To Do a Consult or Not to Do a Consult – Discovering Your Intake – Part 2
The intake process is a sales process. If you’re thinking of consultation from a sales perspective, always talk about the process that the potential client will go through because they want to know what the process is going to look like.
Generally, you don’t give advice while you’re still trying to tell somebody that you’re the right fit. Therefore, there are some things you need to consider when it comes to doing consultations.
What is a Consultation?
A consultation can be in any format (ex. a phone call, Zoom appointment, in-person). Consultation could mean several different things and a lot of people will use this word to refer to different types of appointments. There are different reasons that people do a consultation. Hence, when you’re making that decision, sit down to determine the purpose of your consultation.
Different Purposes of a Consultation
- To sell – to have them use your services
- To provide legal advice – make sure you’re charging appropriately for this type of informational session.
- To plan – there’s some dispute about whether or not we should be planning anything out in this first meeting. A lot of people will do a consultation first to determine whether we are going to be hired and then do a second session when we actually create the plan.
At the end of the day, you have to be very deliberate about the purpose of your consultation. That way you can decide if you’re going to charge, how you’re going to charge, who’s going to do it, and all of the other factors that go into a consultation.
Who Does the Consultation
Since the intake process is a sales process, it’s best to not have an attorney doing your sales. Having someone who has more sales experience than you will bring more success.
Being the attorney in the consultation, it can be tempting to give advice because you want to help your client and give them the tools to be successful. Oftentimes, you will miss the sale because they’ll take the advice you’re giving them and they will go and try and do it on their own.
Again, focus on what’s the purpose of the consultation and, therefore, who’s going to be doing that in carrying out that purpose. Being in sales takes a specific set of skills. If you don’t have that set of skills, there’s no way you’re going to be better than an actual salesperson with qualifications.
If you want to learn more about what happens during consultations, check out Episode 037: To Do a Consult or Not to Do a Consult – Discovering Your Intake – Part 2.