Speakeasy Marketing _August 2017

GROW YOUR INJURY FIRM IN 2017

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Bio Photos: Should You Smile?

RICHARD JACOBS ATTORNEY MARKETING SPECIALIST

in the first place) is because they feel intimidated by you.

As you probably know, your bio photo is an important part of the marketing puzzle. It’s what makes potentials feel safe about calling you. However, there’s a debate right now among legal marketers. Should an attorney smile and look friendly, or should you have a neutral expression that conveys professional competence? It’s a good question, and there are merits to both sides. We all know that professionals who smile are perceived as being warmer, friendlier, and more available than professionals who don’t. On the other hand, it’s also well-known that professionals who do not smile are generally perceived as being more trustworthy and more competent.

They are literally afraid to pick up the phone.

We’ve found, time and time again, that if you replace your bio photo with one where you look open and friendly, you’ll get more phone calls and fewer cancellations. The effect is even more pronounced if you put up a video. Why is that? I found some interesting science that offers an explanation. According to research by the University of Colorado, if we first meet someone and judge them as being competent, we unconsciously judge them as being cold and unavailable. This makes it hard for us to trust them. When making a first impression, you need to establish trust before you convey your competence. Trust must come first. Counterintuitively, the best way to inspire trust is to first appear friendly. Show your competence only after you’ve built some rapport.

Both of these rules apply to lawyers, too. So, here’s the key question.

Is it better (from the point of view of getting potentials to pick up the phone and talk to you about working together) for you to look trustworthy and competent?

By the way, this insight I’ve shared with you today is powerful, but it’s just one of several that I shared in a podcast I published a while back called “What Goes Through the Mind of Potential Clients.”

Use this information wisely.

Or, is it better to look warm, friendly, and available?

I recommend you take eight minutes to listen to the other insights here:

It can dramatically decrease the percentage of new potentials who get cold feet or go ghost on you.

Well, here’s what our marketing tests have proven:

speakeasy.marketing/ UnderstandingPotentialClients

It can get more potentials into your office.

The No. 1 reason why potentials go cold (and either don’t show for an appointment or don’t schedule one

– Richard Jacobs

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be. Digitizing your invoices saves your customers time. They won’t have to spend minutes in front of the scanner every time you send an invoice. Customers especially love paying their bills electronically. If you include an online option, you’ll make your customer happy. All the while, you won’t have to wait for checks in the mail, eliminating one more potential obstacle to payment. Send your invoices as quickly as you can. As Invoice2Go CEO Greg Waldorf writes, “When they invoice immediately, business pros get paid an average of seven days faster.” Don’t give customers a chance to forget they owe you. Sending an invoice when your work is still fresh in your customer’s mind can have dramatic results. According to Entrepreneur contributor John Rampton, sending out an invoice the day a job is completed makes you “almost 1-1/2 times more likely to get paid.” Reward customers who pay early. If you want your clients to pay ASAP, you can implement a system that takes a certain percentage off the bill when they pay within three days of receiving an invoice. Instead of cringing at their lost funds, customers will see that paying you quickly actually saves them money.

Cash is king when it comes to the longevity of your business. Deadbeat clients can spell death for a budding company, and they do so more often than you would think. It may not sound like fun, but ironing out the wrinkles in your payment process can save you a massive headache down the road. Here are a few ways to make sure the cash comes in on time. The shorter and more concise your payment terms are, the better. For every client you work with, you need a signed contract in place — one that leaves zero room for confusion or misinterpretation. If you’re having cash-flow issues, consider shrinking the payment window. If a customer has 30 days to pay you, they’ll likely wait until the final week to send the check. It’s important that you’re reasonable with your payment terms, but keep in mind that most customers will wait until that last-minute deadline. Go digital. Most businesses work almost solely within the digital realm, and in order to maximize your payments, you must follow suit — no matter how much of a Luddite you may

Get Paid HELP YOUR CLIENTS COUGH UP THE CASH

INGENIOUS WAY TO CUT DOWN ON NO-SHOWS ...continued from back page

In other words, it’s the kind of tactic Han Solo from “Star Wars” would use. Do you want to learn what this strategy is? And how an attorney client of ours used it to add $74,000 of revenue to his practice over six months and achieve a coveted 10.0 Avvo rating? And how you can use it to cut down on flakes and no-shows?

The best part about this strategy?

It is, in a sense, a “take-away close.”

It doesn’t involve begging, chasing up, or trying to convince a potential that you’re worthy of their time. It lets them do all the chasing, in a way that frames you as the authority and the prize — the one who’s throwing them a bone.

Then you need to request a complimentary copy of my new “Attorney Authority Reboot” book here:

speakeasy.marketing/Book

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HOW THE MOST SUCCESSFUL

Tony Marks’ Guide to Successful Project Completion PROJECT MANAGEMENT

ATTORNEYS SET GOALS ...continued from back page

Every professional juggles projects at work or at home, but projects often fail due to unclear direction. In his book, “20:20 Project Management,” Tony Marks provides steps to ensure your project — not matter whether the outcome is desirable — is not a waste of time and effort. This book is beneficial to those who work in project management, as well as anyone involved in an organizational project. According to Marks, a project’s life cycle consists of five phases: defining, appraising, planning, executing, and completing. Several key elements within these phases contribute to a project’s successful control of cost, time, and quality. The most common project failures have to do with the original creation and appraisal of a project plan. For this reason, do not rush the initial phase of the plan. Marks writes that planning is crucial to prevent project failure. Following the initial creative idea, you should develop a broad plan, define the plan more specifically, and determine the business case on which measurements will be based. You need to set a baseline on which to measure the success of the project. In addition, you need to make sure project objectives are being met, so progress reports should be frequent and honest. Project managers may mistakenly focus on achieving a task at the expense of developing individuals and the team, without realizing that development is the best way to achieve the task. For proper development, you must be able to effectively communicate to everyone. Good leaders give both developmental feedback and motivational feedback, both of which contribute to the success of the team and project. Each chapter of this practical guide contains a best-practices case study, as well as graphs, charts, explanations of terms, and detailed examples of the materials discussed so every project can be fulfilled successfully and efficiently. The book is a guide for successful project management through standardized strategies that are guaranteed to help you see your project to completion.

What do they do that’s so different? It’s not that they set big goals, as such. It’s more that they’ve learned how to set intelligent goals (i.e., the right goals). In today’s podcast, I share some of the things I’ve learned from watching them. Check it out here: speakeasy.marketing/Goals

Real Secrets of Attorney Marketing Law School Dares Not Teach (2nd Edition)

• Five new chapters, including live chat, what’s changing for personal injury attorneys marketing-wise in 2017, and more • Completely revised and updated for 2017 • Complimentary physical copy mailed/emailed upon request Available on Amazon Kindle, and by emailing rj@speakeasymarketinginc.com.

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BIO PHOTOS: SHOULD YOU SMILE? GET PAID ‘20:20 PROJECT MANAGEMENT’ HOW THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ATTORNEYS SET GOALS INGENIOUS WAY TO CUT DOWN ON NO-SHOWS

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Ingenious Way to Cut Down on No-Shows There are generally three reasons why a good potential might flake: (1) They feel intimidated by you. (2) Another attorney made them a better offer. (3) They’re not serious about working with you.

Over the last six years, I’ve known and become close to well over 1,000 attorneys.

Here’s something interesting I’ve noticed.

However ...

The most successful attorneys are great at setting goals. That is, it appears to be a key skill they mastered while climbing to the top.

There’s one strategy you can use — a simple, yet clever, marketing tactic that adds almost nothing to your firm’s overheads. This strategy solves all three of these objections and gets potentials showing up to your in-office consults.

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