Referral Marketing For The Win with Maddy Martin Pop-up Episode 135
Categories: Podcast

In this episode, Jim interviews Maddy Martin, Head of growth and education in,  a company known for superior virtual receptionists and intake services by phone. Listen as they immerse into what’s new in Smith; the launch of accurate and quick live web chat, ways to make a successful events for lawyers and all Maddy’s talk about referral marketing in the upcoming MaxLawCon19.

Register to MaxLawCon19, June 6 and 7 in St.Louis.

Please subscribe to our Youtube Channel



  • New with

    • fast paced
    • Launch of live web chat
    • 24 7 chat pod that backs up live receptionist
    • Same receptionist quality as by phone/Quick and accurate
    • Program answers/Automatic response to website visitors or leads during after hour
    • Good match/Share link to calendar for consultation or payment page
    • After hour chats are free
  • New chat feature and possible feature of interest
    • Chat pod
    • Instant real time english-spanish translation
    • Transcript chats/Effective translation with no stalls
  • About Maddy’s talk in Chicago – at the time Jim and Tyson in San Diego “Traffic and conversion”
  • Hiring process
    • Use AI and automation
    • Initial screening: Hard questions upfront and technical tests/Receptionists work from home
    • Should have systems in place to allow to run software/Fast processors/Good communicators/Compassionate > Higher level of customer service than other jobs
    • Fast processors/Good communicators
    • Need to be compassionate/Higher level of customer service than other jobs/Talking to lawyers
  • What makes a successful event for lawyers

    • Fresh and relevant topics
    • Content focused on the business of running a law practice
    • Sharing pinpoints and new discoveries
    • One to one talk down model and more panels/Dialogue on stage/ClEs
    • Actionable and immediate content that can be put into practice right away
    • Actionable steps > “Don’t assume people know how to put in practice what you are talking about conceptually or theoretically”
  • Jim’s points
    • > Likes practical over theoretical
    • > Maximum Lawyers don’t do CLEs because of requirements needed
    • > Maximum Lawyers is practical/Comes from people like Maddy that are willing to share what they know
    • Zapier panels
    • Helping people speed up own development/learning from success and mistakes of people before them
  • Continuation of What makes a successful event for lawyers
    • Being directed on the Non CLE side/Continuing legal education
    • Gaps people have/Non legal education
    • Tons of CLE content/Non how in the CLE
    • Helping people with their productive, professional and profitable law firm.
  • Maddy’s talk

    • Referrals not being a growth strategy
    • Lawyers reliant on this channel/Not approaching strategically
    • Guidance > Help identify how to do referrals better > Make referrals oneself > Explore other channels > Supplement referrals with other strategic growth > Identify base on practice area > Much more opportunity is there for referral base growth
    • Screening process taking bad leads out allows to:Refer to other practices more efficiently, and build relationships and network to generate referrals/Target


Register for the MaxLawCon19!

Please subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Thanks so much for listening to the show! If you want to know more about this and keep on maximizing your firm, please join our Facebook Group or like us on Facebook and comment!

You can also go to or, if you’d prefer, email us at:




Do you want to get on the show? Shoot us an email or message us!


The Maximum Lawyer Podcast. Partner up, and maximize your firm.





Transcripts: Referral Marketing For The Win with Maddy Martin

Unknown Speaker
Run your law firm the right way. This is the maximum lawyer podcast

Jim Hacking
podcast. Welcome back to the maximum lawyer podcast. This is Jim hacking on a special pop up episode with our good friend Maddy Martin of Smith AI. Hi, Maddie.

Maddy Martin
Hi, Jim, how are you?

Jim Hacking
Oh, good. You know, we’ve tried to do this type of episode a few times your talk down at Mike Whelan’s lawyer forward event. And the issue of referral marketing, being dead caused quite some controversy. And I know you’re going to talk about some of those things that are upcoming Max law con 2019. But I wanted to check in see what’s new with Smith, and then maybe talk a little bit about what you’re going to be discussing when you join us in June.

Maddy Martin
Yeah, absolutely. So wow, I mean, things that Smith AI are always really fast paced. But I think the most exciting thing by far is that we’ve launched not only live web chat, but we also have a 24/7 chatbot that backs up the live receptionists so what’s incredible is that you get the same quality of receptionist that you experienced by phone when you call or have an outbound call made by our team, on your website responding quickly and accurately, to website leads or existing customers who are looking for assistance. And then after hours, you have the ability to respond to leads, you know, maybe some woman the kids are in bed asleep, it’s 10 o’clock at night, she’s having glass of wine and do looking for you know, a family law attorney because she wants to get a divorce. Like a lot of those conversations do still happen after hours or that that initial research. And what you can do is you can program the answers that actually are in sync with what the receptionists are saying during the day, and have those automatically respond to that website visitor and you can even kind of follow workflows. So let’s say you ask a couple questions or that person ask questions and you provide answers that they’re looking for you determine that person is a good match, you can then share the link to your calendar for a consultation, your payment page for a deposit for the you know, credit card for the consultation if you charge for them. And all of those after hours chats are free.

Jim Hacking
Oh, wow. So that reminds me, you know, I think sometimes people forget In your company’s name. And I know that you guys use a lot of technology to help your operators and your chat operators, in interacting with customers or clients. But I wasn’t aware of the new chat feature. So that’s something that you and I are going to talk about for us.

Maddy Martin
Yeah, for sure. And I mean, then we will just crank away on features for you jam, I know that we just did the lead doc in integration and like we love working with Harlan and Eric and, you know, I think what’s not, you know, one of the other features that actually might really interest your practice is that instant, like real time English Spanish translation. So, you know, from working with us that you know, not every single one of the receptionists we hire is bilingual. That’s just that’s not something that we offer, we do offer if you know someone Spanish speaking gets in touch with us on an inbound call, and the person doesn’t speak Spanish you get connected to we will make that call back with the Spanish speaking receptionist. But what’s amazing that web chat enables is Aaron, you know, our CEO, he has a neural network AI basically set up so that whenever anyone comes to the website, and you know this in an immigration practice, obviously, you know, people are speaking different languages. With the first one, we tackle the Spanish. And when someone comes to the website, and they chat in Spanish, if you reach an English speaking receptionist who’s on the other side of that chat, they see the translation for them in English, respond in English and an automatically translates back in Spanish. And I was looking through some of these chat transcripts recently. And you can see that the person who is the web visitor who’s speaking Spanish actually doesn’t ask any questions, doesn’t ask for clarification, like has a great experience, the translation is really effective, and they are able to communicate without any stalls or you know, discomfort or whatever the case may be. So I I’m really psyched about that too.

Jim Hacking
That’s like augmented reality. That’s That’s pretty remarkable. Now, you’re up at the ABA Tech Show. I’m finishing up here in San Diego at trafficking conversion. What’s your talk about in Chicago gonna be about

Maddy Martin
so I’m not speaking here. It’s all gonna be about Smith AI because I’ll be staffing the booth but I am going to the women in legal innovation put on by above the law of all the law this evening and then we are co sponsoring the reception actually tomorrow night with headnote wachler case text and Profit First for lawyers, which is from the how to manage As a small law firm, guys, so we are going to be busy, busy, busy. I actually have Cheryl Sullivan, one of our receptionists who’s joining me, which I am really excited about I love when the receptionist or at the booth because not only can she speak to the experience of being a receptionist, but she also is on the hiring team. So she can speak to what we look for when we hire a receptionist, which I think is a really important point when we talk to solo and small, firm attorneys. You know, we’re not a call center, we’re not staffing things based in the Philippines. These are US based professional receptionists. And I think the opportunity to distinguish how we hire is a big value proposition.

Jim Hacking
And just can you give us a quick synopsis of what the hiring process is and how it makes things different?

Maddy Martin
Yeah, we, you know, we do use AI and kind of automation. In some ways. For initial screening, we ask a lot of hard questions upfront, and we do a lot of technical tests. Because as you know, the receptionists work from home. So they need to have systems in place that allow them to run our software that allows them to actually answer the calls and make the calls and staff the chat now as well. So they need to have the technical capacity, not only in the software, but also in the chops, like your writing speed, your your grammar, how well do you put together full sentences when someone’s speaking to you, you know, someone who calls your practice, Jim, we need to take notes, be thoughtful, and kind and, and effective and follow your directions while writing, you know, a really good summary and capturing the information that we need to so they need to be very fast processors of information and good communicators and kind of distilling that. And then obviously, you know, the right soft skills as well, you know, when we have so many legal clients, as we do law firms and attorneys, the receptionist needs to be very compassionate, you know, these are not people who are calling to check in on their dry cleaning, these are people who have a legal matter, and I think it requires a higher level of customer service skills, then some other jobs might, especially with the, you know, range of things that we’re doing.

Jim Hacking
Alright, well, that’s really exciting. And honestly, I didn’t know that the receptionist worked out of their home. So I think that’s, well, there

Maddy Martin
you go. Yeah. I mean, actually, that’s awesome news, because you shouldn’t know, right? Yeah, that’s right. Shouldn’t be obvious, I should say you shouldn’t know. But it shouldn’t be obvious to people who call.

Jim Hacking
So you do a lot of traveling, you go to a lot of conferences, and I know you’ve seen a lot What do you think, as Tyson and Ken and I are sort of wrapping up our plans for Max Lacan. What? What are your thoughts on what makes a successful event for lawyers?

Maddy Martin
Yeah, so I was wondering what the end of that sentence was gonna be like, is it a successful event for lawyers? Is it a successful event for the, you know, the partners, I think that those things very much overlap, obviously, but I would say an event that the topics are fresh and relevant and not tired. I think more and more the content that is focused on the business of running a law practice is increasingly important that people who are going to events, you know, day to day or or through a webinar, maybe you can have really great access to content around the practice of law. Right. But I think one of the things that is especially beneficial face to face why you want to travel for a meeting is sharing pain points or new discoveries. And that goes into the the content that I think is also most beneficial is not just like the one to one top down model, but also more and more panels. And I think what panels do is make the audience really comfortable because they’re not so scripted. It’s not a PowerPoint presentation. And it allows the audience to feel like they can ask questions because they already see a dialogue happening on the stage. I was just at a very large IT Expo in Florida actually. We do also work with you know, some IT firms. And the sessions were really engaging, because they were maximum, you know, 40 people in a room even though this is like a, you know, 10,000 person conference like massive Expo. They had so many breakout sessions, so people are going to the ones that are really interested, interesting to them. There are four panelists who come from all different backgrounds, you have the opportunity to see a conversation happened with experts, and then ask these people questions. And you have access to a much broader range of expertise with a panel than you have just with one person who has kind of like a scripted objective, let’s say that they want to get through especially if in the case of legal conferences, there’s a CLE attached to it, and they actually have to get those objectives done. So I think It would be really cool to see more CLAS. First of all, if we’re talking about that sort of content that is, you know, panelist driven and more of a conversation where you’re hitting on those topics, but you’re not just like running through a slide deck, and then also more actionable, immediate, like content that can be put into practice right away, like not so conceptual, but actually like, here’s the playbook. Like one of the coolest things I’m excited about for Max Lacan is this Zapier session, right? Because that’s going to be here’s the scenario. And here’s the solution through Zapier. Right. I mean, at least that’s my expectation. How does Zapier solve your problems? Well, when you’re talking about Zapier, you’re going to talk about a workflow like actually putting this into place. And that, yeah, is something that I hear really often at these conferences, when I’m in an exhibit booth, I can talk conceptually all day long, but until I until I actually say, you can take this Calendly link and put it on your website, or in your email signature, like, then things click. So the more that we can give like actionable steps and not think, oh, this person knows what I’m talking about. But really get down into those nitty gritty details. That’s also where I see major value. Like, don’t, don’t assume that people know how to put into practice, what you’re talking about conceptually, or theoretically, really, like those those step by step approaches can be the highest impact and the most worthwhile to be there in person. Because you can ask the questions and see things and have a dialogue that you can’t in a webinar, where you know, the person is going to talk for 15 minutes, and then you know, you can type in a question that necessarily conveys what you need.

Jim Hacking
Yeah, I think you raised a lot of good points right there. I mean, number one is I love the practical over the theoretical. I mean, one of the things that Tyson and I sort of pride ourselves on is that we don’t do CLE, we’re never going to do CLE because of all the requirements that come along with it. And I also think that one of the reasons that our podcast has resonated with people is because we’re so practical, and and I think that comes from meeting people like you and talking to people who are willing to share what they know who have done it before. I think that listening to lawyers and people who are around lawyers is a lot better than listening to law professors. And when I hang out with law professors, my wife used to be a law professor. A lot of times they just want to talk about things that don’t really have any relationship to reality. And so having that Zapier panel, I mean, I think we could have done a whole day on Zapier but having Connor and Kelsey and Eric talking about Zapier, I mean, I had, I just threw out a little zap that I did the other day on Facebook, and it led to this great discussion. Yeah, I’m really excited awakens

Maddy Martin
people to right, like when you actually post what it is, or you send someone a link to your Calendly, like, you know, scheduling page or, or whatever it is that you’re using, the actual software doesn’t matter. I’m not plugging in Calendly it just happens to be free, and I like it. But it’s like when you have that, you know, you showed a screenshot of your zap or whatever you explain like your workflow. And what I love about the maximum learner like Facebook group is that people are so humble and willing to ask questions and answer things in in very, like, broken down easy to understand steps. And people are very patient with each other and ask questions so that they can better help each other. And that’s really unique. But when you share something like that, especially because people look up to you so much, Jim, and you’re saying, Look, this is something that I figured out, like, you know, if if I can do it, you can do it too. Like we all come at things like with a child’s mind, then then, you know, it shows that this is within reach. And I think that with technology right now, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but just to show kind of the like making of the sausage and then it’s not so complicated and not so ugly. Like maybe sausages have example, making the pancakes. You know, here are the basic ingredients. It’s flour water, right. And and it’s not that complicated. But man like that pancake is delicious. You just needed the recipe. And that’s I think what I really love about the Maxwell group in general is that people are asking for recipes all the time. And like just like a pancake, someone’s recipe may be different. It may work for you, you may have access to a certain ingredient someone else doesn’t. But at the end of the day, you’re gonna get a great pancake because people really seem to know what they’re doing. And they’ve tried and tested a lot of different things and they can save people the time from going through that same tiresome process.

Jim Hacking
Yeah, and that’s a great point is helping people speed up their own development by learning from the successes And the mistakes of people that went before them. I think that’s one of the themes that they were talking about here at Traffic and Conversion is that, you know, they were trying to sell us into this really big mastermind group and the points well taken that there’s a lot of people who’ve done what we’ve done before. And so having an opportunity to not make those mistakes goes a long way.

Maddy Martin
Yes. So, you know, one of the things that I also think back to your initial question about, you know, what makes a great conference is also the fact that and being directed on the non CLE side, I think, if we just break it down and say like, Okay, what’s the Cle? Continuing Legal Education? Well, what are the gaps that people have right now? Non legal education, like the business, the marketing, like, what the heck is SEO? And like, is it going to work for my little small law firm in Buffalo, New York, you know, like, I think that there is tons of dle content, what there isn’t and what people really need, because they didn’t go to business school, they’re not an accountant, like they didn’t take customer service courses is the non owl in the CLA, right. So that, to me, is the biggest gap to fill. And I think that you guys are addressing that with the podcast and the conference and the Facebook group, in helping people with all the other things that go into the makings of a really productive professional and profitable law firm,

Jim Hacking
for sure. And that’s what we’re all about. Alright, I want to respect your time, I know you got a busy day ahead of you in Chicago that started sooner than mines. It’s I’m in San Diego. But the one other thing I wanted to say is that what our listeners wouldn’t want is for Maddie to come and talk on stage about how great Smith AI is. And I know that you’re not doing that I know you have a topic in mind, and that you’re going to talk all about things that are those practical things that we just talked about. So tell us a little bit about your talk and about your position on referrals and what people can expect when they come to maxilla con in June. Thanks, Jeremy.

Maddy Martin
Yeah, so I’m going to be talking about referrals not being a growth strategy. And it’s kind of a little bit of a play, because obviously, referrals are something that attorneys rely heavily on. But what my point is, is that most lawyers, especially in solo, and small firms are so reliant on this channel, but are not approaching it strategically. So my guidance is to help people identify how to do referrals better, how to generate better referrals, how to make great referrals yourself, which will engender goodwill in the community, which obviously pays you back in spades, and then how to explore other channels based on what you know, works for you for referrals, and how to supplement referrals with other strategic growth initiatives that work for solo and small, firm attorneys. So not like, as controversial as it sounds, but just helping you identify, you know, based on your practice area, or based on your target demographic, like how much more opportunity is there for you to grow your referral base to do referrals better? What could you be doing in the lead screening process that takes bad leads out and allows you to refer them more efficiently to other practices and build relationships and network to generate referrals and give them more efficiently? And then what do you know about your target audience that allows you to build up and sustain other growth channels that complement your referral strategy?

Jim Hacking
Awesome. You know, I heard bits and pieces of it when we were down in Austin. So I’m looking forward to it. I think that our audience will get a lot out of that. And about checking in with Smith AI, I’ve been really happy with the willingness of your team to work with us because we have sort of some unusual integrations and processes. So I think that we’ll be really glad to see you when you come to St. Louis.

Subscribe for Email Updates