With social distancing and stay-at-home orders in effect in various states due to the coronavirus, it may seem especially challenging to sign on new clients for your law firm. The good news is that attracting new business during this time isn’t impossible—it just requires some creative solutions.
Below are a few common questions about the best practices for client intake during COVID-19, as well as answers that we touched on in our recent webinar: “Marketing & Practice Management Tips for Law Firms During COVID-19.”
When you implement these strategies, you’re able to better serve your clients while also ensuring your practice is able to secure new business, even during the current economic slowdown.
In light of social distancing, what’s the best way to conduct consultations?
While you may not be able to meet with individuals in person, there are steps you can take to maintain face-to-face interaction with potential clients. Try using video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts for your initial consultations and any client meeting that follow.
Providing a way to connect visually (rather than just by email or phone) is important because it allows for a more personal interaction, which can help a greater sense of transparency and trust with your prospective client (making them more likely to become a new client). Going the extra mile to meet face-to-face (albeit, virtually) also shows prospects and clients that you’re willing to do what it takes to make them feel more comfortable and supported in their legal matter.
Remember that your prospects and clients are going through a lot of additional stress right now aside from the stress of their legal issue, so anything you can do to maintain a strong line of communication and create a greater sense of normalcy will go a long way.
What’s the fastest and easiest way to get clients to sign a retainer agreement when we’re not in the same room?
While you can always rely on more traditional methods like snail mail, scanning, and faxing, there are now tools such as DocuSign that allow you to sign up clients remotely, which can help you get the signed documentation almost as quickly as if the client was standing right in front of you. All you have to do is upload your contract, add an email address to indicate who needs to sign, place signature fields on the contract, and ship it off. Tools like DocuSign are secure and are becoming more commonly used within the industry, and they can help you minimize potential delays in getting your client retained.
How can I make it easier for clients to pay a retainer during these challenging economic times?
Due to the current economic climate, your clients may not have the money to pay what they owe right away. Offering payment plans that are designed around the client’s needs is the best way to provide some added flexibility through this rough period—and it can also help your firm retain cases you might have otherwise missed out on. Additionally, when you meet your client halfway, this demonstrates empathy and communicates that you are more than just your bottom line.
While there’s no way you could have foreseen the challenges we’re all now facing today as a nation, there are things you can do right now to mitigate the negative impact on your firm. It’s important to remain fluid and do whatever you can to adapt to the changes in the best way possible.