Obviously the goal of any interaction with prospective clients on social media is ensuring they turn into billable hours down the road. What is the one thing you hear from these prospective clients more than anything else? More than likely, “I can’t afford a lawyer.” In order to make the most conversions, you need to make sure these individuals understand the entire process. How they believe it works isn’t how it really does.
First and foremost, invite all prospective clients in for a free consultation and explain that free consultations are the standard, not the exception. Provide as much information as you possibly can, and reassure your future client that litigation isn’t the end of the world.
Are there pro bono options available from your firm or neighboring firms? Even when a prospective client really can’t afford your legal services, they’re still people in need — and helping people in need is the foundation of your job. In addition, making sure these individuals are taken care of will increase the opportunity for referrals.
Also, you need to make sure the prospective client understands the potential savings of retaining a lawyer in certain situations. For example, a person who was in a car accident might avoid retaining a lawyer if they aren’t immediately sued by another involved party whether at fault or not. It’s important they understand how imperative it is to build a solid defense sooner rather than later if a lawsuit is likely or expected. Building a case soon can mean the difference between victory and defeat in court.
Do you work on contingency? Most people who believe they can’t afford a lawyer don’t realize that some lawyers don’t collect payment unless they actually win. Use this to your benefit when trying to find more business.
Some people are too anxious to meet in person or talk on the phone, but might be more comfortable exchanging an email. Start small if you suspect someone might have these quirks.