Today we’re excited to share a presentation by Kelsey Bratcher from MaxLawCon 2021! Tune in to learn more about automating your intake process no matter your technical ability.
Kelsey Bratcher is an automation expert for small law firms. He is a Zapier Certified Expert, Pipedrive Partner, and the host of the Get Automated Podcast. He has been helping small businesses leverage the power of automation for 13 years and has saved over 15,000,000 minutes for him and his client’s businesses.
1:32 implement automation
5:14 scheduled with these scheduling tools
9:00 two way messaging platforms
17:04 break it down into chunks
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Transcript: Automating Lead Conversion with Kelsey Bratcher
In today’s episode, we’re sharing our presentation from Max law con 2021. Keep listening to your Kelsey Bratcher as we share his talk automating lead conversion, you can also head to the maximum lawyer YouTube channel to watch the full video. Now to the episode,
run your law firm the right way. This is the maximum liar, podcast, podcast, your hosts, Jim hacking and Tyson metrics. Let’s partner up and maximize your firm. Welcome to the show.
I am a little bit nervous, I’m not gonna lie. But I decided to actually change the topic a little bit. The one thing that I’ve noticed when I get in front of people is I typically go way over the head of most people in the audience. And so I decided that I’m going to come up with some ideas that literally anybody can do with minimal technical ability that will help you automate your intake process. And so those are going to be broken down into a couple of different categories. With a couple of things that I want to first go over is that along the journey, that I’ve been doing this for 14 years, I ended up meeting a guy named Jim hacking at a conference similar to this one, where one of my clients and won a competition and Jim and I had gotten connected. And we’ve been working together ever since on automating his firm. So a couple of things to note 15 million minutes roughly translates into $2.5 million at $10 an hour. So it’s a little bit. It’s not like insignificant numbers that we’re talking about here. And one thing I want to point out is that when you’re when I go into implementing automation, in a small business, one of my primary objectives are going to be the following. Like I like to be able to save time, like above all else, time savings can come from multiple aspects. When you implement this type of automation in your practice, like what you guys have. The second thing that I like to look for is how do we reduce, reduce or eliminate the likelihood of an error or a problem or a mistake from happening, increasing speed, Jim harps about this regularly is the faster that you can make things happen, it kind of directly correlates to the amount of money that you can make, because it removes the friction that might be involved with getting somebody to take action on one of your offers, or moving through a process that you have in your business, making more money. Usually when you do things more consistently, it means that you have more chances at bat, and therefore you have a higher likelihood of hitting a homerun. And then one thing that starting to come into effect a lot more often is the scalability of a process along the way. And lastly, when you go through all this type of like thought process for your systems, in your business, specifically with intake, it allows you to kind of craft an experience for your clients as opposed to just shoving them through a process and making them come out the other side. So it can be something that is enjoyable for you, for your team and for your clients to be able to experience a well organized and well thought out process. And we use automation to make that possible. So there are seven tool categories that I’d like to break down. The first of which is going to be and this is the most important. So I’m starting right off the gate. So I’m not gonna make your way to the end, find out what my favorite most powerful technique for automating a small law firm is going to be. It’s a scheduling tool. And it sounds very simple. But I can tell you, as having been the client of attorneys, have you worked with attorneys, enough of them to know that your scheduling game is weak, generally across the board, but I’ll just go ahead and say that it’s something that can be leveled up. And I’m going to borrow some ideas for you from other spaces that I’ve been in, that are not just legal. So two way messaging, if you guys are not using some kind of two way communication, for both, I recommend email and text messaging, but we’re gonna get into that document signing during your intake process, getting being able to get a document signed easily is very important. So we also have form tools, how to collect payments, using a CRM, and then we’re going to talk about middleman integration applications. Alright, so with your scheduling tools, the most important thing is everyone comes to thinks of it like, Oh, I’m going to set up a meeting for 15 minutes with somebody, send them a link, let him pick a time. And that’s kind of like an arbitrary way to look at it. And you may have used them for yourself personally for your own appointments, or use it for different things. But a couple of different ideas that you might have in terms of flexibility is that your intake people if you have an intake person or receptionist in your office that kind of serves that function, they could benefit from being able to set up their intake calls with your clients. With a scheduling link. It doesn’t have to be just you and everybody in your office that has to have meetings with either prospective new clients or your current client base can use these tools to effectively save time, create a repeatable situation for every appointment type that you might have in your practice. So I mentioned intake calls, you could if you guys are doing consultations, I know there has been some some back and forth on whether or not those are something you need. But consultations can be used to schedule with these scheduling links. You You can use it to schedule appointments with new hires, you can use it to host webinars or client appreciation events. If you’re doing any kind of preparation for depositions, or maybe a mediation, you can have your depo prep meetings scheduled with the scheduling tools. So one of the other things I want to talk about is that this will be relatively affordable, you can send these links out to people, it’s very a repeatable experience. The one thing that happens when you use a scheduling tool is it creates a triggering situation. So if someone schedules an appointment, then that means that they need to have a confirmation sent to them, it means that they need to be reminded that appointment is going to happen. And then ideally, if there’s that appointment results in a certain way, you might want to follow up with him afterwards, it’s very easy to integrate these into pretty much any software stack, whether using Lead docket file, Vine, Cleo, Cleo, grow la Maddix, whatever you’re using, it’s very easy to plug these types of scheduling tools and have it work with your existing technology. You can have pooled availability. So an intake process, if you have two or three more than one person that handles a specific task, but it doesn’t have to be them, you can just make a pooled availability. So you end up with a situation where if you have a time slot that’s available, and one of your three resources is available to use that time that you have the ability to do that. And then lastly, with this, and this is something that I’ve seen happen. But if you send a Microsoft 365, like Outlook invite or a Google calendar invite, it takes way less time to just set up an appointment using your own scheduling links, internally, so if your intake person needs to set an appointment with you, rather than going into Outlook and trying to find a time slot, you can just use your scheduling links internally. So the best tools that I like, by far is acuity, or SquareSpace scheduling, it’s going to be the best bang for the buck. And when if you work with someone like me, it’s the best. But if you don’t work with someone like me, it’s going to be a little bit of a learning curve. So that’s why Calendly comes in the mix is a little bit easier to use, and a little bit easier to get set up. And then there’s about a million other options that you could use if you already have one. That’s good enough. But if you are looking for a solution, Squarespace scheduling, you could have everybody in your office using the scheduling tool for less than $36 a month. Two way messaging is kind of the next topic that we’re going to be talking about. And at the minimum, you need to be able to send email, which probably has covered you, but you may not have the ability to automate sending email. So you need to be automated sending emails. So I like to use either with Zapier in conjunction with MailChimp, or email marketing platform like that, it’s easy to automate those types of communications. But instead of sending them from just a random email address, you might choose to use them to facilitate or the beginning of a conversation, so you’re soliciting a response to an email, rather than clicking a link and going to a website and reading something. And the same can be applied for text messaging. And text messaging is probably even more important than email nowadays. And so it’s important to think about, does your existing like phone system, if you’re using like zoom or RingCentral, or Google Voice, you have the ability to send text messages using those applications? But the one thing that’s a little bit weird is like, how do I automatically send one of those text messages to one of my clients, so like, if you have someone on your website that is filling out your contact us or consultation form, rather than like hoping for the best having to come to your system, give them a call to try to set up an appointment with you? Why don’t you send them a text message with a link that that client can then specify when they want to meet with you. And based on your event. So it’s a mutual, it creates a situation where you’re communicating with your recipient, in a medium in which they are comfortable with. And then of course, there’s some some firms out here that have different EQ, if you’re big on social media, you need to think about what those particular applications look like like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, yada, yada, yada, there are ways to go about managing those interactions within your platform. And so kind of the big takeaway from the two way messaging platforms is you want to start thinking about how that might work. Specifically with SMS, it’s only going to get more important as time goes on. The third, and like most important thing that I think is important to talk about with automation that creates kind of a similar situation where you have tools that you can use to assist or reduce the amount of time it takes to do something. So form tools are going to be a paramount thing that I’ve implemented in a number of different firms that I’ve been working with from, you know, getting someone on your website to come into your CRM, or doing something more elaborate, like when a brand new client signs up, and we need to collect details about their specific case or whatever that might be. We are providing an organized and easy to use feature that we can use to collect, like that type of data. So a couple of ideas, you can throw these specialty form tools up on your website, you can use them to handle your intake call. So instead of writing them down on pieces of paper, or filling out custom fields in your CRM, you can just use a form tool that will Select the information that you want and the order that you want it and the required fashion. How you want it, conditionally, I guess would be the mindset.
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In addition to that, you can also build call scripts, like into your form tool. So like if you answer the phone, thank you for calling XYZ company. This is Kelsey, how can I help you or whatever that might be, you can build that scripting experience, at the same time collect the information that you need for that call. So a couple of form tools that I like to use, that are very flexible that work with other stuff, the first of which is type form, it’s very pretty, it’s kind of expensive, it’s a very flexible and easy to use tool. Jot form is another application that’s super easy to use, it’s easily the best bang for the buck, it’s HIPAA compliant, if some of you guys have to worry about that. And it also has the ability to do some document generation. It’s like a secret feature of it, which is kind of handy. And then lastly, if you have like more sophisticated or hardcore data collection requirements, it’s worthwhile to look at a tool called Cognito forms. Specifically, if you have like long, or like inconsistent datasets, like someone’s address history, or employment history, or their criminal history, or whatever that might be where some people might only have one, and another person might have 10, like 10, places that they’ve lived in the past 10 years, or whatever that might be. Alright, so this is something that is probably obvious. But I’ve received enough paper invoices in the mail to know that it’s probably not universal. But providing a way if you’d need to collect payment from a client, give them an easy way to do that. And ideally, if you were to tie it into some of the other stuff that we’re talking about, it can it can kind of get trigger, like a magic type of moment. So eliminate the and this is really silly to have to say this, but I’ve had to pay with checks recently to an attorney. And it was a an unpleasant experience, it took forever. And I’m lazy, and I don’t want to mail a check. So like providing an easy way for them to do that. Super important. So the last one, the last thing we were talking about as a CRM, and the CRM is what was going to be able to be used to put all of this stuff together. It’s a little tricky to implement. I mean, if anyone’s had a go at implementing a CRM in their practice, it’s a little bit more outside of the box and some of the other stuff that I mentioned. But it would be if we were to take any of these things I’ve talked about, you can take any individual one and kind of go about a process of implementing just that, like just scheduling tools, or if maybe we want to take it. So whenever we sign up a new client, we want to send them our onboarding form, those are going to be kind of what you’re looking at, well document signings in there, somewhere along the line, I meant to talk about it. So I will take a minute. So a lot of you guys use Adobe sign by file vines, a vital sign tool, a variety of different signature applications, it’s important to think about how how you might use those. So if you have an appointment that gets scheduled online via acuity or Calendly, and you’re going to be trying to talk to that client about becoming a client or prospect of a new client to becoming a client, we need to be able to facilitate that. And so having the ability to easily provide them with a way for to become a client is kind of where that document signing process is worth thinking about how you can put that into your intake situation. So if you’re sitting there talking to a client, and they need to sign face to face, that’s one consideration. The other might be I especially in the last 18 to two years, with COVID. Being able to remote sign a new client is probably become very critical. So having the ability to send a link to him where they can either complete a form and it is the equivalent of signing a representation agreement or if it’s going to be an actual tool. One thing that I mentioned or that I have not mentioned in here, is that panna doc if you’re In a sales process is going to be a lot more flexible for the purposes of selling. So, back to the CRM, I knew I miss something. So I do apologize. But kind of what you want to think about a CRM, there’s a lot of different vendors here that are offering some kind of CRM solution that’s specific for law, I intentionally use Pipedrive, because it’s not for that purpose. So any clients that I work with, I like to refer and recommend Pipedrive as a solution. And the main reason is that it’s not focused on like doing law, it’s focused on selling stuff. And so since you guys are selling legal services, it can be adopted to serve that purpose. But it’s also very flexible and can kind of combine all the different things that we’ve talked that I’ve talked about into one kind of uniform experience, as far as intake is concerned. So the last kind of high level thing we’re going to talk about is, each one of these items can be built and implemented individually. And so if you did that, how do you make them all tie together and work together. And so there’s a couple of different options that you have, you can have a really badass process internally that you guys like to use. And in addition to that, you could also roll with solutions like Zapier or Integra mat, or since I’m sure how many Microsoft 365 users are in the room, yeah, probably half of everybody or more. Microsoft actually has a solution called Power automate. And if you’re a Microsoft 365 user, that you probably have access to this account, and you can probably mess around a couple of things without having to spend any more money. And it works really good with automating things within the Microsoft family of applications. of it. Zapier and Integra mat are kind of like from my level of difficulty and accessibility, Zapier is going to be far easier to get help with, it’s going to be far easier to find resources. Integra mat is less expensive, but it’s kind of it can be a little tricky to use. But these are the tools that I use to wrap all this stuff together into one smooth, frictionless process or as frictionless as possible. And so when you’re thinking about the purposes of automating your intake, you need to break it down into chunks, and those chunks are going to be more or less broken down into like meeting with clients, getting them to sign who’s dealing with those people. And these tools that I’ve mentioned, are all going to be used to support like that infrastructure. So I’m gonna open it up for any questions, if anyone has anything, I know, I went kind of fast and all over the place, it seems like, but those are kind of low tech, each one of those things should be low tech enough, without any technical background, but a good systems, you know, mindset, you should be able to roll out and think about how you might get those going, I would say the scheduling tool, because it’s going to, for every new person, you add your office, it’s going to make their time more efficient. And for every new client, like every experience, like the example is like just getting a new client, like even if it’s an existing client to get them to come in and meet with you or have a phone call with you, you can use that tool to facilitate that experience. So from your clients perspective, it’s easy for them to find a time that works for both of you. And for you, it makes sure that they have a confirmation, the likelihood of them showing up to that appointment, and not wasting even more time is there and then you’re not doing the whole back and forth like hey to six o’clock work, or what about two o’clock on Wednesday. And that’s, I mean, it sounds arbitrary, but it’s easily the most. And then it’s also the best framework, like if you need to build off of that, like, what happens after that appointments over? Like, did they sign up? Or did they not sign up or whatever, and you can build around it. And so by successfully implementing that, the only thing you really need to think about is how many people do I need to do this for? And then what are the appointment types that I want to use in my business. And that’s, that’s probably the most, like, if there’s one thing you take away from me implement a scheduling tool if you’re not using it. And if you are using one thing about all the other ways that you’re not using it, you could be using it. It’s probably Alright, any other questions? Medical medical authorizations. So I’ve messed around with a couple different tools for that we’ve built I built jot forms that are like linked with chart squad are linked with medical authorization forms. And basically, it’s just like a basic form that they fill out and then a signature spot, and those match to a PDF. The other option you could do is build, I think in Adobe sign, you can make a form, quote, unquote, that it serves as the document. So it’s like literally a link you can send to anybody. It’ll be a blank document, but they will be able to fill it out and have it attributed to them. And so that would be a way to do it. The Adobe sign. Hana doc has that option that I mentioned, and you can do that exact type of workflow. Well, I mean, me personally, I would, I would say I mean, I lean heavier on the best in class like option for each each of these things. But like there’s something to be said about, like an application that has everything all in one. And so they’re I don’t think that there’s a good all in one solution at the moment. And so I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t box myself out in in that way. But you might choose to supplement if you can. I mean, I haven’t messed around a lot Maddox until While but if I recall, they have an API. It’s kind of flexible in that way. So you might combine it with some of the strategies that we talked about if you’re not willing to go down, like all in on best in class of everything, if that makes sense. But that’s, that’s it for my time. So, but I’ll be here for the rest of the time, so if anyone has any questions, feel free to.