As business owners, MONEY is always top of mind – you have revenue goals, actual profits and sales, average fees, marketing expenses, costs per client, revenue per employee… really, the list of numbers is endless. While not being a number lover myself, I am intrigued by the story that numbers tell. Numbers also tell us other stories, such as our productivity level, marketing effectiveness, retention percentage, and more. Numbers can be our friend if we allow them to be, helping us reach those goals a little faster. They can support, deny, corroborate or conspire on any decisions we make or goals we set. Just spice them up with a little courage and you’re well on your way to taking action on some new insights you gain from listening to their story.
Today I want to share a few simple tips on how you can make more money without spending any. We are talking about numbers after all, so you won’t be surprised by the suggestion that you track and review your numbers before and after implementing any changes so you can see the impact on your results. For any skeptics, believe me, you’ll be smiling all the way to the bank.
- Increasing Fees is the quickest way to see some extra cash in your bank account. We regularly talk to Members about being the Trusted Advisor and setting fees based on the value of their advice and the protection they are providing for families. Consider your mindset around fees and money… if you’re selling documents and competing with Legal Zoom, there isn’t much room for establishing fees based on what your services are truly worth. As for your bottom line, depending on the percentage of your fee increase, it could be substantial. Do a little math: how many cases have you retained year-to-date and multiply it by your new average fee.
- Increasing the Retention Rate for Attorneys in First Consultations is a sure fire way of making more money without spending a dime. In fact, you’ve likely already paid a handsome sum in marketing expenses to get them to the office. Now it’s show time! At the Academy, we have a benchmark for retention rate of 80%. If you’re under that, by what percentage would your revenue increase if you hit that number consistently? Look it up and you might be a little surprised, shocked even. Track retention rate by attorney and focus on providing those who need consultation and sales training with the resources to succeed. The Academy offers plenty of training calls, role play, recordings, support and some live training to help members achieve this goal.
- Create a Transformational Client Experience and Increase Client Referrals. In this age of information technology, people have opinions, ideas and information at their fingertips (“Google it” is a universally understood term). What they don’t always have is a relationship with the professionals they do business with. Your office is a stage, put on a performance, so to speak, and make your clients feel special to set yourself apart. Give them a “Wow” experience that will knock their socks off. You’ll want to have all the basics in place first of course, clean restrooms, parking, warm office décor, etc. Then, kick it up a notch… offer them a menu of beverages, freshly baked cookies, have scented candles burning, and of course, do what you say you will do. This may not seem like a revenue generator, however, it is the foundation for creating strong relationships and strong relationships lead to referrals, not to mention additional business from existing clients.
Speaking of referrals, ask for them, count them, track them and value them. Create a system and set a goal – how many referrals do you want to get from existing clients? One thing is certain, if you don’t ask, you won’t receive any 99 percent of the time. Therefore, empower yourself and your team so you’re comfortable having a referral conversation. Be sure to address any objections so everyone on your team has it top of mind. You could even play a game and pay out some financial incentives to your team for reaching your goal every month.
- Are You a Rainmaker? How many professionals refer you business? One great way of expanding your network is to ask your clients for the names of other professionals they work with, and send them a letter saying you have a mutual client. Then invite them to meet you for coffee or lunch so you can explore a mutually beneficial relationship… be sure to discuss referrals and seminars for their clients with you as the featured speaker. Develop a marketing plan to keep your name top of mind, so you are remembered. One of the biggest networking mistakes is assuming people will remember you, call you, and send you business after they’ve met you. Bottom line: expand your network, provide value, show you’re credible, drip market to them, and don’t forget to send them a thank you note or gift. Afterward, you’ll be celebrating your low client acquisition costs and higher revenue!
So you can see why I love the exciting stories that numbers tell, rather than the numbers themselves. What stories do your numbers tell you? What opportunities are there waiting for you? Track your numbers: revenue, average fee, referrals, retention percentages, response rates, and anything else that will come together to tell you a story.
Practice Leadership Coach
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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