Law Business Mentors

the guidance you need to build the practice you want

Actual conversation thread from our internal forum between lawyers who weren’t sure about Alexis’ method for eliminating cancellations, at first.  Read on for what happened…  

I just wanted to say that I am in a rural community and cringe every time I’m involved with asking for a credit card # (like at the mom’s group appointment sign-ups), but I don’t show the cringe. [Kyra, describes what she does to secure the appointment with a credit card, which you can learn word for word in our Client Engagement System, then she says…]

I’m amazed at how well it works. I have only had one cancellation since I began this, and it was from someone from whom we did not take a cc# (because I knew her locally). As difficult as it may feel to do it, I’m a believer in requesting it. I think it solidifies their commitment, which prevents the letdown of cancellations later on.

RobRoy Platt Thu, 7 Jan 2010 at 8:13pm via email

I have never, ever, ever, had someone balk when we ask them for a credit card to secure an appointment. I was scared out of my mind to start doing it. Every attorney in my area told me about how cheap people were in my area and that everyone would try to negotiate your price down, etc., etc.

All of that stopped as soon as I started requiring a credit card to schedule an appointment with us. Of course, I have had people ask why we take a credit card. [Rob Roy gives the exact language his Client Services Director uses, which is straight from our Client Engagement System.]

My feeling is that doing so immediately communicates to potential clients that you value your time even if they do not. It puts you in a much more authoritative position. People want to feel like they’re meeting with an attorney who is busy enough, or skilled enough, to require such a commitment to keeping the appointment. In other words, it tells clients that you ARE different from all the other lawyers. In fact, you’re so different, that you take a credit card to secure an appointment. And that makes them want the appointment even more.

Anyway, I have a whole mess of theories as to why it works. But all of those theories really don’t matter. What matters is the results. And my results have been absolutely 100% positive ever since I began taking credit cards to secure appointments. It’s all about confidence and communicating to clients that you take this matter very seriously, thus, they should too.

Remember, “fear” is what keeps people from achieving greatness. If your reason for not asking for credit cards is “fear” that you’ll be rejected, then it’s time you ask yourself what you’ve ever achieved in life as a result of giving into “fear.”

-RobRoy

Hi,

Sorry for the late response. I have been sick and out of the office since Tuesday. Anyway, we instituted the credit card reservation for all appointments including seminar appointments. We do over 40 seminars a year. 55% of our business is from referrals and both referrals and seminar prospects give us a credit card. My market is a very blue collar small city 1/2 way between Providence RI and Boston MA. We were very nervous when we started but we had serious problem with no shows and last minute cancellations that needed to be fixed.

[Michelle indicates how they use the script from the Client Engagement System in her practice to secure appointments with a credit card.]

It has not effected our sign up rate at all. Our cancellation rate dropped dramatically. We still get an occasional cancellation but almost always more than a week in advance.

If you are having reservations I recommend you give it a good committed try. Once in a while for a very good referral source we will waive it. We never waive the requirement for seminar attendees because those are the ones we had the most problems with cancellations with. Also if they want to give us a check for $250 we will take that instead of a credit card and hand it back to them at the meeting.

Give it a try you won’t be disappointed.

Michelle Beneski

Fresh out of Law School with less than a year in business, Martha is now a Personal Family Lawyer® with a busy practice. She’s filling the room with her presentations (60 people at a time in one, and 20 families in another) — all based on materials already prepared by Alexis for her members.

Right now my engagement rate is over 90%. That is what stuns me, when people sit down with me and I walk them through the process that you’ve taught me, very few don’t engage because I give them every opportunity to make really good choices and every reason to make good choices because of the techniques that you’ve developed.

When we first started and you started coaching me, the one thing you told me is, “You need to learn how to engage! You need to know the Client Engagement System down pat.” And I couldn’t quite understand why that was but now I get it, because without that one tool, nothing else really matters. So, you coached me to do that, I did that and as I go along, if I deviate from that system, I know I’m going to fall off the track. So I constantly bring myself back into the Client Engagement System to remind myself of those tools, the specific ones that you make.

Martha Hartney | Hartney Family & Estate Law | Longmont, CO

Michael was once skeptical. But, by following the techniques in the Client Engagement System, a now very grateful Michael has taken his law practice from “viable” to “successful.” Retention rate, once lucky to get as high as 70%, stands close to 100%!

Michael DellaMonaca

“Alexis, a few years back I implemented your client engagement system to grow my law practice from “viable” to “successful.” I am at a point where I am seen as a go-to resource for estate and elder matters in my community, by bankers, financial planners, and even some attorneys.

I’m really just ecstatic because these techniques can be so simple. You have to do the work, follow and have faith in the systems, but they’re very basic, and they’ll come to you naturally. It’s all these “Why Didn’t I Think of This,” type of moments – it’s all very basic, common sense. I was keeping very careful records on the number of clients I was engaging with your system and I said to myself, “I’m not going to keep something that’s not paying dividends for me.” So, I expressed my desire to return the system, but agreed to talk with you… meanwhile, I made a tweak here and there, reviewed the system materials… maybe it was the ‘Break-down before the Break-through’ but my engagement rate went from 3 people saying “no thanks” despite using your system… to now, in the past 5 months, we’ve only had 3 people decline to retain us.

Retention rate now stands at 87% and if we count people who were personally referred to us, it’s close to 100%. I was lucky to hit 70% prior to using your system.

Needless to say I’ve paid for your system many, many, many times… I don’t have a million-dollar practice because I don’t want one. I want quality of life. Today I had a very fun day. I got to ‘just talk’ with people, I got to be a human being and relax. I wasn’t on edge, I wasn’t trying to sell anything. I mean, how many lawyers are actually having this much fun! Your system brings the humanity back to being a lawyer. Thanks, Alexis!”

Michael DellaMonaca | The Law Office of Michael D. DellaMonaca | Fitchburg, MA

Robert recognizes his very expensive mistake — ignoring Alexis’ emails for too long. Soon after he finally put the Personal Family Lawyer® systems into practice, he found himself energized, loving his business, and raising his fees an astonishing 1000%!

Robert Galliano

 

“I ignored Alexis’ emails for months. Quite frankly, I was very skeptical about her claims. After 25 years practicing law, I thought she wouldn’t be able to teach me anything. I was wrong.

Within a few months of working with Alexis, I’ve increased my fees 1000% (that is not a typo—one thousand percent) and I recently engaged 7 out of 7 new prospects at $4,000 each.

The best part is I’m energized and love my business again. I sure wish I had opened her emails sooner.”

Robert Galliano | The Law Offices of Robert J. Galliano Temecula, CA

“Because of you we work with clients only 3 days a week, and are able to enjoy life. I use your system every day and I am proof that it works.”

Robert & Diane Galliano
The Law Offices of Robert J. Galliano | Temecula, CA

“The CES changed my life. It allowed me to double my fees over night and gave me the confidence to deliver.”

Tracy Ingle | Ingle Law | Boston, MA

Tracey Ingle

Once implementing the Client Engagement System and Personal Family Lawyer® program, nothing has stopped Darlynn’s practice from growing and hitting 98% retention – not the recession, not taking 3 months maternity leave, or even deciding to cut her work down to three days a week!

Darlynn Morgan

 

After becoming a PFL in 2007, I began implementing the systems in my firm and we saw an immediate uptick in leads and prospects, but especially in client engagements. By using the Client Engagement System my engagement rate increased significantly, while at the same time we increased the prices we were charging for our services. We continued implementing, plugging away, improving over the years and had a solid foundation in place.

In 2010 I had my first child and decided to take a 3 month maternity leave; after returning I reduced my days in the office to 4 days per week so I could spend more time with my baby.  Despite taking this time off and despite the recession, the law firm completely rocked 2010; we had an amazing year with strong profits and took a huge leap forward financially.  In 2011 I brought in another attorney and trained her using the PFL systems and she too has about a 90% engagement rate. In 2011 I continued working only 4 days per week, and we were even more profitable than any prior year, despite the recession.

In 2012 I decided to further reduce my days in the office to 3 days per week so I could spend more time with my son and it was our best year yet in every way.  We truly are attracting and engaging families that we love to serve, and doing it very well I might add. I attribute this to the PFL systems we have implemented, staff training, as well as the lessons I have received from Alexis’ coaching over the years. 2013 is off to an amazing start and we just had our highest engagement rate month ever… we engaged 98% of all prospects who came into the office in February!

Darlynn Morgan | Morgan Law Group | Newport Beach, CA