What changes have you made for your firm so far in 2020? Did you hire someone new to make your team more efficient? Have you set pay dates so your clients have options?
During the first quarter of the new year, it’s important to take an honest look at your firm and your processes, and realize some might need a do-over or complete overhaul. If you think your perspective is off, even by a little, I’m telling you right now that some things might not be working at your firm.
We need extreme accountability with ourselves and the resolve to make some small changes that are going to have a significant impact. I’ve talked about marketing, financial, and office management changes in the previous blogs. Here are a few more.
Do more consults
I know that that sounds like a no brainer, but many of us limit ourselves in this area. It’s one of those we don’t like to do. We say, “I’m only going to do consults on two days a week.”
That’s three days a week you’re not doing consultations AND not getting new clients. I really urge you to open your schedule and do consults every single working day.
The biggest pushback people tell me about this is: “What about the time I need to work?”
You have several options:
- Hire contract attorneys.
- Automate and streamline your law firm to free up time.
- Cut the time of your consultations.
You’ll be amazed at how much time and capacity you gain when you automate and delegate. The tasks that remain with you truly are lawyer’s tasks, things only you can do.
A lot of the time, your day is taken up by tasks other people could do just as well, like brief writing or doing the work of a business manager! Even if you’re solo, there’s no reason you should be doing that work. Hire it out.
Hiring isn’t always great, of course, whether it’s contract attorneys or office assistants. But it shouldn’t stop you from doing it. Hired someone not up to par? Cut that loss and move on. You will find someone else who will be the perfect fit.
Cut the time of your consultations. How much time do you give each one? 1 hour? Half an hour is enough if you have an intake sheet and case types. With that, you can get the basic information and cut right to the chase.
You’ll be able to serve many more people, too.
Consultations mean law firm growth, but the opposite is true as well. The fewer consultations you have, the less you make!
Oh, you might think opening your schedule for consultations won’t make much of a difference. Wrong. I’ve worked with attorneys who took this advice and boom, within a week their revenues completely changed.
So, open your schedule and do more consults!
Get client testimonials
Another big 2019 lesson that I want to bring to you in 2020 is client testimonial videos. Start getting videos from past clients, now. This is transformational.
The main question from clients is this: Have you done a case like mine before? Can you help me?
Testimonials answer that question effectively. “Here I am, I had this situation, and this lawyer helped me.” That’s huge for your prospects to see themselves in the clients you’ve already helped.
After you get the videos, promote them on your social media and email marketing or newsletters. Just make sure you are in compliance with your bar’s rules.
Get. That. Client. Testimonial. You must follow up with clients because they’re also busy. Make it easy for them to give you a testimonial. Show them the ones you’ve already posted on social so that they know what to do and what to say. And when you follow up, you can help and get what you asked for from them.
I can’t talk about sales enough. Sales are everything and focusing on them will revolutionize your firm. Once you see your service as something you sell, it changes everything.
Think about it. When you’re a potential client or buyer, you expect information and brochures. So, in your firm, you should have that in the form of quote folders. Look how professional that is. Every client leaves feeling like they got a lot of value because there’s something they can take home.
Learn everything you can about sales. Read books. Look over sales techniques. It will help you think of the client’s experience in a completely new way. I love Grant Cardone’s books. You can try those.
I have the Ally Lozano Sales Academy if you want to join it. So many lawyers are raving about this because it’s really authentic.
Sales are not slimy and dirty. Honestly, you can’t get away with that old style of sales today. Now the focus is on being truly helpful to prospects and current clients.
Master your selling. Sales is a skill. You have to work on it to get good at it. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you can and should learn to make sales.
Record every training you do
Let’s talk about making your firm efficient. Recording training sessions and information makes it much easier to train anyone who comes in, so it’s one of the fastest ways to start.
We had a receptionist who left. We knew she was leaving for different job opportunities. She had been with us for almost two years, so she completely knew our business. I had her spend her last two weeks recording every single thing she did, in short, and direct little videos.
When we brought on a virtual assistant who watched the videos to learn exactly what to do. It’s all she needed for most tasks.
At work, I talk about things related to immigration with my team. I record it so I don’t have to talk about it again. The next person who joins the team will be able to have the same information and anyone on my team can use it as a refresher whenever they need it.
So, record your training and save time. This practice also takes you out of the center of your law firm. New hires shouldn’t have to ask you anything. You and your team can record your SOPs, the answers to common questions, and the processes for each task.
Track, track, track
Track your constables, track your contracts, track your phone calls, track your leads. All of this is important and gives you insights on how to grow.
- How many of my consults convert.
- Which ones are non-convertible.
- How many contracts I’m getting a month; how many I’m getting a year; how many I’m getting on certain case types.
All of this data is super important for me.
There was a case type that I used to do. I was well-known for it because I wrote a book on it. But I wasn’t having success with it. I was losing a lot because of things with the Trump administration, and it was just very frustrating, very disheartening.
It got to the point where I had a professional crisis. I didn’t even want to be a lawyer anymore.
I said, okay, I want to skew these numbers. I want to adjust my practice and reduce the amount of cases of that type. I want to do more of this other type of case. Collecting data on my cases made that possible.
Tracking helped me see where each specific case type went, my close rate, how I can do more, and how I can do better. It’s critical. You can’t grow if you don’t know how many consults you’re doing a month, how many contracts, how many phone calls about which case type you get, and how many of these are converting.
They can feel like just a lot of details and numbers. But they’re essential details and figures that will help you earn more and serve more people.
Finally, I left this for last because it’s important: Create benchmarks. New Year, new you, new goals for your law firm. But what exactly do you want to aim at?
Ask yourself where you want to be and how you want to grow:
- What do you need to earn?
- How much do you want to earn a year?
- How much does that break down each month or each week?
For example, I wanted $1 million for a year. That’s $20,000 a week. That’s where I wanted to be when I was trying to break seven figures.
That benchmark was important. It made me check in every week. What’s our number? For example, we were two weeks into the month and had $30,000. Based on my benchmark, I should have made $40,000 by then.
Here’s where it makes a big impact. My benchmark made me ask this next: What can I do to make the $10,000 next month? What can I do to build the business?
A benchmark makes you act. It helps focus your efforts and gives you a specific goal to fight for every week or month.
You can only really work aggressively toward your goals when you have one.
When you only say, “I hope I make more money this year,” it’s lofty but vague and meaningless.Set a benchmark, something sustainable and tangible, something that can guide you toward achieving it.
If you’d like to learn more about making your law firm the best it could be, sign up for my Six-Figure Solo program! Six-Figure Solo now comes in three tiers: Executive, Solopreneur, and CEO. Sign up here!