rate with jump.
But wait… there’s more (a la late night TV infomercial)…
When Your Assistant Calls to Confirm the Appointment…
There are 5 main steps in a sticky call, namely:
1. CONFIRM – The primary (and most obvious) function of a confirmation phone call is to confirm the appointment. There’s not much to this step. Simply confirm the exact time and time (and address) with the prospect and make sure the directions are clear. Also, ask them to put it in their calendar, smart phone,etc.
This naturally leads to the following:
Once the time and address are confirmed, follow it with, “Great. Please make sure you’re on time, or even a few minutes early, because Attorney ____________’s schedule is extremely tight and I’m not sure we can get you back in here quickly if you can’t make it on time, OK?” These are “magic” words that create desire. No one wants to hire a lawyer who has no clients; everyone wants the lawyer whose waiting room is packed. Why? Because, psychologically (whether its true or not) we learn that the busy lawyer is the better lawyer. Perception is reality.
2. RESELL – Say to them, “Before I let you go, I just want to go over a few things quickly. Do you have a second?” Here’s where you add some facts about your track record, experience, unique qualifications,etc. It doesn’t have to be detailed or lengthy. Just get it across. Don’t make it come off in an arrogant way or sound like you’re bragging — simply share it with them so they are “fully informed.”
3.”THE EAGER LAWYER – In this step, the assistant should say something like, “Attorney __________ is really looking forward to meeting you and already has some important questions he wants to ask you.” (The caveat here is that you say this only if you actually looked over their phone call intake and know something about their case.) This is one of the most powerful MAGIC PHRASES because there are a few psychological triggers working here: First, you’re conveying that (despite how packed your schedule is — see #1) you took the time to review their case, even without getting paid!. Second, the prospect feels obligated now to come in because you’ve already “worked” on their case. (Yes, I know this is some super “stealthy” stuff — but hey, would you expect anything less?). Also, they like the fact that you are looking forward to meeting them. (Can you imagine if a nurse from your doctor’s office called to confirm your appointment and told you that the doctor’s happy to see you and has come up with some ideas to help you? You’d be shocked and impressed.) And third, they’re super curious what these “important questions are.”
4. WHAT TO EXPECT – Every one of these steps can stand alone as a huge factor in slashing your appointment no-show rate. But what make #4 so powerful is…
I’ve Never Seen Any Other Law Firm Do It (other than those trained by yours truly).
The premise and execution are fairly simple. If you tell people what they can expect when faced with an unfamiliar nerve-wracking or tense situation (like meeting a lawyer for the first time), they are less likely to avoid it because they know what to expect. And that’s exactly what you want to do here. Tell the prospect what will happen from the time they come in to the time they leave: It goes something like this (assuming your assistant is making the call): “As soon as you come in, you’ll see me at the front desk. Like I said, my name is ________. I’ll ask you to give us some more details about your case and then you’ll have a seat. Hopefully, I can get you in right away to see Attorney ________, but like I said, it’s not always easy to get an appointment with him so sometimes clients will keep him a little longer than their time slot (see what I did there?) Once you meet with him, you can tell him everything about your case. He’ll ask you some questions to make sure he has all the facts. He’s a really good listener so he’ll be very interested to hear what you tell him. And of course, everything you say to him is completely confidential. And then he’ll tell you exactly if and how he can help you and what the next step is. That way, you’re never left wondering. Does that sound good?”
I’m telling you… even if the only step you do is #4, you’ll be giving your bottom line a huge jolt.
5. WRAP UP – At this point, you repeat the date and time of the appointment (if you have more than one location, specify which) and then give any other special instructions regarding paying a meter, validating parking, etc. Also, tell them if they have any problem whatsoever making it to the appointment to let you know ASAP because there are other prospects who would probably want their time slot (see, I did it again!).
So, that’s it. This whole spiel may take a little longer than 5 minutes initially. But once this becomes old hat, it should take only about 5 or 6 minutes.
Try it out and send me an email once you do. I have no doubt you’ll be amazed at the results.
P.S. – Let’s go team USA! How far will they go in the World Cup? Any predictions? (Do you even care? lol)