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Maximum Intake Pt. 4 w/ Jim Hacking and Gary Falkowtiz 263
Categories: Podcast

Today we’re sharing part four of a six part series on Intake. This isn’t your regular podcast. In this series you’ll get to listen in on actual strategy sessions between Gary Falkowitz and Jim Hacking as they dive into Jim’s intake processes.

Gary Falkowitz advises law firms, attorneys and legal organizations on the importance of creating, utilizing, managing and maximizing the intake process. He has worked with managing partners, associates, paralegals and all other support staff to assist law firms in improving their intake process and, importantly, increasing their conversion percentages.

Through his years of experience, Gary has realized that accountability, implementing strong internal procedures and responsiveness are three of the most important factors to ensure a successful and efficient intake process. It doesn’t hurt that his passion for the subject matter is unrivaled. In short, Gary believes that the key to maximizing a law firm’s revenue is strongly dependent upon the ability to appropriately prioritize and adequately scrutinize the intake process.

Gary is also the author of the book,  “The Complete Guide to Law Firm Intake: Powerful Strategies To Maximize Retention and Increase Revenue”.

4:30 paid consults as a filter
8:45 why they didn’t sign an agreement
9:37 when life gets in the way
10:46 follow up
17:10 creating a proactive sales team
23:14 baby steps or a leap?
28:48 the benefits
29:01 the tipping point

Want to hear more from Gary?

Tune in to his MaxLawCon 2019 presentation here or watch the video here.

Or, listen in to episode 93 with Gary as a guest on the Maximum Lawyer podcast here. 

Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss an interview, presentation or training!

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Jim: All right. So, we’re back with Gary after technical difficulties.

Gary, good to see you.

We’re going to talk today about– we’re going to go over our intake, the initial call, one more time.

I have a question for you about, when do we talk about the cost of working with us and sort of the handoff from the intake team to the attorney. I’ve been talking to the team here about sort of this idea that you have of like really grabbing on to the client when they call because that’s sort of when they’re at their most interested level, and how, when we put them on pause, and set them for a consult, and charge them for the consult. How we’re sort of leaving a lot of people behind.

And so, I think I have buy-in now on sort of trying to make this as seamless. They call in. They get screened. And then, if appropriate, they get passed on to the attorney.

Gary: Yeah. that’s the way to think about it, for sure.

You know, one of the things we discussed and I’d like to know– you know, I’m going to keep the ball in your court for a moment, Jim. I want to hear your thoughts on what you thought made the most sense, from a process standpoint, based upon some of the options we discussed in terms of discussing the pricing, getting something signed electronically, which cases would be warm transfer.

Before I give you that opportunity to answer. Something that, I think, we made some headway with was an understanding that we can certainly qualify leads to the point of knowing whether we want to sign that and then investigate it after we sign it. We can do all that on the first call. And this for everyone watching. Regardless of what business you’re in, you’ve got to change your mentality to sign, then investigate. Not investigate, then sign.

You must assume that there’s a competitive nature to what you’re doing. You must assume that there’s somebody just as hungry as you are. You must assume that the claimant has options. So, with all those assumptions, and there’s a lot of assumptions there, you’ve got to get to the point which, I think, we did as a team over here. You’ve got to get to a point where you make a decision on that first call. Do I want to sign this case? Is it worth more investigative time and resources from me or not?

And now, let’s get to the point where you think it’s worth your time to get the case signed, or that it’s worth your time to try and get the case signed? What stood out in our prior conversations to you as either a challenge or as something you’d be interested in trying?

Jim: Well, it certainly resonated. You know, Tyson and I have this Maximum Lawyer Guild. And one of the members was talking about trying to do paid consults for the first time ever and I was like, “Well, I’ve been trying that for a long time and I know that is a filter.” But I also believe that you have convinced me, with the work that we’ve done in asking the disqualifying questions, that there’s a better filter, right. And that the $100 might be pushing some people away, that the $100 is still imprecise.

I mean, Gary, I had a solid day of consults last Thursday. Those were all people who paid $100. And, so far, we haven’t gotten a case out of it, right? So, that’s like six hours of consults, half hours apiece, and none of them are cases, right. 

I do think that I’ve always been sort of this guy who wants everyone to like him. And so, I’ve been trying to help everybody. And even with all my YouTube videos, I always say, “Hey, if you have a question, give us a call.” And it hasn’t been very discerning or very much of a true screening.

Gary: Let’s talk about those six. That’s a great little test day. So, six meetings, no clients. [inaudible 00:03:48].

Jim: Twelve meetings over six hours.

Gary: Oh, 12 meetings, six hours, no clients. So, my first question to you is when they pay you $100, did they pay you cash, credit, check? Did you have to have them fill anything out?

Jim: It’s just the scheduling people take the credit card information.

Gary: Okay. So, they took credit card info ahead of time. The ones that you met with, how many of them did you, after the meeting, say, “I really don’t want that person as a client. I don’t think we can help.”

Jim: I’d say probably a third. Like, a third never should’ve been a consult.

Gary: Let’s talk about that. What could we have done better, during the initial conversation, to come to that conclusion?

Jim: Well, of course, Gary, they’re still operating on the old method. So, the old method is you call the office. You have an immigration question or a series of questions about your case. You want to talk to a lawyer. “Okay, great. We’ll schedule you.” That’s it.

Gary: So, looking back– sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt there, Jim.

Jim: No, you’re fine.

Gary: Looking back, would the qualification process that we created have disqualified at least one of those or a couple of those, a third cases. Of the four cases, how many of those would have been disqualified, at least, with [inaudible 00:05:24]?

Jim: At least two, so two of the four.

Gary: Okay. 

Jim: That’s an hour of time.

Gary: Yeah. That’s now our time but, more importantly, and this is something you know, if they were willing to give you their credit card information, okay, and assume that 10 of ‘em– let’s assume– so, it was 12 meetings. So, 10 of them would have qualified and gave you credit card information. I promise you, nine out of those 10 would have rather signed a documents at no cost, so that you could begin an investigation on their behalf, as opposed to $100 with no promise to retain you as a client.

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: Or as a lawyer.

Jim: That’s interesting because you’re viewing it from their perspective and I’m viewing it from my perspective.

Gary: Yeah. I think, from their perspective, it probably is asking more of them to pay $100 to you than it is to ask them to become a client.

Jim: Yeah. And what I thought you were going to say is that it probably wasn’t an ideal experience for them. I mean, some of them– I think, some people definitely get value for their hundred dollars. Like, they get a lot of good information. Like one of them, Gary, it was like– like, we don’t ever help people like fill out forms, you know, on their own, but we get pretty close to that sometimes where people have specific questions. They’re getting ready to file and they’re confused about certain things. So, they get great value for that hundred dollars. But then, some people are probably frustrated and was like, “Oh, boy. That didn’t work out. I really wish I hadn’t done that.”

Gary: Of those eight that you are hoping, and had hoped, would sign an agreement, have you looked into why or thought about why they haven’t?

Jim: I think people hold on to their money right now. It’s like a little bit of– our rhythm is off a little bit. We’re getting less actual signups after consults than we used to. And I would say it’s the last three weeks.

Gary: Did you ask them to sign while you met with them?

Jim: No.

Gary: To sign a retainer and pay some more money?

Jim: There are people that we sent contracts to. Yeah, they said they wanted to sign up. They wanted us to send them the contract and then they didn’t.

Gary: And what about– and I know you didn’t really do this yet, but have you considered offering to stay on the phone with them to sign that retainer during that consult?

Jim: No. We haven’t done that.

Gary: Okay, so you know as well as I do, and for everyone listening out there, there are plenty of people who have a real interest in moving forward with you but then life gets in the way. And they get distracted. And they have other responsibilities. And they have to homeschool their children. And they have to do food shopping.

And the idea of taking time out of their day, or in the evening, when they’re exhausted, to sign a document and, potentially, pay more money to you, it becomes so much less important than when they’re meeting with you. And we have to capitalize– no matter what change you make here, Jim, we have to capitalize on the fact that when we have them, we’ve got to bring them all the way in.

Jim: That’s fair. I agree with you.

Gary: So let’s talk about– I’m going to leave your ball in your court for a second. Based upon what we have discussed, what would you have done differently assuming that all options are on the table with those– with all 12 or– let’s call them eight out of 12. Actually, 10 out of 12, because you said, two of them were disqualified. But the 10 that would’ve qualified, what would you have tried to do differently, assuming you had the resource?

Jim: Well, I mean, I almost am ashamed to admit this but our follow up with people who we actually even send contracts to is sort of hit and miss, right. So, we sort of are being passive there, Gary, where we do have like an automated email that goes out like every three days for two weeks. Like, when we send people a contract, it says that it expires within two weeks. So, I would say our system is we probably have two emails that automatically go out to them. And then, a call from our bookkeeper who’s basically trying to figure out, “Is this person going to sign up or not?” If not, then we’ll just forget about them. That’s the honest truth.

Gary: Okay. So, let’s stop accepting that and let’s make a change, okay?

Jim: Okay. 

Gary: Guys, if you– you know, Jim, if you’ve met with these folks. You’ve heard that the owner of the law firm met with these folks. The face of the law firm met with these folks. You wanted this case, after you met with these folks.

Jim: Yeah. 

Gary: Still, even if we hang up with the claimant– or hang upright, we’ve got to be aggressive in our efforts to get inside. There should be someone that calls same day, after you speak with them. “I know you spoke with Jim from our office. And Jim discussed your case with me. As he told you, this is definitely a case we think we can assist you with. The next step is to get this signed and have us begin an investigation. I’m sure you’ve talked too about costs. We can help you.” That call has to be made same day and every day for the next three days.  And then, every other day for the next week.

Jim: Yeah. And I hate to say it, Gary, but it’s almost like I dive back into the next day’s consult. So, I do consults on Tuesday, Thursday, a couple on Friday and then on Saturday. And so, I’m just jumping onto the next one instead of trying to maximize the ones that I already had. That’s always been.

Gary: Yep. But you shouldn’t be the one following up anyway, Jim. Lawyers can’t follow up. They’ve got too much going on.

Jim: Yeah. 

Gary: You’ve got to have someone, you know, from your intake team or a follow-up team. Whatever you want to call it. There’s got to be someone who’s respon– you have enough work to have somebody just do follow ups. The cost of it is completely justified, given how many cases you won, how many leads you’re getting, and how much you’re getting paid to reach these folks.

Jim: Okay. Yeah [inaudible 00:12:20]. 

Gary: You know, I’m looking at it, if you, on any given day– if one day, you had 10 people you wanted as a client, each of those 10 people paid $100. It took time out of their day. On any given day, how many folks are you guys– remind me. How many folks would you guys like to sign as a client?

Jim: 50 a month, so like two a day.

Gary: Okay. Certainly, the that can be handled, the follow up on that.

You know, let’s rewind. Let’s circle back now, okay, because what I’m going to want you to start to do here, Jim, I’m going to want you to start to test it out a little. I’m going to want you to start to see what’s working and what’s not because, I promise you, the way you’re doing it can be improved upon so much that you’re not going to lose much. You’re probably going to gain a lot by trying new things.

So, first and foremost, what we have to start doing better, regardless if you change your retention practices. Let’s start backwards. Let’s start following up a lot more aggressively. Day and day. Every day, over the next three days. Let’s get text messaging going, hopefully, within your system, “Hey, this is Gary from Jim Hacking’s office. I know you met with Jim earlier today. We’d love to have you as a client. We think we can help out. Can you get in a call? We can tell you the next steps.” Whatever that is. We’ve got to get them involved.

Jim: Okay, I [inaudible 00:13:51].

Gary: Then, we’ve got to make the follow up. Make it more aggressive. Prolong it. Give it to someone who we trust in handling that responsibility. That’s the first thing that, I think, you could do immediately without any real pressure on you in changing the process.

Jim: Okay.

Gary: The next thing is– sorry. I’m writing over here. The next thing is let’s change the dialogue. Let’s start qualifying and disqualifying cases on the first call based upon that third thing that you and I talked about. 

Jim: Okay. 

Gary: You know, let’s see who qualifies or gets disqualified. And those who are qualify to the extent that you– you know, I think that’s what you wanted to talk about. Do you warm transfer to an attorney or do you talk about the cost first? We could talk about that in a moment. But let’s at least start using a qualification dialogue so that you’re not wasting your time with two of them– with an hour of your time, by the way, which is very valuable.

Jim: Right.

Gary: Like you said, last week, two of the people that would have been disqualified. 

Jim: Right. Okay. Okay. I’m done with that.

Gary: Okay. And those two things, quite frankly, I’m going to challenge you to start those in the next week.

Jim: Okay. 

Gary: I am. I’m going to say, Why not? Do it for one day. Do it for one morning or one afternoon. Do it for one call. Do it for one claimant. You know, I want you to start seeing some results. I want you to start because you– I mean, listen, I’m not trying to– 

Jim: No. [inaudible 00:15:28]. 

Gary: I’m not trying to make your head any bigger, right? You’re a smart guy. You’re a personable guy. You’re obviously filling a tremendous need and providing a tremendous resource to people who need that service. Let’s start doing it better. You know, just do it. You’re going to be very happy with the results if you start trying to do it better.

Jim: Of the 10, last week, I can picture two, right now, who really just need a little bit of pushing. And I’m always so passive on that, right. So, I like the idea of doing this. I mean, even if that’s what we work on just this week is everybody who does an actual consult– without changing our model, everyone who does a consult, if the lawyer says yes or maybe, have them follow up, like you said, every day for three days. And then, every other day for a week. I mean, that’s something that’s doable in our system. We have the ability to text or to call, all that stuff. And just putting that at the top of the list.

You see, I’ve always had the next set of consults at the top of the list. And we probably need more help, Gary, because the two people I have just doing scheduling people for consults are scrambling right now. So, there’s probably another job out there for someone to just do the actual follow up from consults we already had.

Gary: So, it’s really cool. What you’re bringing up is really interesting. You have always been a responder. “I’ll be there if you need me, call me. I’ll be there if you need me, call me.” 

It’s time to be a proactive sales team for your firm, right? Not only am I there if you need me, but I’m here right now and I want you as a client. I’m going to keep calling you because based upon what you told me I want you as a client. I’m not just here if you need me. I’m also here because I think I can help you. So, I’m going to keep following up with you because I think I can help you.

Jim: Okay. 

Gary: You’ve got to change and shift a little bit.

Jim: Do you do you find this– am I unusual on that, Gary?

Gary: I don’t know if you’re unusual on that. I think you’re unusual in that you really are doing it because you’re a nice guy and you really are just trying to help people who want to be helped.

What I see, from a different mentality, but a similar result is lawyers who are very egotistical, they think that they don’t have to follow up because if somebody wants them, they’ll keep calling them and they don’t have to worry about all that follow up. And it’s almost like two different paths that get you the same result which is for follow up. One is because you think you’re being too aggressive and you’re nice. And the other is because, you know what? They want me. If they want me, they’ll call me back. Two different routes.

The reality is, regardless of which person you are, ego or really nice, you have to understand that this is a business. And, at the end of the day, you can do all the good in the world but, I promise you, there is a lot of benefit in not only doing good but doing it well, you know, and maximizing your business, and improving, and growing your business. So, you have to think about it that way.

Jim: Okay, that– okay. I agree. I agree [inaudible 00:18:55].

Gary: So, the following up is something you can begin doing almost immediately. I want you to think about the dialogue that I want you to start using almost immediately.

And then, let’s talk about the big question for you here which is, someone calls up. They qualify. You tell them they qualify. What happens next? You know, we discussed the possibility of stop, stop just treading water here and start swimming. You know, stop just bringing them in slowly and bring them in all the way.

Just the $100-request to meet with somebody and tell them they qualify. Tell them you’d like to help. Tell them the cost of that help. And tell them how you can start helping them. Right, that’s the goal.

Here’s you qualify. We can help. Here’s the cost for the help. Here’s how we start to help. And that’s what we want to get done in the first call. That’s the goal, right?

Jim: Yep. So, how does it work?

Gary: So, we have to figure out how comfortable that person that they’re speaking with– you see, in my mind, I think it goes like this. I think It works like this. Because you already have attorneys involved as a consult, so they’re already comfortable speaking with claimants. Now, we may have to get them a little bit more aggressive, being with claimants so that they can convert a lead into a client, but that’s for another day.

What we want to do here is, if it qualifies, we want to tell the claimant, the person who just spoke with them, “Hey, Mrs. Jones. So, based upon the answers to the questions you just provided, you qualify for representation, which means we think we can help you, which means we have experience helping people just like you. So, here’s the next step. What I’m going to do now is I’m going to warm transfer you to a lawyer in our office who’s going to tell you the cost of our services and also tell you how you can become a client.”

Now, that goes to the lawyer and the lawyer says, “Mrs. Jones, I just spoke with Jennifer and told me about your case. I understand you’re having a visa issue. Good news here is, as Jennifer told you, we handle visa issue cases all the time. Here’s what it is. The cost is $3500, $4500, $5500. Here’s how you can pay it. What you get from us is, the moment you sign our document, which I can get to you right now while we’re on the phone, is I get my team to start working on this case for you immediately. And I want you to get a better sense of what you can expect out of this deal. From our experience. Here’s what we expect is going to happen. Here’s the process. Here’s how long it’s going to take. Here’s what we’re going to need from you. I will also tell you that it’s really difficult to do these things on your own. We’ve been doing it for X amount of years. We have X amount of people available to us. So, let’s get this started today.” And you’ve got to be aggressive enough to say it that way. And if you do, you’re now putting it into their hands to move forward.

Jim: So, at that point, the lawyer would be pushing them to sign the mini-agreement which is the investigation agreement, or the lawyer’s getting them to sign the big pay– the pay contract [inaudible 00:22:09]?

Gary: So, that’s up to you. That’s up to you. You know, we talked about it both ways. And I’m still trying to understand what your comfort level is. You know, if you’re nervous that people are going to balk at paying money right away, then start the investigative retainer, get them signed. Have someone do a basic investigation. Tell them, “Hey. Yeah, after looking at this, doing this basic investigation, this is definitely something we can help you out with and here’s the cost.”

You know, at some point, you might say, “Gary, I think it’s worth just telling them how much the cost is and let’s get this thing signed, right. Let’s try to get this thing signed right away.” So, it’s up to you. Do you want to take baby steps or do you want to take a leap? Either way, I think, it’s going to work.

Jim: What do you think?

Gary: I think that you should try out the–

Oh, let me ask you this question. I’ll throw it back to you now. What percentage of the people that you have a consult with, yet look at you like you’re crazy when you tell them the cost of your services?

Jim: 20%

Gary: 20 or 40?

Jim: 20.

Gary: 20%. And what’s your response to that?

Jim: Well, I mean, they just sort of say– I mean, sometimes, they’ll act like they can pay or that it’s not an issue but, you know, it just sort of fizzles out.

Gary: I would like for you to tell them. I’d like for you to start and tell them, at the outset, after you hear about the case, “This is the cost. Let’s get this started today.” And then, if they say no or they hesitate, you know, that’s where– you know, you could even go the other way around, if you really wanted to, and try. “You know what, I wouldn’t recommend doing this but I want you to know it’s in your back pocket if you wanted to use it. You know what, I know it’s a lot of money for you. Why don’t we get you started on an investigative retainer? There’s no cost to it. It allows us to put a couple of hours of work into this case for you at no cost. And then, we’ll let you know whether it’s something we really think we can help you out with.”

And then, you come back to them the next day and say, “Yeah, so we looked into this. This is something we can help you out with, but this is the cost. I can’t move it. But I do want you to know that we did a little bit more work and we did just on the phone call. And now the ball’s in your court. You either want us or you don’t. I can’t move the pricing.” That’s one way to go. 

You know, I keep thinking– I really do. I keep thinking like the cost is what the cost is. No one’s doing it for free. And if they try to do it on their own, they’re going to mess up – the majority. I get that. And I’d like to– 

You know, for one day, you have the opportunity here, Jim, and I say this without any disrespect to you and your firm, your company. You’ve lost enough cases, given your current process. You can test it out. You can test it out. Try it for one day. Try for the next five people. But you’ve got to do it with confidence. “Hey, Mrs. Jones. So, the cost here is $5500. We can get started today. I could send it to you today. I will tell you time is of the essence. Is this something you want to sit on? I’m sure you know the consequences of this as much as I do. I’ll also tell you that we handle cases like this every single day so there’s no reason to be nervous about it or hesitant.”

Jim: If I’m trying to do that intermediate step of having the investigation, before they talk to the attorney or before we talk about cost, isn’t that just sort of like a baby step? That I should just probably just rip off the band aid and get right to it, isn’t it what you’re encouraging me to do? Don’t you think?

Gary: I am. I am.

In an ideal world, Jim, you call up– 

You know, these folks need an immigration attorney. They know that. They reached out to you.

When my computer breaks and I need a computer, and I go on Amazon, or I go to the business whatever company nearby. And I type in the computer I want. It doesn’t say, you know, “Why don’t you tell me what you’re comfortable paying here? And why don’t you tell me– you know, let’s talk about it.” It says, “Here’s the damn price. Do you want it? Do you want delivered by tomorrow? Do you want to pick it up by tomorrow? This is the cost.” It’s either you pay for it you don’t.

And the immigration’s– you know, to a degree, isn’t it the same thing? They need an immigration attorney. They need one. They can’t do it themselves. You know, you may lose out to somebody else who charges less and I get that. I totally get that concern. But cost is what the cost is and you’ve never done a case for free. 

Jim: Right. And I think–

Gary: So, let’s not make a big deal out of it, I guess, is my point. They know there’s a cost associated with it. I

Jim: I think I’ve always had this reluctance to separate out the people who just want answers to their questions versus the people who want to actually hire us. And that’s something you picked up on the first time we chatted was that, you know, I’m always trying to help everybody. So, getting to who’s actually, potentially, a client faster is something that’s really important. 

And you’re right, we have lost a lot of cases, this method that we’re using, so why not try something different? That’s one way to look at it. And on top of that, we can also say that I have lots of leads coming in, so I have lots of different ways to test it, right? So, like, so what if I lose a lead or two, under this new approach, because I’m losing leads anyway, right?

Gary: Right. 100% right. But it’s also because I believe in the system. So, it’s not like, you’re just trying something just for the heck of it. I believe that it’s going to work. And deep down, I think, you believe it’s going to work but it’s a big change and that’s why you’re hesitating right now.

I do think you should rip the band aid off. Ideally, I see a claimant calling up, someone saying they qualify. Warm transfer to an attorney. Attorney reassuring them they qualify. Attorney saying, “This is the cost.” Attorney then saying, “I’m going to bring you back to my intake person who’s going to get you on retainer and get the credit card information from you. And by the time you end this phone call today, you’re going to be a new client, and then you have nothing to worry about.” That’s how I envisioned this going out.

Jim: Yeah. I mean, I think it has lots of pluses to it, including, you know, lawyer time’s going to be more productive. You know, we’re going to screen out a lot of the looky-loo’s and the tire kickers. I’m willing to try this, for sure.

Gary: Yeah. I’ll go one step further, Jim. Like you have an opportunity here because I, frankly, don’t think you need to be on these consult calls. However, you can have tremendous amount of value. And what if your lawyers tell you, “Listen, I just spoke with John Jones. It looks like it’s a case we could definitely handle but they kind of got nervous about the cost. A phone call from you could go a long way. You know, Jim Hacking of the Hacking Law Office.” And I think that’s where you become almost like a closer for those claimants who are hesitating.

Jim: The tipping point, yeah.

Yeah, I like that. I’d like to get out of doing consults. My wife’s like, “You work for four hours doing consult straight on Saturdays and it’s tough on the family so.”

Gary: Yeah. Listen, I love you as a closer. I love any named partner as a closer because, you know, you go into a car dealership. You’ve heard this analogy before. You go into a car dealership and you speak with the salesperson and you think you knock them down best price you can get. And they think they got something real close. And then you say at the end, “You know what? I appreciate it. Let me just go back to my spouse and share some of this information with her.” And they say to you, “Whoah! Before you leave, let me introduce you to the manager.” Why do they do that? They do that because they don’t want you leaving without keys in your hand and a check in theirs, right.

So, it’s almost like you get that title – and you have the real title. You’re the owner of the office. You’re taking time out of your busy day to speak with someone you know you can help and who you might need to convince it’s worth the cost because, if they try to do it themselves, you’ve seen way too many times people hurt themselves and there could be tremendous consequences for trying to do it themselves. 

And that’s a real fear. I have to believe. You know, when you’re talking immigration, you’re– again, this is not my field of practice. And so, I am coming into this very uneducated, but I do believe that, if you have an immigration issue, that’s scary. That’s really scary. You may have family. You may have a real life here. And you might be– I don’t know, worst case scenario, facing some sort of deportation or something if you [inaudible 00:30:46] your X’s and, you know, T’s crossed and I’s dotted.

Jim: Right. Right, for sure.

Gary: So, it’s a pretty serious thing. It’s not buying a computer. It’s more serious than buying a computer.

Jim: All right. So, we have the prequalifying script. We’ve already nailed that down. We were both very happy with that.

And now it’s time for the warm transfer. Can you walk me through, one more time, how that conversation’s going to go between the attorney and the potential client?

Gary: Yeah. So, I would not yet have my intake person talk about the cost. So, your intake person qualifies. We’ve got to give him/her really great language, “Mrs. Jones, thanks for taking a couple of minutes. Here’s the best part of the conversation – you qualify. You qualify for representation. We handle cases like yours every single day. You know, you’re in good hands. You’ve seen our ads. This is all we do. So, here’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to warm transfer you to one of our attorneys. The reason I’m doing that is because I want you to hear, from an attorney’s mouth, that we can help you, number one. Number two, they’re going to tell you the cost associated with our services. And number three, they’re also going to tell you how we can get started today, on your behalf. So, do you have two more minutes?” “Sure, I do.” “Okay.”

And now the claimant is really satisfied (a) being told they qualify, (b) being told that their call’s being promoted to another level, (d) being told how things can get started, right. Attorney gets– and I’ll stop there because you asked about that warm transfer. That’s how the warm transfer should go.

Jim: I love that. No, that’s perfect. And I can see how someone would feel like they’re being puffed up a little bit. I can see that.

Gary: Yep. Yeah, for sure.

Jim: So then, what?

Gary: Okay. Attorney gets on the phone, regurgitates and reassures. Regurgitates some of the details that they were just provided by intake, “Mrs. Jones, I understand you’re having an ABC issue. I know that Jennifer told you we could help. She’s right. We deal with ABC issues every single day. Let me tell you real quick about the cost. It’s a very simple cost. It’s $3500, $4500, $5500 for our services. Here’s what you get with those services. This is a normal pricing structure for immigration cases. I will tell you that, cases like yours, they do require a lawyer. Too often, people try to do it themselves, they fail, and you know, the consequences as well as I do. So, what I’ll do now is I’m going to send you our agreement, which basically gives us permission to represent you. I’m also going to put you back up with Jennifer who’s going to ask you for your credit card information, assuming you want to move forward. And most importantly, I’m going to see if you have any questions, right. Do you have any questions for me?” That’s how that call goes.

Jim: Okay. And then kick it back to intake for them to sort of follow up on getting them the agreement and the payment?

Gary: Just because you don’t need your lawyers wasting time on the technical side and they’ll probably mess it up anyway, but yeah.

Jim: I mean, it certainly elevates the lawyers to a higher status thing and it makes the call have a higher perceived value.

Gary: I think so. I think that’s– and the lawyers may like their jobs more.

Jim: Okay. Then, you think the intake people stay on the phone with them and email them the contract? I mean, we have it all set up, technologically, where we can get them the contract. They can look at it on their phone. They can sign it right there. We could do that.

Gary: That is the gold standard. Why not start there? Are you going to get everybody to sign that retainer the first call? Of course, not. That’s where the follow up comes into play and the aggressive follow up comes into play. But how cool will it be if, the second day you do this, you sign a case on the first call? Then, you go, “Whoa! This is doable. Whoa! Let’s do this more.”

Jim: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, once I know it’s doable and I believe you. I don’t not believe you. But–

Gary: I know, you guys [inaudible 00:34:50].

Jim: Yeah. Yeah.

Gary: I once did a consult for a law firm. Actually, it was right before this pandemic. I may have talked about it with you once before. I went to a law firm. They were not doing any electronic signing. And the pandemic was just more of like here, it’s going on the other side of the world. No one’s really worrying about in the States, yet. This must’ve been January or February.

And during my consult, they got two retainers signed while on the phone. And I stood next to them, over their shoulder. Walked them through it. Now, say this. Now, say that. And then, the pandemic comes. I spoke to the law firm. It was like perfect timing for them because they were able to get electronic retainers in the mix, weeks before the pandemic. And now, here they are working remotely, getting cases signed up electronically. So, it’s like it’s a perfect timing thing for them but they got to see it, same day that I was there. You will see this very quickly, as quick as you would put your credit card out there for that new computer, within five minutes of [inaudible 00:35:51].

Jim: So, you know, I don’t know if I told you this but I’m a member of Strategic Coach. That’s Dan Sullivan. And I’ve been going there for a couple of years. And one of the things he talks about a lot is that whenever we have a problem or something that we need solved, we always want to do it ourselves. And then, instead of asking how, we should be asking who, right? So, who? So, my question is, is this something that your company actually helps with – the follow up part or is this something that you think we need to keep internal?

Gary: My company can certainly help with stuff like this but, from a follow up standpoint, right now, I would recommend for you guys to do this internally. I really want you to understand this because at the end of the day, Jim, you’re going to do it better than anybody else.

Jim: Yeah, yeah. I believe that.

Okay.

All right. Well, then, I’m going to need a dedicated follow-up person because– I mean, I guess, we’ll see how it plays out. But, right now, the two people doing intake are pretty stretched. So, adding this on and putting this as their priority over on top of what they’re already doing, I think they’re going to need some help.

Gary: Yeah, I think so, too. But, like I said, I think you’re going to see in the ROI that very quickly.

Jim: Yeah. All right. So, here’s my marching orders for next week. I’m going to transcribe this call that you and I had today. I’m going to build out a script for the warm transfer and for the lawyers. Then, we’ll then we’ll test it out this week and I’ll let you know next Thursday how it went.

Gary: I’m excited, man. That’s great. By the way, reach out to me throughout the week, text, call, email me if you have any questions. I want to make sure we you’re not left by yourself out there. But I’m excited for you because I do see that the results are going to come. I believe they’re going to come right away.

Jim: All right. Thanks, buddy. I’ll let you know.

Gary: You got it. Jim, I’ll talk to you soon, bud.

Jim: See you, buddy.

Gary: All right. Bye.

Jim: Bye.

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