I set aside a few hours on several different days during my recent hike to make sure everything was okay back at the firm. On those partial “work” days, I mostly made sure my clients were happy and everything was going as planned in their cases. I returned calls from a few prospective clients as well.
At first, the prospective clients would leave polite messages. They’d ask that I call them back at my convenience, acknowledging that my voice mail greetings said I would have limited availability until May. A few wished me well on my walk and said they’d be contacting Adrian because time was of the essence. What nice people I get to meet sometimes.
At some point after climbing onto the Colorado Plateau, however, the volume of voice messages increased. Not a lot, but a noticeable amount. Many callers’ messages demanded prompt calls back, ignoring my voice mail greetings entirely. When I called, most of them tried to negotiate my non-negotiable initial consultation fee. They became angry when I suggested I might not be the right lawyer for them if they felt $100.00 was an unreasonable amount for an hour of my time. One guy fumed about how rude I was to not hike my ass back to the office and meet with him for free right away. Another guy sent Adrian an email saying I should be fired. Adrian says the complaint is still under review by the firm’s human resources department.
By the time I was done with my vacation, I had scheduled six initial consultations for last week, my first week back. One was with someone who’d called during the first four weeks, but the remaining five were with callers I’d spoken with after more calls started coming in.
Last week, five people failed to show up for their appointments without so much as a call. When I called them afterwards, I got to hear the full gamut of reasons why people can’t be reached. “The Cricket customer you are calling is not accepting calls at this time.” “The number you are calling is no longer in service.” You name it, I heard it. The one no-show I did reach said he’d hired a “TV lawyer.” He didn’t think I might want to know that he wasn’t going to make the consultation we’d set. The one very pleasant gentleman who made his appointment and retained me was the first consultation I had scheduled. He was a referral from a former client.
One for six is a new record for me. In fact, I haven’t had anywhere near that many no-shows in a single week since I used to accept court-appointed cases. It was pretty remarkable, though not entirely surprising.
In other news, my Avvo rating skyrocketed to a perfect ten while I was gone. I think I can pinpoint the date.
And who says the internet doesn’t get the phone to ring?
Filed under: Clients, Practice in General · Tags: $100.00, appointment, avvo, AZ, Clients, cricket customer, initial consultation, internet, lawyer, meeting, no-show, office, perfect ten, referral, tempe