How Attorneys Get Clients To Afford Fees & Get Paid Up Front
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t
— you’re right.”
Henry Ford (1863-1947) Founder of the Ford Motor Company.
In March, 2012, John M. pedaled as fast as he could.
He’d never pedaled so fast in his life. He wasn’t a regular cyclist, but he knew his way around a bike.
This time though, he was pedaling a stationary bike, and he had to go as fast as humanly possible for 4,000m (2.48 miles).
And he wasn’t alone.
He was in a room with other amateur cyclists. It was a mix of people. Some were old, some young.
He wasn’t racing against them though, he was racing against himself.
At the last quarter his legs started giving out. His breathing was out of control.
Yet, he remained focused and gave it his all. One final push. He gave it everything he had.
It felt like it took a thousand years.
Finally, the buzzer went off and the instructor told him to get off the bike.
His legs felt numb from exhaustion. It took him several minutes to calm his breath to a point where he could ask the question.
“How did I do?”
The instructor replied, “We’ll see, in the next round”.
In the next round, John would race against himself.
The instructors recorded his first journey, and later he had to try and beat it.
John didn’t know if he could, but as is his nature, he gave it 100%.
As he raced against himself he felt the same exhaustion come over him. However, he knew, if he simply stayed ahead of his own avatar from before, he’d win.
Once he finished, he was delighted to have beaten his previous personal best.
The other 9 participants managed to do the same.
They all beat their previous records.
These 9 men were part of a scientific study. The study ran over several trials and deliberately lied to the participants.
You see, the avatar was actually going faster than their previous ride.
Unknowingly, they were racing against a better version of themselves and beat it.
John’s goal posts were moved. His task was immensely harder than he thought. Yet he crushed it.
After looking at the data, surprised at their findings, the scientists noted a very small increase in output from anaerobic sources. Nothing major.
In other words, John tapped just a small amount of additional energy to get a much greater outcome.
And most importantly, he beat himself.
In this article we’re going to do the same. Together.
Effects of deception on exercise performance: implications for determinants of fatigue in humans.
Stone MR, Thomas K, Wilkinson M, Jones AM, St Clair Gibson A, Thompson KG.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Mar;44(3):534-41. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318232cf77.
“You see, with just a tiny bit more effort you can quickly see a 10%, 20%, or even 50% increase in income from your law office.”
Remember, John the cyclist had one thing to focus on. Not three, not two, but one. He had to beat his own avatar.
That razor focus gave him what he needed to succeed.
He didn’t even worry about the other competitors.
I want you to do the same. Focus on getting this one thing done, and you’ll discover a potential increase in income.
Let’s dig in.
Step #1. How to get clients who can’t afford your fees.
Every single month a few potential clients walk out of your law office because they cannot afford your fees.
Even though you promised them you will extend terms, they still won’t budge. They just don’t have the cash.
With legal financing, if we take industry averages into account, 30% of them will be able to get the money to afford your retainer.
Here’s an example:
SMALL FIRM EXAMPLE:
Let’s assume your retainer is $6,500, and 3 potential clients per month can’t afford your fees.
The average increase in income: $70,200 per year.
MEDIUM FIRM EXAMPLE:
Let’s assume your retainer is $6,500, and 15 potential clients per month can’t afford your fees.
The average increase in income: $351,000 per year.
LARGE FIRM EXAMPLE:
Let’s assume your retainer is $6,500, and 70 potential clients per month can’t afford your fees.
The average increase in income: $1.63 million per year.
Do see how easy it becomes to simply beat yourself by changing a simple thing in the way you do business?
Plug your numbers into the calculator and it will spit out your potential increase in income.
You’d be surprised at how accurate it can be.
So how does it work?
Step #2: How can an attorney offer financing to get clients to afford their fees, get paid up front, and increase income? All without breaking bar rules?
I touched upon this in a previous article, however, as an attorney I understand that you are naturally cautious and risk averse.
For this reason, a lot of attorneys dismiss this easy method of increasing their income out of hand.
Even though a few thousand attorneys are already using it to steal their clients, they refuse to accept that this is a viable option.
All because they haven’t bothered to explore it further.
The trick is that you, the attorney, are not technically extending financing to the client.
The client applies for a personal loan from a financial institution. Their financial arrangement is with the bank, not the attorney or law office.
The client can technically spend the money on whatever they want. They can turn around and buy a vacation if they felt like it.
Let me give you an illustration.
John Doe walks into your office.
Before he even sits down with you, you’ve plugged his details into the financing system. It’ll tell you, without pulling a credit report, whether or not John Doe qualifies for financing.
You’ll even see what his monthly installments will be.
When John tells you that he cannot afford the retainer, you then simply ask him, “What can you afford on a monthly basis?”.
Since the client is in your office they quite clearly need an attorney. There is no doubt in your mind that this guy needs your help.
So, if you present them with an affordable option, it becomes several magnitudes easier to get them as a client.
Below is an online review from a legal client about one of the attorneys we work with:
“They were amazing right from the start. I met with him and explained my difficult situations with an ex who was so very unreasonable.
I am a good father and simply wanted my fair time as is due me, but she had a much different vision for us even though she was on the road and not around for most of the child’s lives while I raised them.
Well Ryan was amazing through it all. Helped me lift that enormous stress that was sitting on my shoulders and got me basically everything I was asking for all while allowing me time to pay.
Thank you, I will absolutely use you again in the future.”
Notice the part where the client expresses incredible thanks for giving him time to pay.
“Helped me lift that enormous stress that was sitting on my shoulders and got me basically everything I was asking for all while allowing me time to pay.”
The problems your clients face are huge. For some of them it will be the most difficult time of their lives.
What do you think happens when you offer to help with a simple and affordable way of paying?
Other attorneys are asking for big upfront fees and unknowingly come across as greedy.
You, on the other hand, offering to solve their massive problem with easy monthly installments with no upfront payments, will come across as the hero in their time of need.
I’ve seen this happen dozens and dozens of times.
Yet some attorneys are still hesitant.
And they will be left behind. It happens in every industry.
In the 1990s it was considered heresy to make beer from anything other than water, yeast, hops and barley.
Yet, researching ancient brewing techniques led a man, called Sam Calagione, to make new and exciting beers.
His company is estimated to be worth $150-$300 million.
By looking back at how other industries used financing in order to expand while helping their customers, the attorneys who take action will be the ones who prosper.
There is no need to be a pioneer, or to pave the way. Simply do what other successful people have done in the past.
Like Albert Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bike. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
However, the benefits don’t simply stop there.
Step #3: How to get more clients who CAN afford your fees
So far we’ve only discussed the benefits of converting clients who can’t afford your fees.
You also have a pool of clients every month you extend terms to.
This is a typical scenario I have come across.
Jane Doe comes into your office and your retainer is $6,500.
She can’t afford the full amount, so you get $3,000 up front. The rest is paid in monthly installments.
How many times have you done something like this?
Probably several times every single month.
The problem with this kind of ‘deal’ is that 75% of people don’t pay the full amount.
The attorney either reduces the fee, or the client simply stops paying.
This may, or may not, be a problem for you. Some law offices certainly have it worse than others.
Either way, you have no true recourse if someone doesn’t pay you for the work you’ve done. You also don’t get the money up front.
About 30-50% of your clients who you extend terms to will qualify for financing.
You’ll get all of the cash up front and you don’t need to waste time chasing them up. This not only gives you a better cash flow position, it also reduces the number of staff hours you spend following up clients.
In other words, you’ll get more money and reduce costs. An ideal situation for any business. All while making your clients happier with a new affordable option.
Step #4: Setting up legal financing
This part is easy.
Recently, Richard F. one of our attorney clients wrote this on our review website:
“Big Mouth gets it! We have been through a number of companies big on promises with zero results. Gary and Marissa understand the legal space and will deliver results to your firm.”