In this Pop-up episode, Tyson interviews Harlan Schillinger and Eric Coffman, Co-Founders of LeadDocket, a simple lead tracking software for law firms. Listen as they dive deep into its features and advantages going over the importance of follow up and communication.
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- About LeadDocket
- Intake and Conversion for Lawyers
- Law Firms getting into advertising
- Leads and accountability
- About LeadDocket
- “What is going on in your office?”
- LeadDocket’s beginnings
- Dino Colombo and Eric Coffman started working on software for their own needs
- Partnering up
- LeadDocket’s beginnings
- “In any Law Firm, the biggest problem, the biggest challenge, is in what we call “the chase”… It’s not answering the telephone or signing the client, It’s that whole in between piece that when the client says “let me think about it”.
- A software to solve own business problem
- 30% increase in sign ups
- Majority of firms had intake problems
- LeadDocket formalizes the process to make sure that every lead is handled through a defined process
- Text Messages
- Text Messages VS Email
- “You have to be able to connect with people in the way that the want to be communicated with.”
- LeadDocket is the beginning; Up into the point they are signed up they’re in LeadDocket.
- Integrations with other Platforms
- As you become a client, there’s a different system
- Automation of Text Messages and reminders
- LeadDocket is the beginning; Up into the point they are signed up they’re in LeadDocket.
- RAW SIMPLICITY
- Specifically built for the legal industry
- Follow up to make sure leads don’t get lost
- Dealing with Clients
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Transcripts: The Space Between Finding The Client and Signing The Client with Harlan Schillinger and Eric Coffman
Run your law firm the right way. This is the maximum lawyer podcast, podcast.
Alright, welcome back to the maximum lawyer podcast. This is gonna be a pop up podcast with one of my favorite people and a person that I’m getting to know very, very well. Today we’re going to be talking with Harlan Schillinger. And Eric Kaufman about lead docket. Harlan, you want to talk a little bit about the docket
for Tyson? Thank you very much. Once you do get to know Eric, you’re going to love him a lot more than you love me. With that being said, lead docket is an interesting tool. I got involved in understanding intake and conversion about 10 or 12 years ago, I’ve said this on several of your podcasts. Because I noticed that lawyers were not really accountable. And being in the agency business for almost 40 years. The question would come to me. Well give me more leads. My question back was, well, what you do with the last ones? That question back to me was, well, they weren’t any good. They were jumped. And I started to really scratch my head. And at the same time 12 to 18 years ago, climate change, climate change dramatically, your law firm started really get into advertising, advertising agencies were springing up. And it was a very, very competitive field. So really, what I was thinking was that we need some accountability, you know, what’s going on, started to record telephone calls, making ghost calls, real calls, and really paying strict attention to what is going on in your office was, seemed to focus mostly on what they have now what they don’t have. And about several years ago, a number of years ago, my dear friends, Dino Colombo, who is a great trial lawyer out of Morgantown, West Virginia, and Eric Kaufman, started to dabble with software for their own needs for their own office on how to be more accountable, they didn’t really care for what was on the market, or it wasn’t intuitive enough, or they just wanted to their own, Eric is a really bright guy. And he finishes I can, I can build that. So they proceeded to do that. And some reason they brought me into the project, and I said, My God, this is fantastic. We’re gonna market this, I, of course, was looking into software. Now it was being quartered as a partnership from another company. And I said, This is it. So Eric went ahead and built this tremendous platform, built it with a number of goals in mind. But the most significant thing I’m gonna say before handing it over to my partner, is that what you don’t know you don’t know, lawyers, count what they have, not what they don’t have, and they don’t know what they’re missing. In any law firm. If you are honest with yourself, the biggest problem, the biggest challenge is in what we call the chase. It’s not answering the telephone, which needs a lot of work. It’s not finding the client, which is great. It’s that whole in between piece that when the client or the prospect says, Let me think about it, well, let me get back to you or I want to talk to my husband or my wife, what happens 70% of your action happens in that in that arena. And that’s what lead docket does best. And Eric can also capitalize on or expressed what else it does great, but to me personally, I’m so focused on conversion, when you can convert more leads that are already paid for that is significant dollars. That’s great stuff arlena in the very, very good introduction. So
I’m glad you’re able to give that overview. So Eric, I want you to talk a little bit about what lead Dawkins does, what does it do and how to benefit attorney.
Harlan Schillinger and Eric Coffman
I’ll take a step back from that. So some years ago, I have a software development background, I worked at a major public university, managing a software team for a number of years. And I worked at Columbia Law on the side and helping them with marketing. It was driving me crazy, because they were doing intake on sheets of paper, trying to use needles to use their intake sheets. And frankly, no one had any idea what was happening. We had no idea where the leads were coming from which were converting, we would try a new marketing campaign with AdWords or you know, some TV station, we had no idea if it actually worked. And I’m a numbers guy, and I just couldn’t imagine we were spending this amount of money marketing but not really knowing if it was working. So I went out on a journey to find software to help us with this. And I looked at everything I looked at, you know, fusion soft and Salesforce and all the competitors in the legal space. And I just thought they were all so complicated that there was no way our staff would be able to use it. And it would just be another thing that kind of just sat there. And so I started building sort of a template of what I thought the software needed to do, really just to guide me in When I was looking for and through the process, Dino Colombo said, you know, why don’t you just build it, you already have an idea of what you want, why don’t you just build it. And so we built the software not to sell it, we built it just to solve our own business problem. And so what happened was after we started using it, the first year, we used it, we had a 30% increase in signups without changing a marketing budget. And we had the same thing happen the second year. So we’re have a massive increase in the number of signups. And really what it came down to was, we were just terrible at doing intake and managing the leads. So I thought it was just us as well, like other law firms have this figured out, you know, we have the software that’s helping us but frankly, at that point didn’t occur to me that everyone was terrible at intake. But several years into this, I realized that we were not alone. And I think that the majority of firms have a very similar problem. And they, of course, when they get the whale to the huge case, they jump on those because your run of the mill calls, the attorneys are busy, you know, lead gets put in their email box from the web chat or their website form or after hours call. And they just don’t call the people back. They think they do they make one attempt. And that’s maybe the end of it. So if you think about how a car dealership works, you walk in the door, and you talk to the salesman, and they don’t stop calling you and emailing you and texting you until you make a purchase or you tell them to stop. And these guys aren’t geniuses, right? They’re they just have software that’s telling them what what steps to take. And so really what lead DACA does is just formalizes the process to make sure that every lead is handled through a defined process. So if you as a firm determine that you want to chase after potential clients, you want to try six times and systems in place to make sure that happens. So I think one of the key points, just we’re not going to go into lots and lots of detail in this short episode. But I think a lot of attorneys felt like they have something like this in place because they’re using, you know, Infusionsoft or drip or some other mailing campaign. And, you know, as lawyers, you live in email, right, so the email is your life, and it’s connected to you. But the average person doesn’t live their life in email, they live their life and text messages. So you know, the email open rate is less than 20%, and has a less than 6% response rate where text messages have an over 98% open rate, and a 45% response rate, just a gigantic difference in being able to connect to your potential clients that I’ve been working with Jim. And you know, in an immigration practice, how many people that are looking to become US citizens spend their day in email versus in text messaging. And so you just have to be able to connect with people in the way that they want to be communicated with. And it doesn’t take a whole lot of additional effort to really make a huge difference in the number of cases you’re signing up just by communicating with your clients better than your competitors are.
So Eric, I want to talk a little bit about that. So and you kind of hinted at this. So let’s say you’re using something like infusions after using something like case pay or using something like file via one of these big case management systems, it could be smoke ball could be any of these different systems. So how does your How did lead docket work with these other systems and helping streamline the process?
Yeah, so lead docket is really the beginning. It’s the it goes before the case management system. And so up until the point that they’re signed up, they’re in lead DACA, which is a, you know, a client relation management system. And after the point that they’re signed up, we have integrations with most of the vendors in the legal space in the fall, bind the smart advocate Clio, that once a case is signed up, we can send all the information directly over. So there’s no manual typing of any of the information. And I think this really, again, back to the auto industry, the person that’s selling you, the car has software that’s telling them to call you to help you make a decision to buy a car. But once you buy the car, you go into the service department database that’s telling you about your warranty and the recalls and all that it’s a totally different system. Right, the salespeople aren’t using the same system that the service advisor is using. Because as you become a client, as you become a customer of that brand, it’s a different process. And it’s a different expectation. So leave Docker, like I said, it’s beginning part of the process. And typically, you might get 10 leads, and two or three of those might become clients. And so all 10 of those are going to be in lead docket to help you get some metrics and figure out what marketing is working. But then the two or three that you sign up, move into your file, Vine or your whatever case management system you use.
With regards to the text messaging, how are you able to leverage the text messaging using lead back here, I get to get a little more technical for me. So people understand how that actually works with the docket, right so
we have a way to set up automated messaging so based on a lead status, so for example, if you schedule somebody for an appointment, we can set it up so that it sends an automated text message telling them the date and time of their appointment. And then maybe we’ll send them a reminder the day before the appointment saw 5pm Another reminder Seven o’clock in the morning or eight o’clock in the morning, the day of the appointment. And so just see automations that make the process exactly the same for every client. And obviously, you’re going to have a lot higher a show up rate for your appointments when people are being reminded via text message, rather than via email. And we can do that really, for any step along the way, if you send out a electronic signature packet, that we can do reminders that way, you know, if you’re chasing somebody, if you got that website at night, and you haven’t been able to connect, we can automate that where we’re sending the messages to try to re engage with you.
The one of the things that I see so so greatly to, to, to take what Eric is saying is that, you know, you belong to a number of chat rooms and, and groups, and everybody’s trying to piece something together, they’re trying to find, well, does this work? Well, what if I communicate with them by text, the thing that I’m so impressed with with league doc, and it’s all one system that can be managed, that you manage your intake, how you deal with people is part of your marketing, it’s so, so important to be part of the marketing. This texting feature that Eric talks about, is more than just, well, let’s just text the client. It’s a process. And in the process is how do I communicate with somebody to reel them in, to bring them in and convert them to a client. And when you piecemeal items, such as well, I’ll piecemeal all by answering service and this guy, or I can, you know, the shiny object can help you text better, what is it’s just piecemeal, and trying to keep all that together, it’s almost impossible. And believe me, the client knows it. They don’t know what item you’re looking at. But they don’t, it’s not an organized process coming at that it’s not smooth. And that’s what I’m so impressed with regarding this texting feature. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s maybe 5% of the system.
And that’s true. The thing about leave doc and I think our differentiator is just its raw simplicity, it’s very easy for staff to use, you know, an intake tends to be a type of position, there is turnover. And it’s very easy to get new people up and going. If ever tried to use Infusionsoft or Salesforce, it requires real long training to be able to be proficient with it. And so because we don’t get a specifically built for the legal industry, it’s it’s really very, very simple for somebody to use. And I think that’s a major difference. And really, again, it’s all about adding a process so that all your leads go through a defined process. And one of the places that I see a lot of firms lose leads, I hardly mentioned the chase. But another is, you know, the intake staff will get a lead and the one and attorney to make a decision, is this a case we want, and they’ll assign it to the attorney, the attorney is busy, they’re getting ready for a deposition or whatever. And that lead just sits there and gets forgotten about. So we Belkin has things in place that if a lead has been assigned to an attorney for say 30 minutes, and hasn’t been responded to the intake staff gets a task to go check with the attorney. There’s there’s all these follow up things in place to help make sure that the leads don’t get lost. And that’s really what it’s all about to make sure no matter what situation lead is in, there’s something that’s going to keep it moving through the process.
I love that. So Jim and I have talked on the podcast before about, you know, where you get the majority of your cases, when it comes to signing them up. And there’s a gigantic vacuum, right around the the one month point with people hiring attorneys. And that’s, it’s really interesting, because all these people at the one month point have not yet signed up with an attorney. But no one is following up. And so and the ones that follow up are the ones that get those clients. It’s really interesting. I was definitely docket helps you with that vacuum and getting with clients. I really like it so that Harlan, I’ve got a question for you. You talk to attorneys all over the country on a daily basis. What are the things that they’re raving about when it comes to lead docket?
I was at the Chris video conference two weeks ago, and a gentleman came up to me who has a sizable practice in Memphis. And he gave me a huge bear hug. And he said to me, he says, Thank you. I said, Henry, thank you for what? My business is so strong. I didn’t realize what I was missing. Thank you. I’m up over 25 30% And then he walked away. I didn’t have a chance to you know, you know, continue the conversation was just the lady. But what I say be specific. Is that what you don’t know you don’t know. Again, you know, Eric pointed out two really, really important factors. And the one that has to do with you know, getting an answer on Should I take this case where you really get bogged down as an email. You know, we all get a lot of emails, I get the 400 emails a day. And how can you follow that? How can you be organized in that? The most significant thing that I’ve seen is that lawyers don’t have a plan. process, they think they have a process. They have a process when it comes to case management because the case management company developed the process, case management companies, I have not seen one that has the mentality to understand the marketing end of intake. And therefore, they put a traditional well, I’ll put up a screen, and we’ll have to, you know, check in, it’s not a checks and balances. It’s not a marketing tool. It’s not a true CRM, customer relations management tool. What most significant thing that I see is how people correspond with their clients. I’ve written consistently about the ambassador first impressions. It’s the lifeblood of the firm, when you have a problem with a credit card, and you get trust overseas, and I’m not saying this because I’m prejudiced in any way. But you’re dealing with somebody who doesn’t really is not really on the same page as you, you don’t have competence. You don’t, you don’t have a relationship. And what lead docket does lead docket and the mentality of lead doctor, because keep in mind, it was designed by a good lawyer, a fantastic internet tech that can pull this all together, and an ad agency guy, myself, so everything that that we want in it has to do with how you deal with the client. Keep in mind, the number one reason The number two reason that people don’t like lawyers is that communication skills. It is a communication tool from in the office and out of the office with clients.
All right, Eric. So I’m gonna start wrapping this up, I would ask Harlan to answer this question. We both know Harlan, and he’ll talk all day. So Eric, tell us a little bit about how people get in touch with you, if you want to talk a little bit about the pricing of the product as well. But how can people get in touch with you if they’re interested in the docket?
Yeah, so I would imagine everyone that’s listening to this can think of a situation in the last year, probably the last month, maybe even the last day that they lost a potential lead because they didn’t do proper follow up. And if that’s the case, you need something, right. Maybe it’s late docket, maybe it’s something you need a car, you need a CRM to keep track of this stuff. If you’re interested in the docket, we certainly can give you a demonstration, show you what it’s all about. You can check us out at lead docket.com or email us at info at lead docket.com. Yeah, the pricing starts at 250 a month, be a couple users. And you know, we have some setup and training we would talk about depending on the farm. But it’s pretty low barrier to entry to get involved.
Excellent. Well, thank you so much for coming on, Eric. And thanks to you, Harlan. Harlan, I’m gonna give you the last word you want to wrap things up. I like to
comment what Eric said, whether you’re using the Docker to use something else use something to develop the process. There really are very few items or pieces of software on the market. If you think you can piece it together, go for it. But if you’re really looking to have an automated or a true true process, and do your homework, and most people enjoy it. The docket is a terrific tool. It’s not for everybody. We invite people in to use it. Have a great day.