I’m preparing for a Summit session on Avoiding Cancellations. All the marketing and effort it takes to get appointments on the calendar in the first place makes it all the more difficult to see them drop off the calendar before they make it into the office.
The checklist of things to make sure those appointments stick is short:
- The Right Team. Without the right staff and right attorney perspective – it doesn’t matter how many systems are in place or how much is read, studied, discussed, or debated… none of it will work in the end. But WITH the right law firm direction, team and regular meetings to ensure the flow of work and the analysis of results are functioning optimally, there is no limit.
- Build rapport, trust and respect by doing what you say you’ll do. Start by setting expectations, finish by delivering on them. Entirely too often in our lives we learn to wait for the disappointment. Having a doctor’s appointment at 11 and not being seen until 12:15. Getting a quote on a car repair that is half of what it will end up being. The countless other examples in our everyday life just go to show us that on the rare occasion that someone actually DOES what they said they’d do—it’s almost a memorable occasion! Opportunities to do what you say you’ll do abound. If you tell someone you’ll call them back tomorrow, do it. If you tell them you’re mailing a map to the office, do it. If you tell them that you’ll follow up with a reminder call the day before the appointment, do it. The person who handles these interactions with clients or prospective clients needs to be organized and on top of every detail.
- Passion and Compassion. The engine behind rapport building efforts must be passion for what you’re doing and compassion for those you’re doing it for. If you don’t care about these clients or this type of work, it will surely show up—there is no way for them to build the feeling of “obligation” it takes to fight off the desire to cancel an appointment. The people you and all the law firm staff work with need to feel special. They need to have the type of relationship that would cause them to not want to let you down. Develop relationships with the people you do business with.
- Follow Checklists. Of course without systems, checklists, schedules, or routines even the best personalities and highest skilled team members would flounder. Break EVERYTHING down into a process or system that can be documented and allow someone in the firm to own that responsibility.
When these important areas are covered and a prospective client or client experiences loving care from highly skilled professionals—the possibility of a cancellation is greatly reduced!
Director, Member Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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