I joined my new firm two years ago. I have recently been charged with managing the firm's Estate Planning (EP) practice. I'm trying to find ideas on how to leverage the firm's 22 locations in the Metro area. I currently meet clients multiple times (approximately 3-4 times) and in person. This worked great for one location, but may be taxing with multiple. I may be able to use attorneys (real estate practitioners) in each office for non-EP specific parts of the process (perhaps signing meeting). What are some of your ideas to efficiently manage the EP process? Thank you!
Start with Defining Your Goals
Estate Planning Practice means different things to different firms, and client bases.
First you want to define what your goals are. Are you trying to sell more wills/health planning packages at a grand (or less) a person (this will be their price point when seen as a commodity), or are you selling peace of mind to people of means (this could be four to ten thousand plus dollar trust plans, and possibly continuity payments (membership, monitorring, being on retainer))?
And you might have to do a certain number of the wills to get to the more profitable, more complex estate plans.
But as you position yourself as the expert on the latter type (anyone can write a will, but this takes your special sauce), people will preferentially come to you. Then it's a matter of making sure your local offices can identify the people (current and prospective clients) who would be appropriate for your practice area and ask them if you can be in touch. Also, make sure your local people have a compelling package they can distribute to those who might be appropriate.
You could also train your local offices to do the client work for the will matters (perhaps with your review), and refer to your offices the complex planning work.
I'm probably more oriented toward the marketing than the internal process, but you need both to work to ensure you reach the people you want to serve.
Where you should start is by honing your presentation, and making sure the firm is aligned with your goal (which is what again?).
Starting at the top in your firm, make sure everyone has a plan appropriate for his current life situation. As you present and review personal inventories and design plans, listen really well for the concerns in the background and if you are addressing them: People remember how you made them feel, not what you did for them.
Take good notes and revise your presentations and materials to address people's concerns (don't want to confront death, think it will be difficult, don't want to argue with spouse, don't know who to leave kids with, etc.).
Also note places ripe for follow up. When kids age up and out of a parent's plan, they may be aging in to your services. Don't overlook them.
When everyone in your firm goes home knowing that his family is taken care of if something happens, you've already got a powerful built in referral base.
I could go on for an hour, e-mail lists and follow-up marketing, and life-time value, and how to maximize, but I've got to get my own practice to better set up.
Best of luck.
P.S. If you'd like to look at your marketing to client flow, I invite you to schedule a call.