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The Initial Prospect Meeting

Lawyers know best. It must be true otherwise they wouldn’t always be asking for marketing material to give to a prospect prior to the first meeting.

Marketing people are regularly requested to put together a “package” for a lawyer who is meeting with a potential client for the first time. They want to include information on the firm, practice area(s), other team members, and of course their bio. The problem is that all that information is readily available on the firms’ website and the prospect likely would not have even taken the meeting if they had not already looked up this information.

If a lawyers’ job is to listen and provide advice, than how can a lawyer develop a solution without knowing the full complexity of the problem?

Prospects are no longer interested in general firm marketing material that goes on and on about how great the firm is. Prospects want customized solutions that are developed for their individual needs. They do not want to know more about you, they want to know how your can help them achieve their goals. So how do lawyers know everything the prospect wants prior to the first meeting. Easy they don’t.

The good news is there is a really easy solution that often takes less time, provides a better client experience and ensures that lawyers have a firm understanding of what the prospects needs are. Lawyers should use the meeting to listen. Then they can put together a package of material for the prospect based on a complete understanding of the needs. By preparing a package after the meeting, the lawyers is showing that they listened and have developed a solution for the problem, have assigned the best possible talent to solve the problem, and have developed a pricing model based on the solution. As a side benefit, it also ensures another touch with the potential client.

So what do you do with all the time you have prior to the meeting now that you no longer need to put a package together? One word, research.

With the vast amount of information freely available, lawyers have no excuse not to be prepared for an initial meeting. Maybe more importantly, what does not coming prepared to the initial meeting say about the potential relationship you want to have a with the prospect? A lack of interest.

So the next time a lawyer asks for a general firm information package, remind them about your firms’ website, ask them if they need help researching the prospect, provide a list of questions to ask the prospect in order to understand the prospects needs, and offer to put together a follow-up package for the prospect. The likelihood of that prospect becoming a client just went up significantly.

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