Potential clients call and email lawyers and law firms with the hope of getting help with their legal matter. For many potential clients, the need is imminent. They have a pressing legal situation and they want help and reassurance right away.

It can be tough for many lawyers. They might have court dates and numerous other obligations on their calendar. Trying to find the time to meet with a potential client can be difficult with court dates and other obligations that they might have scheduled.

The reality is that if you want new clients, it is important to schedule and meet with new potential clients as quickly as possible. Potential clients are often not going to be sympathetic to the other obligations that you have. Instead, most are only thinking about the legal situation that faces them.

If you want to have the best opportunity at having the potential client hire you, versus another lawyer, the reality is that you need to schedule potential clients as quickly as possible. This means that you need to be very responsive to their calls and emails. If your schedule permits, you might even meet the potential client the same day they have called or reached out to your law firm.

For many clients, the situation they are facing feels like an emergency. They want to know their situation can be made better. They want to know that this is going to take place immediately. They also want to know that if they hire you, that you will be responsive.

As a general rule, you might have a 48 or 72-hour window to get a potential client into the office for an appointment. If you try to schedule them out later than that, most potential clients are not going to be that patient.

Perhaps some potential client were a personal referral to you and/or there matter isn’t so urgent that they are willing to wait longer. Or, perhaps your reputation is so great in the community that they are willing to wait a longer period-of-time to get into seeing you because they know you are an in demand attorney.

But for most lawyers and law firms that are really looking to build their practice, they do not want to schedule their potential clients further out than 48 or 72-hours. If they try to do so, many potential clients will end up not showing up for their initial consultation or canceling.

Instead, what most potential clients will end up doing is meeting with another attorney in the interim. The likelihood is that if they will probably end up hiring that other attorney first.

There is really truth the phrase that “if you snooze, you lose” as it relates to scheduling potential client consultations. For lawyers and law firms that are looking for business, be sure to schedule potential client appointments as quickly as possible.

New business is what keeps the lights on and the bills being paid. For most lawyers and law firms, you cannot afford to delay.