It is easy for a client to assume you know best, and as a lawyer, it is easy to assume so as well based on a few keys pieces of information gleaned from a personal information form. Yet, if you don’t get to know each client and their family on a personal level beyond the form during your initial meeting, then you are missing vital information and you are missing a key to success: goal alignment.
When you have an initial meeting with a client that is the time to ask them questions about why they have come to you, don’t assume. If they say something like, they want to get their affairs in order, ask them what that looks like. Dive deeper into the underlying reasoning and wishes of your clients and go further, ask questions about their interests, jobs, health, family dynamics, etc. Active listening and writing down what they say will help you better understand what a client truly wants, help you to counsel them better, and enable you to create a more effective estate plan while establishing a long-term relationship with your clients.
Helping clients discover what they want and asking them open ended questions will ultimately lead you to that success key: goal alignment. Why is goal alignment so important? If you have an ongoing client care program, then your objective as an attorney and for your firm as a whole is to not just take care of a client’s estate at a single point in time, but to ensure it will be effective at the time of their death. More than that though, it is about taking care of their family.
If you and your clients’ goals are aligned then your firm will be more effective and you will be the lawyer you have always wanted to be: one who takes care of families, has recurring revenue for your firm, establishes relationships not transactions with clients, is paid for value you provide, and one who is continuously increasing the value of your firm.
At Client Care Academy, we want to help you become the lawyer you have always wanted to be and achieve goal alignment. Join us this fall for our Foundations Workshop. It is the perfect opportunity for you and your team members to step away from the office and transform your firm and your processes.
To learn more, contact our Program Coordinator, Megan Davitt.