In my travels across the country I visit an awful lot of solicitors’ reception areas. I am often amazed that the one area that is completely in the control of the practice, and that is free to use to promote the services on offer, is often completely void of any marketing messages.
Being a solicitor myself, and having worked in private practice for 14 years, I understand that fee earners often do not think of themselves as salesmen. They do not like to “force” other legal services onto their clients. I can understand this fully, but it makes it even more important that when you do have a sales tool to help your fee earners (ie your reception area) that you make the most of it. Your reception area should be one of your biggest sales tools, but is it?
With fresh eyes walk down or along to your reception area and see what your clients see whilst, a completely captive audience, they sit and wait for their meeting. In my experience, all they will often be presented with is the following:
- One or two daily newspapers;
- Some old magazines
- Local charity leaflets
- Perhaps an old copy of one of your brochures (sometimes with a partners name that has since left the practice crossed out).
If you want to make your life easier and instantly win some new instructions, throw out all of the items above instantly, right now. The only items that should be in your reception area must be brochures, leaflets, press folders and posters promoting ALL of your services. This way, whilst clients are waiting for their meeting, they will only be able to read about your services.
“Take away the choice, and the only choice is you…..”
If you do not have one guide or mini brochure for every service, you should do. One brochure with your practice name on the front stands out as a “Sales Tool” and puts your client on notice that they are being sold to. However, items such “Useful Guide to Moving Home” or “Your Accident Guide” sell your services far more subtly. Clients will pick these guides up and find out about your services whilst waiting for you. If any of the services interest them, they will ask you or your fee earners for more information when you collect them from reception. This way your clients do the selling for you and for your fee earners. Isn’t it worth spending a little money on promotional materials to make your life a lot easier?
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