See if this has ever happened in your estate planning law firm: A couple walks into your office. They seem a little uneasy. They don’t have any paperwork with them. You walk into the conference room with no idea of who they are, or even who made the appointment. After a brief introduction and some small talk, you learn that while they appreciate your time, they can’t afford your services.
It’s awkward for all concerned, and while all of you have wasted time, you have lost more than time. There’s now a couple in your community who, no matter how gracious you were, has been put in an awkward situation. How many people will they tell this story to?
Today, there’s no reason for this to happen, and it’s not just that law office staff are better trained.
Through the use of the IMS E2 CRM and now the automated intake system, CLIPSM, every person who walks into your office will be very well known to you. You’ll know more than just the basics. You’ll know the size of their estate, whether they need a complex estate plan to pass wealth across generations or a simple plan to make sure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes. They will feel comfortable because they have already engaged with you and invested time with your processes–they are already full-fledged clients.
Clients engage with law firms on several different levels, so now that you have this information in advance of your meeting, you are prepared for any bumps in the road to their becoming raving fans.
You’ll have the information that will tell you what their assets are and what challenges they face. If they have a world of problems, you’ll know. And if they haven’t included it in the intake data, you’ll be able to balance the information they’ve given you through the automated intake process with what they tell you in the face to face meeting.
Often, you’ll need to bring a full court press of compassion alongside your legal skills. When you have worked with many families facing similar problems, it’s easy to disengage the emotions and proceed from a practical level. But when the clients are in your office, remember that they are watching your face for clues to your response to their situation. Consider what’s going on in their minds: “Does he think we’re idiots to have family members like this? Can she figure out a solution to the problem? Are we being judged?”
Don’t maintain a poker face when they are sharing their sorrows. This is as much an emotional relationship as it is a professional one. And don’t stint on the kindness while you deal with the legal solutions to their pain points.
Because you’ll have more information about them when they come to you, and because they have already been moved further along the funnel of becoming a client, you’ll be able to meet their needs better.
IMS is constantly innovating and improving how we serve our estate planning and Elder Law clients. We offer our clients the ability to take their practice to the next level through the use of new technology that allows you to better serve your clients. Want to know more about automating your intake process? Submit a support ticket and we’ll be happy to explain how your firm can benefit.