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Most lawyers believe that FREE consultations are the key to securing clients. Who isn’t attracted to the word “free”, right? But as I evaluated the performance of my free consultations, I found it’s not a surefire way for clients to hire you as their lawyer. On worst-case scenarios, clients don’t even show up!

With that realization, I decided to require pre-payment for my consultations. To schedule a consultation, clients need to pay first.

Requiring pre-payment for consultation is key to securing clients.

Think about this. You’ve scheduled an hour or so for a client consultation. And then the client doesn’t show up. That scheduled time could have been spent on earning more revenue for your firm, like working on a case or marketing your services, for example.

Aside from that, not all consultations convert into a case. Some legal situations can already be solved just through consultation. In that case, you just let a sales opportunity walk away for free.

However, if you required your clients to pay first before the consultation, you’ve already secured revenue for your firm!

During consultations, your potential client is already getting a piece of the solution, along with your time, knowledge and attention. You answered a problem that can’t be easily solved by Google. This is valuable.  

Paying the consultation fee in advance also provides more convenience for you and your client. No more arranging payments before the consultation. All they have to do is get down to business and discuss their situation with you. The more convenient the process is for a client, the more he/she will be attracted to close the deal with you.

What if the client doesn’t show up?

People don’t commit to any financial-related matters until they’re sure they can fulfill it. If your client agrees to a pre-payment, they’re committed to solving their legal problem.

But in case this happens, you can set up a no-refund policy. In my firm, we don’t allow refunds for appointments canceled within 24 hours.

“But Ally, no one in my area is doing this pre-payment system!”

I’ve heard many lawyers say that no-show clients are nothing to get worried about because they still have other cases/work on their hands. If you think like this, then you’re missing out on the great opportunity to earn more.

It doesn’t matter what other lawyers do. You fight for what’s right for your client, and you should do the same for your firm, financially speaking. The sales transformation of your firm begins when you make changes to your old ways. And you could start with requiring pre-payment from your clients.

Requiring pre-payment may sound like a sleazy sales method, but it’s not. It’s a solid business strategy.  You get to filter clients worthy of your time and expertise, those who make the commitment get the legal assistance they need – everyone saves time and money!

Speaking of filtering, here’s one more tip: ask for pre-payment in full. Dividing the payment in two is just more work for you. If a client can’t pay $150, or whatever your consultation fee is in full, then they won’t be able to pay your legal fees either.

Requiring pre-payment works. Take it from my firm.

I’ve been implementing this pre-payment system in my firm for almost three years now, and so far, we’ve only processed one refund and have only had one no-show. That’s why I highly encourage you to try it! Start this today and evaluate the revenue performance of your firm.

If you can believe it, I have even more strategies and resources to share on this topic! If you’d like to learn more about pre-payment plans, sign up for my Six Figure Solo program!  Six Figure Solo now comes in three tiers – Executive, Solopreneur, and CEO. Sign up here!