Reduce No-Shows with 4 Simple Principles

How to fix client no-shows

You could spend many hours preparing to meet with a new client, only to have them bail at the last minute, without explanation.

All of those hours you spent were wasted, along with the real monetary value of your time.

So How Do You Prevent No-Shows?

The answer is more subtle than you might imagine. After all, the potential client has already decided that your firm is worth setting up a meeting with. They’ve likely vetted your website, and maybe even asked their family and friends if they are familiar with your service – yet they still don’t follow through!

What could have happened?

The truth is that running a law firm requires skills more commonly found in business school than in law school.

Apply Sales Tactics to a Law Firm

The solution to your no-show problem can be found in an unlikely place: business-to-business sales. Sales leaders at companies like Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, and other tech companies put a huge amount of effort into minimizing no-shows, and their work can have an incredible effect in the legal industry as well.

The ability to set and keep meetings will make or break a sales organization. Here are some techniques used by modern sales teams to reduce no-shows that can help you eliminate bottle necks at your firm and sign more clients.

Streamline intake

1 – Invest in Your Online Reviews

Imagine this scenario.

You’ve been networking in your local legal community, building valuable relationships and connecting with referral partners for future joint ventures. One day you get call from a connection asking you to sign onto a big case with her.

Your referral partner puts the potential client in touch with you to get the ball rolling. The call goes well and you set a meeting right away.

Here’s where things can take a turn.

If this potential client finds that you have only a few online reviews compared to your competition, you risk losing them entirely.

Not only does this mean that you lost a case, but in this scenario you likely would have lost the confidence of this referral source as well.

That’s no good.

Investing in reviews can be one of the wisest decisions a law firm leader can make, and it can pay exponential dividends.

2 – Create Air Tight Intake Processes

One major reason that no-shows leave you empty handed is simply a failure to convey the importance of using your services for their situation when setting the meeting.

In our experience, people are generally kind and polite. When someone takes the time to get them on the phone, they may agree to a meeting simply out of good will, but they don’t actually plan to follow through.

Make sure your intake team has a defined script and set of quality control measures that they are accountable for when vetting clients. Even if you outsource your intake with a third party service, ensure that you have full visibility into the different communications going out to potential clients.

If the PNC understands what could happen if they did not meet with you, they would be more inclined to meet instead of facing the consequences of not hiring your firm.  This is essentially reselling the importance of what you do, while instilling urgency in them to act.

3 – Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

Too often attorneys take on cases not because they are a best fit for their firm, but because they feel pressured to. This also applies to referral clients.

If you aren’t confident that an incoming case aligns with your goals for your law firm, it is advisable that you don’t take it.

Some lawyers have a tendency to cast a broad net when they start a new law firm. They don’t want to miss a potentially huge cases, but end up spreading themselves too thin, and wasting time on cases that don’t earn as much as they’d like in fees.

It pays to be picky.

The more you are selective of your incoming docket, the more experience you will receive in a specific area. This will create a positive feedback loop in which you continue to build confidence in your field, and clients will begin to notice your growing reputation over time.

4 – Stay Brief When Setting a Meeting

There can be a fine line between doing due diligence and overwhelming a client with information early on.

Whether you are using an intake script or a questionnaire, try to optimize the information you are gathering from incoming cases. You want to ensure you get enough information to know if the case will likely be worth your time.

However, you must also keep in mind that there is a limit what you should ask for. Be mindful that you aren’t scaring off clients by inundating them with information before you even have a chance to meet in person.

Further Reading

Here are some great resources to help you strengthen your law firm’s processes and reduce no-shows:

Specific to Law:

From the Business World:

Get More Value from Your Marketing with Client Chat Live

We offer a set of tools that you can use to reduce no-shows and grow your law firm. Our live chat and review generator are perfect for new and experienced firms alike.

Call us at (88) 868-9941 for a free consultation about how we can help your law firm pursue its growth goals.