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We have taken a couple of approaches to tire kickers.
I used to insist on a consultation fee for all clients. This kept the tire kickers away, entirely.
When we moved into our new office, Randall asked me to make the consultation fee discretionary, on the theory that people who come see our cool office would be impressed and more likely to hire us. We gave it a try, and it seemed to work. I am not sure the sweet office is the reason, but I am sure it helps.
One of the first attorneys I worked for was a criminal defense lawyer, and he worked like hell to get every potential client into his office. His reasoning was (a) he is a friendly guy, and (b) it is harder to walk away when you are looking someone in the face. I think that is why getting people into the office helps. Also, they see lawyers as nerdy paper-pushers, but in person, good lawyers come across as impressive and learned (in other words: worth paying for).
For tire kickers, you obviously have to be willing for some frustration. Two potential clients canceled on us this morning, for example. One went with a friend who agreed to represent him for free. That alone tells me they aren't so smart, since it was an FDCPA claim, and the other side was going to pay our fee, but what can you do. But we have also been converting a lot more clients since we started bringing more people into the office.
In sum: get them into the office and see if that changes their tune.