In this episode, Jim and Tyson interview Gary Falkowitz, Esq., founder & president of Maximum Intake Consulting and author of the book The Complete Guide to Law Firm Intake. They will go over his career, his firm, the book, and strategies to convert qualified leads into retained clients and maximize marketing campaigns.
Gary is an expert in intake and he has consulted with lots of law firms.
The firm: http://maxintake.com/
The book: https://www.amazon.com/Gary-P-Falkowitz-Esq/e/B07BTGL2GQ
“As I began to investigate law firms, I realized that we as an industry where not putting enough focus or effort into the front end of our business. We were spending a lot of money, we were making a lot of money, but we weren’t maximizing the return on our marketing investments.”
How do you as fast as possible convert a qualified lead into a retained client?
“If you are not using them you are hurting yourself.” In the race of conversion anything that can help you to sign clients faster is a must.
“Say you have 100 leads, and 50 of those qualify for retention (they meet your law firm’s criteria and you want to get that person signing with your law firm). Your conversion percentage is determining how many of those 50 did you ultimately sign.”
Biggest mistakes of the intake process:
Your ability to respond to web leads. How fast are you responding?
“Who is gonna win? The best law firm? Who knows what the best law firm is!? The law firm first to respond is gonna win.”
“Picking a law firm sometimes is not the most important thing going on. That’s why follow up is so important.”
When to stop following up?
“Don’t give up. Keep calling until you hear those words: I am not interested, or I have hired another law firm.”
16:11 – The balance between having an attorney handling the intake vs having staff dedicated to intake.
25:41 – How is it like to work with Gary?
29:57 – Suggestions on questions to ask during a interview.
32:01 – The mindset when evaluating or beginning to evaluate systems.
“Am I maximizing my investments?”
Max Law Con: May 17th and 18th
Read Gary’s book! The best lawyer book I’ve read win a long time! It is so important to listen to actual lawyers.
Listen to your staff on the phones. If you can’t come up with 5 suggestions to improve those callas, give Gary a call, he will tell you he is sorry and wrong. Lol.
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Transcripts: Maximum Law Firm Intake ft. Gary Falkowitz
It was a wake up call for me when I started listening to intake specialists on the telephone. Our intake staff were not prepared were not adequately prepared on how to answer maybe frequently asked questions on how to brag about the law firm and how to convey interest or qualify appropriately. Now, when you started listening to calls, you realize that there can be improvement. And I am not exaggerating when I say this, there can be improvement on every single call you hear. And if you’re not sitting down with your intake specialist to review those calls, and to help them improve while on the telephone, you’re only again putting yourself in a very vulnerable position of losing cases.
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.
Welcome back to the maximum lawyer Podcast. I’m Jim hacking.
And I’m Tyson mutex was at the Emmy Oh Chase.
And I’m really excited. You know, our friend Chuck Boyk recommended a book by a fellow attorney who specializes in law firm intake. I have read the book, I believe you’ve read the book. Kindle is great, because I can highlight all my questions for Gary right inside the book, Gary Falco is is our guest today. He’s with maximum intake consulting, he got his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis and his JD from St. John’s and he eventually became the head of intake, he ran the intake for the law firm of Martin clear water and Bell and when I say ran the intake, that doesn’t mean he was answering the phone.
Martin Theatre in Bell is actually a defense litigation law firm I worked at before I went over to the personal injury side. And then I got into intake as a managing attorney at Parker Wakeman, a very well recognized and respected personal injury law firm.
In any event, Gary has become quite the expert in intake. And he has consulted with lots and lots of law firms and the themes in his book and the messaging in his book. While it’s written for plaintiff’s personal injury attorneys, as an immigration lawyer myself, it was very easy for me to translate and just speed right over because a lot of the problems and concerns and questions are the same. So Gary, welcome to the show.
Well, thank you for having me. And I’m really excited to be on this show. I think it’s my first of its kind. So any information or value that I can provide here, It’d be my pleasure.
All right, Gary. So this is your book right here so everyone can see it’s it’s the complete guide to law firm intake. So walk us through why you wrote the book and what the books about.
Yeah, so I started my career, at least in the personal injury world as a litigating attorney. And I noticed, almost immediately, I was lucky enough to sharpen my teeth at a high volume, and well respected law firm at Parker Wakeman. And I noticed very early on that the leads were coming in at a staggeringly fast rate, and that the ROI in our industry was, was pretty high. So as I began to investigate, not only my firm, my old firm, but also many law firms throughout the country, I realized that we as an industry, were not putting enough focus or effort into the front end of our business, we were spending a lot of money, right, a lot of money, we were making a lot of money, but we weren’t maximizing the return on our marketing investments. And as it began to become more clear to me that it wasn’t just a, you know, a local issue or regional issue is more of a national issue. And as I began to learn more about it, I realized that there was a lot I could share with my legal brethren about how to do a better job at intake and how to lose fewer cases and make more money. So Carrie,
you’re a proponent of having very sympathetic and empathetic people answering the phone and even of allowing them to qualify leads and sign them up. And could you walk our listeners through your mindset on that?
And certainly can, Jim in this day and age, wow, the options are literally at our fingertips, right? We are honestly, we are on an iPhone, and we can look at you know, best plumber, best attorney, best restaurant, and we can make reservations and we can buy things and we can sign contracts with other peoples and party other people in parties immediately. And once you realize that, as a business owner, you then have to realize not only that your potential consumers can choose your law firm, but rather, that your competitors are options that are immediately available to your consumers or to your intended consumers as well. So what can you do better? What can you do differently to ensure that anyone that is considering your law firm actually chooses your law firm and I’ll tell you 2025 years ago, you Probably had law firms that can get a lead on a Friday afternoon, a very well known law firm perhaps, and a very well known lawyer who hears a certain set of circumstances. And that lawyer hears this on Friday afternoon and tells the interested claimant, you know what man, this is, or service is a wonderful potential case, but I’m heading out for dinner with my wife right now. And I have a lot of things scheduled this weekend with the kids. I’d like to give you a call back on Monday to discuss this case. And I gotta tell you, 2025 years ago, that lawyer probably still had a pretty good shot at signing that claim it just by getting on the phone and conveying some interest. In this day and age, we don’t have that luxury anymore. So how do you with that understanding? The question becomes, the challenge becomes, and frankly, it’s not just for law firms, it’s any company out there that’s marketing its services and needs to bring consumers into their shop or to sign with their with their law firm or company, the question becomes, the challenge becomes, how do you as fast as possible, convert a qualified lead into a retained client. And I think that this industry is getting better. Now I can tell you, and I like to think that I’ve been a part of that. But we’re a little bit behind the eight ball. And there’s a lot of improvement to be made, here. So
our firm uses e contracts quite a bit to sign up clients with injury cases, it’s really important to get the cases set up quickly. So you can start investigating the case quickly and things like that. But I do have some attorneys that tell me, you know, that’s, you know, it’s bad. You need to meet with the client first, all those kinds of things. What are your thoughts on E contracts?
Yeah, I think if you’re not using them, you’re hurting yourself. I mean, I can’t be more direct than that. First of all, make sure that your state accepts them, right. Let’s make sure you’re you’re doing everything legally, and you’re doing everything that’s going to be construed as acceptable within the confines of the law. But I’ll say this, if you can get a contract signed without that in person meeting, why wouldn’t you? That being said, I think it’s wonderful if you have the resources, and the ability to go meet with a new claimant, on the first day that they’ve retained your services or everyday thereafter, good for you, you’re creating a very strong attorney client privilege. And you know what else you’re doing, you’re probably creating a relationship whereby that claimant is not going to consider another law firm in the future should another situation arise. But at the very outset, understanding that this is a competitive game, I like to look at things from a game perspective, right? It’s not so serious, this is a business right. And for me to succeed in business, I look at it as a winner loss. So to win in this business, you’ve got to understand there’s a race, there’s a race involved, right, there’s a race to make sure that the claimant knows who you are, there’s a race to determine now, whether that claimant meets your qualification criteria, there’s a race to get that claimant to sign a contract to retain your services. So an E, the E contract to answer your question is only going to going to assist in winning that race.
Gary, when we talk to a lot of lawyers, they always are talking about I need more leads, I need more leads, I need more leads, but they don’t spend nearly as much time talking to me about I need to boost my conversion, I need to boost my conversion. Talk to us a little bit about numbers wise what you see when you go into new law firms and sort of what you can do to increase conversion. And you might even want to make it a little bit basic, because some of our listeners might not even be able to distinguish those concepts.
Yeah, sure. And hopefully, your listeners, whether they’re personal injury lawyers or real estate attorneys, or immigration attorneys that are understanding that the real point I’m trying to get out right now is the sales aspect of our business. Okay, so you brought up the numbers game, there’s a term that, and I certainly did not coined this phrase, but I am a tremendous advocate of it. We use this term conversion percentage, and every industry has their own conversion percentage and how they define that within the personal injury realm. And certainly with from from a consulting perspective, I also have my own answering service that law firms are using the term I use as conversion percentage, I define it as follows. Say you get 100 leads, and 50 of those leads qualify for retention. So that means that they meet your law firms criteria, and you want to get that claim at Sunday with your law firm. So 50 of those leads qualify your conversion percentage is determining how many of those 50 Did you ultimately sign? If you signed 25, your conversion percentage is 50%. Right? If you signed 10, your conversion percentage is 20%. The real question then becomes after you know your conversion percentages, the real question is, what should it be? Right? And that’s how you get to analyze whether your intake processes and staff and abilities are where they should be or whether they need improvement. And I’ll go over that with you for a moment. If you’re a local law firm, and you’re marketing for local cases, you should have a higher conversion percentage because of your ability to meet that person. face to face or because you have a local reputation. And I’ll tell you right now, any personal injury law firm listening to this, if your conversion percentage for local cases is lower than 90% per month, you have tremendous room for improvement. Now go somewhere else. And by the way, I think it’s closer nationwide, because I’ve consulted law firms throughout the country, on average, it’s probably closer to 70 75%. And it’s got to be up in the 9095 percentage. From a national campaign. There’s something called mass torts, where it’s not necessarily a local type of case, but maybe you’re going after a manufacturer of a medical device, or of a medication, and you’re able to represent claimants throughout the country. And you may not have that facial reputation or that local presence. And it’s harder to convert those cases, those qualified cases into retained clients, the national average, there’s probably closer to 50 or 55%. Where should that be? That should be closer to 75 or 80%? Then when you start looking at the numbers, right? And I hope I’m not confusing anybody, but I’ll go one step further. And then I’ll, I’ll stop that on that topic. But when you start looking at the numbers, and you start looking at your average settlement, or your cost per acquisition, there’s a big difference between 55% of qualified cases and 75% of qualified cases. And I think what’s going on as an industry and what has happened as an industry is that, for the most part, we’re successful anyway. So we convince ourselves that, hey, it’s not broken, the system is not broken, I just made X amount of dollars last year, how can it be broken? And if you’re going to take that mentality, then you’re not going to make any changes. But the reality is, in this day and age, if you have your own business, you have to constantly be thinking, how can I get more? How can I be better? And that’s where I come into play. And that’s basically everything I’ve been doing the last, you know, seven or 10 years of my life is about improving processes.
Curious, so at what point are the biggest mistakes being made? Is it on that initial call? Is it after it’s been passed over the attorney? Is it the follow that what stage are the biggest mistakes being made?
Yeah. You know, what, I don’t know if I could say what, at what stage the biggest mistakes are being made, I can tell you that it’s happening at every stage. And I’ll give you some examples. Your ability to respond to web leads, how fast you’re responding. Is it taking you six hours? Or is it taking you 30 seconds? The difference? Right, I want to give you an example of what someone’s doing, right? What are claimants doing these days, and I’m sure when you hear this, you go, of course, they’re doing that. They’re typing out this nice summary, when they were injured, how the injury happened, and putting their name and they’re putting their phone number in, right to telling you the date that it happened. They’re telling you they’re interested in your services, and then they click, then they select all, and they copy. And then they click submit. And what do they do next? They go to another website. And they right click paste, submit, what do they do next? They go to another website, right click paste, submit, you’re looking at claimants that do this five or six times who’s going to win the best law firm. know, who knows what the best law firm is, you know, who’s gonna win, or likely to win the law firm first to respond? Right. So there’s your there’s one issue, I’ll just give you another example of where the issues, the mistakes can happen. So my answering service, we do a lot of retention for law firms. And we’ll have law firms tell us, I’ll tell them Hey, guys, you have any leads that you stopped following up with that you think that we’re qualified? You know, I trust and I’ll say this more politely than this, but I’ll say, I trust that you guys probably didn’t do a great job at the follow up aspect of those campaigns. Why don’t you send us all those leads? We’ll do the follow up for you. And we’ll try to get them retained for you. And I’ve had law firms tell me, Well, Gary, we’ve, you know, we’ve been following up, you know, every every three days for a year, are you sure you want these leads, and I’m thinking to myself, for half a second I go, Oh, man, that’s gonna be a waste of resources have I spent all this time and I’ve Oh, my intake specialist calling these claimants, and there’s no shot of retaining any of these claimants. And every single time we’ve been successful, why? Because law firms don’t follow up enough. They’re not following up every three days. They’re not following up every day, for the first five days. They’re not following up for six weeks or six months. And sometimes that’s what it takes, right? Think about what’s going on in a claimants life, their mother’s sick, they’re on vacation, their phone numbers shut off, they have issues with their children, picking a law from sometimes is not the most important thing going on, which is why the follow up is so important
to talk to us about that follow up because I spend a lot of time thinking about the people that don’t hire us right away immigration clients or potential clients sometimes take a while to decide oftentimes, unless it’s a deportation, there’s not something as urgent as Oh, I just got in a car accident, the insurance company screwed me over. It’s more, you know, I’m getting my money together to decide to bring over my spouse or get my citizenship. So talk to us a little bit about that time period between when they call and don’t hire until they actually hire because that’s something I’ve really been trying to boost.
Yeah, Jim, thanks for the question. And I’m glad that you’re interested in trying to boost it and if I can help you at all, hopefully, here’s some information for you. I think that There are two reasons why a law firm should stop following up with a claimant. One is they tell you they hired another law firm. And two is they tell you they’re no longer interested. There’s a lot going on in these claimants lives. That’s a serious, that’s a serious step in their life in getting an immigration attorney regardless of what the issue is, right? I presume there might be a retainer fee, right, that they have to put money upfront, how long can it take someone to borrow money if they need to borrow that money? That’s not an overnight step. For many people. That can be a multiple month step for many people. If you’re going to be persistent if you’re going to maximize your ROI, because you put you put money into marketing one way or the other, whether you’re going on TV, whether you’re going to networking events, whether you’re speaking at luncheons, you’re putting money and time resources into marketing your services. Wouldn’t it be sad if you had really interested claimants where the timing just wasn’t perfect yet, and you gave up because you made that costly assumption of they must no longer be interested because I called four times and they didn’t call me back. So the only advice I have the first piece of advice I have for you is don’t give up. Keep going until you hear those words. I’m not interested. I hired another law firm one or the other. That’s, that’s my advice for you.
Alright, so great advice. Gary, we do have a couple questions. One, Terry just jumped on Terry fields. The book title is The Complete Guide to law firm intake. It’s right here so you can see it. And we also have a question for David Haskins says, Gary, could you talk about the balance between having an attorney handling the intake versus having staff dedicated to intake?
David, thanks for the question. Hope you’re well staffed versus attorneys. I love this argument with law firms. So this is how I look at it, you’re not going to have your lawyers pick up the phone, right, because a lot of the calls that come in a lot of leads that come in, they’re not going to be valid claimants. And they’re going to have just general questions, or they’re just not going to have something, a case that you’re going to be interested in working with. However, and I’m gonna use an analogy, you know, where I’m going here, every single time that I have been in a car dealership, to anyone I know that that’s been into a car dealership, either to lease the car. And by the way, this is in the book, and I, maybe your smiling faces, because maybe you did read the book, you remember this part. And those of you who already read the book, this everything I’m saying is in this book, maybe you went to that car dealership every single time, every single time a manager comes over to shake my hand, every single time. Why are they doing it because I’m a good looking guy passively, but unlikely they’re doing that, because they don’t want me to leave that car dealership, without keys in my hand, and a check into their hand. Now was their salesperson really a bad salesperson, and they thought they could do a better job, not necessarily, their salesperson may have been a fantastic salesperson. The reality is though, that manager that of the car dealership, he’s got a title. He’s making me feel special, because the manager of that car dealership is taking time out of their day to come speak with me. And by the way, I think we could all agree that, you know, car dealerships are probably doing pretty well, right? Why would a lawyer or a law firm do this do any differently? Especially when the ROI here might be, you know, so much more attractive than what’s going on? In a car dealership? What am I trying to say here? I’m trying to say that if you have a qualified claiming on the telephone, your intake specialist did a wonderful job, he or she is warm, created a relationship that conveyed interest with the claimant, reassure the claimant, they did the right thing by calling right did everything they possibly could do? Why would you not go to the finish line, bring in your manager or quote, attorney, whatever, somebody with a title that tells this claimant? Hey, thanks for taking some time to speak with our intake specialist. I just reviewed the information that you share with them. This is exactly the type of case we can help you out with you did the right thing by calling let’s get this started immediately. Why would you not do that? And I’ll say one last thing about this. Not only do you do that, because you put yourself in a better position to sign the case. You do that? Because you know that other law firms likely aren’t. So you got to have that competitive mentality with everything you’re doing in a business. And that’s my David, I hope that answers your question. To sum it up. If you can get a lawyer involved with a qualified case, it’s going to help 10 out of 10 times unless that lawyer is not the best person for the job. That’s a whole other issue. Gary,
I think my favorite theme of your book, and there were several in there that I really, really liked. And it’s sort of this, that the Good is the enemy of the great that because we’re doing all right, because you said it a little bit early because we made some money last year. Talk to us a little bit about what it’s like when you come into a law firm. They think they’re doing pretty well tell us about some of the surprises that people have that you’ve uncovered or ways that you’ve opened people’s eyes to Hey, pal, maybe the thing isn’t working as well as you think it is or as it could be.
Yeah, so first of all, I will I’d like to just probably thank every law firm that’s brought me in to help them consultant and I know that most of them and I’m sure All of them believe that we made some tremendous improvement with their law firm. But I bring that up, because I can’t tell you how many of them started the first conversation with me of, you know, Gary, I think we’re doing great things here. But it can’t hurt to bring you in and confirm that. And I’d like to think that yeah, no, it’s true. And, and next thing, you know, they have me on a remote consulting relationship for the next few months, because they don’t want to they, you know, they want to keep the ball rolling. You know, what I got off on a tangent. So generally, here’s some surprises, they don’t realize that they’re not taking advantage of the referral process, you know, their intake specialists may be rejecting cases that have real value, you know, in our industry in the legal industry, right. We honor referral fees. We do we whether you want to call them co counsel, you want to make sure they’re obviously ethical among state rules, but we honor referral fees. So the idea that someone can call you up for a certain type of case, and you don’t handle it in house, and you don’t look to find another law firm to help that claimant is ludicrous to me. So lots of times, I’ll go inside of a law firm, and they’ll realize, Oh, my God, how many cases that I closed that I could have referred out to ABCD law firm. Other times, they have no idea how infrequent they’re following up with claimants, you know, they’ll tell me, I know, we follow up every day. And then you’ll look into their their CRM, find their follow up logs, and you realize you’re following up once a week for three weeks. That’s not the appropriate follow up workflow that you want to have in place. Lots of times they don’t realize what’s going on in the telephone calls, they’re not hearing call. So I’ll tell you real quick, it was a wake up call for me. When I started listening to intake specialists on the telephone, I took immediate responsibility for and complete responsibility for was our intake staff were not prepared, were not adequately prepared on how to answer maybe frequently asked questions on how to brag about the law firm, and how to convey interest or qualify appropriately. And when you start listening to calls, you realize that there can be improvement. And I am not exaggerating, when I say this, there can be improvement on every single call you hear. And if you’re not sitting down with your intake specialist to review those calls, and to help them improve while on the telephone, you’re only again putting yourself in a very vulnerable position of losing cases, I guess the last thing I’ll say is the ability to qualify appropriately. If you’re giving your staff one to three sentences, of what your qualification criteria is, you’re setting them up to fail, because they will have 1 million exceptions to that qualification criteria. And they will make assumptions because they will not want to get hurt or not hurt, they were not going to get demoted or punished in the office. Because they’re making assumptions. They don’t wanna make the wrong assumption, they’re not going to tell you about which assumptions they’re making. You got to sit down with your staff, and clearly communicate and have a conversation about what type of cases you’re looking for, and why certain types of cases qualify and why other cases may not qualify. The more educated they are, the more prepared they are, the better job they’re going to do.
Alright, yeah. So we’ve got some more questions here. We’ve got a comment. I’m going to do that one. First is by Annika got loose key. She says we have to report to check the status of referrals every two weeks, which she says it really helps. So that’s it’s probably a good idea. Parker labor sin. He says Gary, please explain best practices for handling calls that come in after hours.
The only thing I’ll say about the referrals. And Parker, I’ll get to your your question, I think I’ll say about the referrals is make sure you hold referral law firms as accountable as you would hold your own staff. And what I mean by that is, quite often, we’ll send a referral out to another law firm. And because we sent it out to that law firm, we, you know, hands off, I will follow up in two weeks. Well, what did how when did they follow back up for their claim it? What when did they qualify that claim? Are they retaining that case? When are they retaining that case, it’s still a race to sign that case? Whether you’re referred out or not, it’s still a potential referral fee. So we’ve got to make sure we hold them to a high standard of accountability. Now Parker’s question is best practices for us at nights and weekends or after hours, after hours, after hours. Best practice, have people in house picking up those phone calls, right? I mean, this day and age are really important if you can’t have that, and not everybody can and that’s okay. If you can’t have that, potentially have a company like mine ice and take conversion experts that can pick up telephone calls for you and qualify and potentially retain on your behalf. Right, it’s nice listen answering service. It’s a necessary vendor for any law firm, no doubt about it. However, it’s limited, right? It’s limited, they may not have the resources to qualify, they may not have the resources to get a case signed. And if your ability here’s the other thing. Let’s say you don’t outsource it to a company like mine, like ice, let’s say you have an answering service. They pick up timely, they send you that message appropriately. What is your response time? Who’s available in your office at 930? At night or at 8:30am on a Saturday morning? And is that person who’s available? Do they have the ability to qualify and retain does the answering service they have or they live transferring appropriately hold them accountable. So I mean, best practice is you want someone who can qualify and retain those calls at any given time. Next that’s the goals Standard, you want to go bronze and silver, make sure that live transfers and option Make sure that the person in the house that’s available to you remotely, whether it’s an attorney, or it’s an intake specialist has the ability to do the same things that your intake specialist would do at three o’clock on a Monday afternoon.
You’re I’m really glad you mentioned holding referral partners accountable. I’ve been waiting for Tyson to send me this referral check for like six months, so fat around to that. Man. I love the passion. And I think that our listeners are really gonna like this episode a lot. I’m wondering, tell me, like, drop me into, like, if one of our listeners wants to work with you, I know you have a very responsive website and you have an immediate callback number. Tell me how it works. Like what it would look like step by step for someone. And if you could just give us a ballpark of like the expenses not I’m not gonna hold you to it. But I’m just wondering.
So I have two companies right now, right, I have the consulting company where you get me what that is, is I do an audit, its maximum intake consulting Max intake.com. This is really important for those law firms that have been spending money marketing have been retaining cases, and are not certain that they are not losing any cases, if you think that something or there are holes or leaks in your process, bringing someone like me to train die in objective I to sort of verify for you where the issues are, or open your eyes up to issues that you’re not necessarily aware of, it’s only going to be helpful. I mean, the cost really varies based upon how many days I’m coming in for that audit, how big your your staff is, how many leads you’re getting, because the more information I have, the more accessibility I have, the more valuable I’ll be when I consult, I sit down with your intake staff, and we do a training, we do a presentation, make sure that your staff, whether it is just intake specialists, attorneys or case managers understand how important intake is and what they can do when they’re asked to assist. And I think we all know that at one point or another 90% of your firm is asked to assist with intake at one level or another. So from an intake person from a consulting perspective, the proof is certainly in the pudding, it’s a it’s a wonderful opportunity to maximize your marketing dollars starting really that day that I come in going forward. Usually it’s one to three day audit, and it’s a it’s a fixed costs. So there’s no like referral fee in the back end for cases that you might sign after I come in the other businesses, I have my own outsourced call center, right where we handle the response to qualification the follow up, and the retention for law firms that either don’t have the interest or don’t have the resources to maximize their marketing campaigns. It’s very simple. Again, no referral fee is in the back end, it’s a cost per retainer model, not a cost per time on phone, not a cost per lead, we only get paid a fixed fee. If we’re successful in retaining a case whether we retain that case, while on the first call, which by the way, I can tell you right now, we’ve retained eight cases today on the first call that the lead came in. So it’s either while the first call, or if it takes four months, Gary four months, that sounds crazy, but doesn’t really sound crazy. Because when I speak to a claimant or one of my I don’t speak of claims, when an intake specialist speaks to a claim. And that claim it says they’re really interested. But now it’s not a good time. And that phone tag goes on for two months. And then we send out a mail out which we pay for comes out of our pocket, right? And they get it and they tell us Oh no, we’re interested, we’re interested, I just keep going back and forth to the hospital because my grandmother is sick and whatever it is, what do we do give up? No, no, we keep following up until they tell us like I told you we’re not interested in sometimes we’ve retained cases seven months old. Tell me a law firm that has retained a case personal injury law firm that has retained a case that was in intake for seven months, it doesn’t happen. So I take a lot of pride in what we do. And if you’re a law firm that you know that you’re a good litigator, you know, you have the money to market, but you’re sort of improvising the intake aspect of things, then you you should consider alternate options to maximize your marketing dollars.
Okay, so real quick before you jump in, Gary, is that the second business that you have? Is that only for personal injury firms? Or do you do handle other kinds of cases,
we handle other types of cases? It really comes down to whether the law firm is able to create a basic and clear qualification criteria. And then you know, we could do it. We’ve done social security workers comp, employment cases, class action cases, contamination cases, insurance claims, immigration. We’ve not done immigration yet. Maybe you’ll be the first one Jim, that’s pilot. Yeah. Cool.
That’s great. It’s kind of crazy. You can outsource all of that the intake plus the follow up. That’s pretty incredible. I will say I can name a law firm nutrix Feeny because we have a drip campaign for follow ups and we have signup cases that late in the game, but we don’t have the the follow up that you do with the phone calls. That’s usually by that point, a drip email campaign. So it’s it’s not the same. So kudos to you. That’s pretty awesome.
What do you doing that?
Annika has a question. She had a question before but I didn’t want to skip over someone else’s question. But she said apparently she’s read the book. She says it’s great. She says that how you talk about personality. and how they sit on the phone is important. But she wants to know if you have any suggestions on questions to ask during the interview.
Yeah, thank you for reading the book. And thank you for the nice remarks during the interview process, and it’s interesting, what you see may not be what you get, oh, do I mean by that, you know, your intake specialists are going to be their call center representatives, they may come to you with the best personality, great appearance, great resume. But until you hear them on the telephones, you may not know if they’re the right person for the job. So I would say when it comes to the interview, you gotta go with your instinct, right? It’s not it’s not completely a different interview process than any other type of job you might have for your law firm. Right? How do they do they communicate articulately? Or do they articulate? Well, right? Do they enunciate their words? Or do they speak clearly? Do they have a warm personality? Does their resume suggest any experience with sales or with customer service? Right, those become two really important factors. Once all that has been completed, you can’t stop, right? But there’s got to be that period, that early period within someone’s employment, whereby you’re listening to those calls, how do they sound? Are they now very mellow on the phones? Where they are not interested in the claimant? Are they conveying any interest to represent the claimant? Do they have a personality? Are they being sympathetic to someone’s injury? When someone says, Hey, I was just in a car accident, it was like an hour and a half ago, and I’m heading to the doctor’s office is their response? Where did this accident happened, man? Or is there a response? Oh, my God, are you okay? He did the right thing. My calling, I’m so sorry. Please make sure you see the doctor. So it’s really important that the sympathy aspect of things plays a role. But unfortunately, can’t figure that out until you hire somebody and hear those calls.
Gary, we want to respect your time. And I’ll ask my last question, because I know that our time is short. And that is that you talk about law firms being addicted to the status quo, being sort of sedentary set in their ways. Talk to our listeners about what kind of mindset you suggest people should have when when evaluating or beginning to evaluate their systems.
Yeah. Thanks, Jim. I appreciate that. I think the mindset you need to take when you’re a law firm owner or business owner, is, am I maximizing my investments? Not Am I making money? Not that we have a good day? Not? Do we do better this year than last year? It’s of everything I’m doing. I’ve everything that I’m investing in this company of the people that have hired of the campaigns that I’ve invested in? Am I maximizing my return there? Right. And the only way you can do that is by looking into the system and looking for holes, right? Don’t look for what’s going great. Those are the easy things. Look for what’s wrong, right? I mean, let’s look in the mirror. If you’re a business owner, isn’t it really important if you want sustained success, to look for what’s not going well, so that you can fix it? And I think what’s going on is we beak we as a people, sometimes as an as an industry, you become successful. And you convince yourself that because you got the best process in town, baby. So you know, that’s why you’re successful. And that’s not the route to take. If you want sustained success, you’ve got to keep looking, even when you’re doing great. Okay, what else can we do greater what’s holding us back, and all of us every business out there, have things that are holding them back. And I think when it comes to the intake level, because it’s always been like a throw in responsibility, you have your you have your least expensive staff at that position, that we just take it for granted. And I think it’s important, we start to understand that a lot of money can be made on intake. I’ll give you one quick example. Current vaccinates a former consulting client of mine, I recently had a conversation with him. And he has a case it’s a multi million dollar case. And it was one of those I was like, oh, I need more details about this case. So I could share with all of you know, everyone that I speak with about intake. Apparently, the case was turned down by two other law firms before his case, because it was in the personal injury world, if you make a left hand turn, you’re responsible. Even if you get hurt in that accident, you’re responsible, you’re liable for that accident. So two law firms immediately rejected that claim, due to the seriousness of these injuries. And it was a paralysis case, this law firm decided to investigate further and realized and actually held I believe, and again, this is all hearsay. So please don’t quote me on all this. But I believe there are other responsible parties. It’s a multimillion dollar case. And I think that they’re going to do great thankfully for this for this injured claimant. But the point I’m trying to make, though, is that two other law firms said no, they rejected that claim. They their intake was not prepared to answer additional questions, so that that claim is potentially qualified and retain so I think that that answer your question, Jim, let’s look for what’s wrong. Let’s fix it. Not let’s look for what’s right and pat ourselves on the back.
Gary, thanks for coming on. Got a great information we have we got some other questions, I think you’ve already you’ve already covered those earlier. We do have a tip and a hack segment. So I want to before we get to that, though, want to remind everyone to go to the Facebook page, join on their Facebook group get involved. There’s a lot of discussion, a lot of discussion actually about your book before you came on, Gary. So a lot of people are interested in your book. So hopefully you can go out and get it. The Complete Guide to law firm intake. It’s a great book. So I definitely recommend it. I don’t know if you can see it there. But Jimmy, do you have a hack of the week,
my hack is simply to read Gary’s book. It’s the best lawyer book I’ve read in a long time. Tyson and I are always talking to our listeners about how it’s important to listen to actual lawyers, lawyers who’ve done it, lawyers who’ve lived it lawyers who’ve proved things and I really recommend the book a lot. I highlighted the crap out of it. I think that all of our listeners could benefit from it. And I think a lot of them are going to be calling you, Gary.
I appreciate that. Thank you very much for the kind words. And guys, thank you for your time. For those listeners that are interested, feel free to reach out if you want to talk about intake. If you couldn’t tell I’m pretty passionate about the topic.
Yes, we all right, Gary. So this is the second week in a row where we put our guests on the spot, we forgot to tell them that we asked the guest to give a tip. So we do have a tip for the audience. A tip
for the audience. Listen to your staff on the phones, right go take five calls right now. Put them to the side, find a half hour tomorrow. Just listen to those calls. If you can’t come up with five suggestions for your staff to improve give me a call. And and I will tell you I’m sorry, and I’m wrong. I will
Fantastic. Great advice. So my tip of the week actually came from a couple people but primarily Ryan McKean. Ryan McKinsey in my small group and mastermind experience and it’s called Tetra is basically a wiki for Slack teams. So we’re using it for Office manual. He uses it for his office, maybe I know Mike Campbell does a lot of people do. So you can basically take anything that you do in your firm on a regular basis that is routinely done. For example, answering the phones, checklists, when answering the phones intake, you can put all of that into tetra, so it’s super easy to use. And there’s a yearly plan. That’s pretty, pretty cheap. So reach out to me and I can give it to you. That is our show for the week. Gary, thanks for coming on. We really appreciate a lot of great information.