Every so often, I’ll get an email or call from a relatively new solo asking whether to follow up with a prospective client who they spoke with by phone or had a consult. These lawyers expressed discomfort not so much because of fear of rejection, but rather, they did not wish to appear overbearing or desperate. And one lawyer even thought that a follow up call could pose an ethics violation.
So here’s a news flash. None of these excuses are valid reasons for failing to follow up with a client at least once. As you’re probably aware from your own experience, people get busy and a follow up call would simply remind them to follow up. A follow up also shows that you’re interested in taking on the case – and for that reason, I actually prefer receiving a follow up from a service provider.
A follow up needn’t take more than a few minutes, and can be accomplished by phone or email. You could either write or say something along the lines of:
I enjoyed meeting/speaking with you last week about potentially representing you in a [MATTER]. I shared some of my ideas about the case, and provided you with a representation agreement that I haven’t yet received back. I was just following up to see whether you have any questions for me or concerns that I might address.
Your follow up communication should take place three to four days after your meeting. If you follow up once, and either radio silence or stalling continue, you could try another round of follow-up. Any follow up after that point can become intrusive or stalkeri-sh.
In my case, I’ve picked up at least a half dozen clients over the years simply as a result of following up. Give it a try, and share your results in the comments section.