Evaluating Prospective Clients

Prospective clients need to be evaluated. And prospective clients need to feel special at all times, as they get to know us. These are the Protemoi steps that people go through as they go from new prospect to loyal client.

  • Prospective client
  • Acquaintance
  • Curious skeptic
  • New client
  • Solid working relationship
  • Loyal client
  • Enthusiastic referral source
The steps described below are the first steps in the client onboarding process, which is focused on the process of evaluating prospects, rejecting them or accepting them.

  1. 1

    Prospective Client: First Awareness

    Ways that people become aware of our services:
    • Referral from friend or family member
    • Referral from attorney
    • Referral from acquaintance
    • Saw an article published by one of our attorneys
    • Heard one of our attorneys on a podcast
    • Saw a YouTube video of one of our attorneys
    • Visited the firm website
    • Saw an advertisement run by the firm
  2. 2

    First Contact

    Ways that people might contact our firm initially:


  3. 3

    Decide if prospect is a good client

    Not every prospect is a good fit for the firm. The reasons a prospect might be declined include:
    • Conflict of interest (mandatory reason)
    • Previously engaged an attorney (and no good reason for switching)
    • Missed appointment or failure to provide requested information
    • Strong intuition/feeling that client isn't suitable
  4. 4

    Decline Representation

    Send the prospect a polite email using this template:

    Dear [FIRST NAME]:
    
    
    We appreciate you reaching out to us about handling your [DESCRIBE MATTER BRIEFLY]. However, we regret to say that we are unable to accept representation of your matter.

    [IF CONFLICT OF INTEREST IS THE REASON SAY SO HERE]

    We hope that you are able to find another good law firm to work with. And we wish you the best in pursuing your legal claim.
    
    
    Best wishes,
    
    
    [YOUR NAME]
    If the client was referred by an attorney, carbon copy them on the email so they're made aware of our decision not to take the representation.
    Next step 15: End
  5. 5

    Schedule meeting with prospect

    Set up whatever type of meeting is best for the client. Options include:
    • Phone conference
    • Zoom meeting
    • In-person meeting 
    Whichever meeting type is set, add the client's contact information into the firm's CRM. Collect the following information:
    • How client first heard about us (website, referral source etc.)
    • First name, last name
    • Mailing address
    • Phone number(s) (cellphone and/or other)
    • Email address

    Use the client's email address to trigger a drip sequence in the firm's email broadcast software (i.e. ConvertKit).
  6. 6

    Result of Scheduled Meeting

    In most cases, the client will attend the scheduled meeting. Sometimes the appointment will need to be rescheduled (which Acuity allows the client to do on their own).

    However, if the client misses the appointment without a good reason, we will decline the representation.
  7. 7

    Client misses appointment

    Send the prospect a polite email using this template:

    Dear [FIRST NAME]:
    
    We regret that you were unable to attend the scheduled meeting with us to discuss your matter. As a result, we are unable to accept representation of your matter.
    
    We hope that you are able to find another good law firm to work with. And we wish you the best in pursuing your legal claim.
    
    Best wishes,
    
    [YOUR NAME]
    If the client was referred by an attorney, carbon copy them on the email so they're made aware of our decision not to take the representation.
  8. 8

    Client attends scheduled appointment

    At the appointment, the client will be expected to engage the firm. If that happens then we present them with our form engagement letter.

    We will expect the advanced deposit to be paid at that time. We will not sign the engagement letter and accept representation until:
    1. The client has signed the engagement letter
    2. The client has provided a check or credit card payment for the full amount of the advanced deposit
  9. 9

    Client leaves without making decision

    If the prospective client wants to think about whether to engage us, we should inform them that they have only 48 hours to make that decision. We will explain that we can only take so many cases each month, and we can't hold open a spot for them beyond 48 hours.
  10. 10

    Engagement

    We send them our form engagement letter by email for electronic signature.

    We will not sign the engagement letter and accept representation until:
    1. The client has signed the engagement letter
    2. The client has provided a check or credit card payment for the full amount of the advanced deposit
  11. 11

    Schedule initial client meeting

    Schedule an initial client meeting, and put the client in the automated email sequence in our ConvertKit system to educate them about working with us.
  12. 12

    End

  13. 13

    No engagement

    If the client decides not to hire us, or takes longer than 48 hours we email them the following:
    Dear [FIRST NAME]:
    
    We not able to accept representation of your matter.
    
    We hope that you are able to find another good law firm to work with. And we wish you the best in pursuing your legal claim.
    
    Best wishes,
    
    [YOUR NAME]
    If the client was referred by an attorney, carbon copy them on the email so they're made aware of our decision not to take the representation.
  14. 14

    Systems are vital

    Using documented workflows allows you to be as organized as possible, and to avoid (or at least minimize) confusion about how to perform common tasks, and how to make key decisions.

    Want to Learn More?

    Learning how to standardize workflows is an important Key To Creating Systems. To learn more about doing this for your firm, check this out.
  15. 15

    End

If you still have a question, we’re here to help. Contact us.