The goal in law firm marketing is to get as much business in the door as the firm can handle. Sometimes in attempting to achieve this objective the real, underlying goal gets lost in the shuffle. That underlying goal is to collect cash from the client for the work you do. I prefer, as do most of my clients, to collect this cash in advance of performing the actual services.
There is constant pushback from lawyers when I press them to change their business model and focus on cash in advance. They tell me they cannot be competitive if they operate in this fashion. They tell me this is not an industry norm. They tell me the clients will call them every five minutes for status updates if the money is paid in advance. They tell me lots of things, all negative, related to getting paid in advance. The trouble with these arguments is that they just are not true.
Ultimately, clients will work with you in any way you want them to. You simply need to set the expectations upfront and spell out what will be done and when it will happen. Then you need to deliver. And you need to have a track record of delivering. If you have positioned yourself and your firm properly, getting payment from your clients at the outset of the engagement is never a problem.