Here’s a practice building activity you might find helpful in your market.
Recently, I had the honor of speaking at the Albuquerque office of AAEPA Member firm Morris Hall, PLLC, as part of “Jump Start Your Day with Jim and Leslie.” Partner Jim Plitz and attorney Leslie Thompson bring in estate planning related experts and advisers to speak with their existing and potential clients over coffee and pastries.
Guest speakers come from fields such as finance, insurance, healthcare and even travel. As a certified thanatologist (a death educator), my presentation was titled “The end of life topics no one wants to talk about.” Almost two dozen people attended – even knowing the topic in advance! I spoke for about 10 minutes, then opened up for questions. The group conversation lasted for the rest of the hour allotted for the event.
Jim Plitz offered his thoughts about the benefits of using this monthly “Jump Start Your Day” program to build your estate planning law firm practice.
Build a better rapport with existing clients.
“The more times you interact with a client, the better the relationship becomes,” said Plitz. “When the relationship continues to grow, the more likely the client will refer a friend.” Plitz recently received a call from a friend of a regular attendee at these events.
Build a better rapport with the other advisers in the community.
“By having guest speakers who are advisers in other fields, such as Gail Rubin, the bonds between the attorney and the adviser grow,” explained Plitz. “The guest speaker becomes better equipped to speak on the benefits of the attorney. And the attorney is better equipped to speak on the benefits of that particular adviser.”
The advisers get publicity and better yet, business.
“When we advertise (direct mail and email) we provide information about our guest speaker. So even if people are not showing up to the Q&A, they are still seeing that name and what that person does. There are also direct benefits,” said Plitz. Advisers may actually sell their financial services, insurance, and products to clients.
Clients get tremendous value added from these presentations.
“There are so many areas that benefit our clients, that we, the attorneys, know little to nothing about. But they get such good information from these other experts,” said Plitz. “Besides the ‘planners’ (insurance, financial, and funeral), I had a home care physical therapist and an occupational therapist come in to talk about home safety. One of the attorneys in our Arizona offices had a luxury travel agent come in. In all cases, we receive tremendous feedback.”
Jump Start Your Day programs are relatively inexpensive.
“In addition to hosting in our offices, we may hold the event in a local library or independent living place. By doing it in the morning (9:00 to 10:00 a.m.), we provide coffee and pastries, which doesn’t break the bank.”
The Q&A format saves attorney time in the long run.
“By spending an hour to an hour and a half with 20-30 people each month, we can save ourselves between 10-20 hours a month in non-productive meeting time,” said Plitz. “Consider this: clients sit down with us to ask questions – and once you throw in pleasantries and the one-on-one Q&A, 30-45 minutes is gone. By doing it in a group format, the attendees can get their questions answered and even get answers to some questions they were not even thinking about.”
Could your practice benefit from a “Jump Start Your Day” program like this? Consider giving it a try!
Gail Rubin, CT – author, speaker, journalist and death educator – connects with baby boomers using humor, funny films and a light touch on serious subjects. A Certified Thanatologist, her seminars on clearing clutter and organizing for end-of-life issues always get high marks! Download a free 50-point Executors Checklist from her website, www.AGoodGoodbye.com.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128