Growing Your Family Law Practice in a Challenging Economy Sponsored byThe Florida Bar, Family Law Section Presented byMark Powers & Shawn McNalis, Atticus .
. Time Management &Productivity Systems If a Family lawyer can’t manage his or her time effectively, they can’t manage their practice! They will be forever frustrated.
Productivity Techniques • Client Selection • Exclusivity • Designated Hitter • Preemptive Strike • Interruption Controls • Time Template – Power Hour • Case Status Organizer
The most important Time Management factor in a Family Law Practice is... CLIENT SELECTION
Client Ratings 1=A 2=A 3=A 4=A 5 =A 6=A “A” Clients - pay promptly, listen to advice, repeat business, primary practice area. 30=D 31=D 32=D 33=D 34=D 35=D “D” Clients - problematic, slow or difficult collections, not in primary or secondary practice area.
Client Comparison A & B % C & D %
Next -Start Letting Go of “D” Clients! How many will you let go of? ________________
Productivity techniques for gaining control of the law firm... As we discuss these techniques, please remember - You are either building a BUSINESS with SYSTEMS that take care of clients and add value. . . OR. . . You are building a JOB where the client is trained to be dependent on the Technician… YOU!
Become Exclusive! • Authentic • Customer Service Focus • Reduces Client Issues • Provides a reason for you to say, “no” • Introduces Team Perspective • Establishes Boundaries Elements of Exclusivity:
Use a Designated Hitter A Designated Hitter is an associate, paralegal, or legal secretary who is trained to help take care of the client in your absence, and is: • Customer service oriented • Detail oriented • Has priority access to you • Introduced early into the process Who is your Designated Hitter?
Preemptive Strikes A SYSTEM for PROACTIVE contacts with clients and high level referral sources • The DH calls out to client before they call in to you • First week file is open, second, third, and periodic as necessary • The DH returns calls promptly • The DH maintains communication and responsiveness
Elect a “Time Cop” The Time Cop is a key support staff member (secretary, assistant, paralegal) • Meet daily at end of day • Compare hours with activities, calls, files, etc. • Recover 10 - 15% (sometimes 25%) of billable hours
Interruptions • What are the classic interruptions? • What are the costs of those interruptions? .
Managing Interruptions Take Charge (you are the first line of defense) • Go public • Group interruptions • Create staff meetings • Close door • Move desk/chair • Create visual reminders
Managing Interruptions Here’s a novel idea... TURN OFF THE PHONE & E-MAIL
Block & Tackle Time and motion studies consistently reveal that… • Grouping “like” tasks together • Doing them together ...results in increased efficiency. What would you block out time on your calendar for? Marketing -- Production -- Hearings -- Administrative time -- Planning -- Exercise
The Power Hour • First thing in the morning • Give yourself one or two hours • Power through production • Block all interruptions
Case Status Organizer • File name, current status, responsible party • What is the next action? (Deadlines checked) • By whom, by when? (Delegatee checks schedule, raises red flag -- additional resources)
Main Points: • Marketing is a learned behavior • It is a process to be Mastered • One size does not fit all • Attorneys can neverstop marketing!
Compound Interest $360,000 Extraordinary Success Results or ROI Simple Interest $66,000 Getting By Time Investment Curve $2,000 x 30 years @ 10%
Referrals and Revenues Increase Dramatically Results or ROI Time Marketing Investment Curve 3 marketing actions per week
Top Twenty • Contact Mgt. Software • Marketing Assistant • The Laser Talk • Marketing Stories • Professional Website • PR Campaign • Interview Process • Accountability Ptr. • Marketing Retreat • Mthly Mkting Plan • Signature Event • Client In-take Matrix • Referral Map • Aftercare Program • TOMA Tool • Tracking System • Client-Centered Office • Professional Image • Time Template • Thank You System 21 Marketing Assets
Three Marketing Contacts a Week Habit • Asking for Referrals Habit • Sharpening the Saw Habit • Thank You Habit • Adding Names Habit 5 Marketing Habits
Asset # 1 Top Twenty List
Referral Sources 1 2 3 4 5 … 20 Top 20 21 22 23 24 25 … 100 Farm Team
List out name • Category • Rapport (A-B-C ) • Potential vs. Actual • Prioritize - Days Identifying Your Top 20
Prospects Top 20 The Power of Numbers You
Asset # 2 Contact Management Software ( Electronic Tickler File )
The Database The Database ‘Ticker File’ allows you to: Create Leveraged Marketing Activities Create and Re-enforce Rapport Track Conversations and Commitments Track Trends and Commonalties
Purpose of a Tickler File Maintain up-to-date information for: • Clients • Prospective Clients • Referral Sources • Prospective Referral Sources
Types of Information To Collect • Name • Title • Address • Phone - fax - cell • E-mail address • Current Status • Potential • Level of rapport • Birthday • Anniversary • Hobbies, interests • Secretary’s name • Spouse, kids names • Referred by • Referred to you • Contact notes
ACT Goldmine Outlook Database Management Software • Amicus • Needles • Time Matters
Asset # 3 A Marketing Assistant
The Marketing Assistant A marketing assistant can be your secretary, key assistant, intern, part-time or a full-time employee (or even virtual) who will act as your co-conspirator and support your marketing efforts.
The Marketing Assistant Activities for your Marketing Assistant: Schedule lunch/breakfast meetings Manage database Plan and Manage Events Manage TOMA program Assist in preparation for speaking engagements Follow-through on leads for you Prompt you into action
Asset # 4 The Laser Talk
The Laser Talk (Specific description of client) I work with In their desire to By means of And what is unique about my practice is. . . (Benefit or value statement) (How one delivers those benefits) (Often what you might consider a weakness)
Asset # 5 Marketing Stories
Storytelling Develop at least three stories about you and your practice -- make sure they contain a message that builds rapport, respect and trust
Storytelling The typical story has three parts: Part 1: The context of the story contains plenty of detail to pull the listener in and set the scene. Part 2: The main characters are placed in dilemma, challenged, or conflicted. Part 3: The story is solved and a message has been delivered – best if done with humor.
Asset # 6 A Professional Website
Asset # 7 A Public Relations Campaign
Asset # 8 The Interview Process
Interviewing and Asking Questions • Simple to do • Provides feedback • Generates business
Ask Questions Being sincerely interested in others creates a personal connection -- and creates more opportunities for you to build rapport and trust.