Data that Makes Dashboards Dazzle || Lawyers, Your Clients Want Flat Fees

Gyi and Conrad talk about gorgeous data dashboards and the gorgeous-er data behind them. Then, the guys dig into how your clients really feel about fees and billing. Plus, book club!


Straight from the YouTubes: Gyi and Conrad answer a listener question regarding metrics dashboards. Plot twist, it’s less about the tools you use to display your data, and more about the integrity of the data you put into it. Get your data, keep it clean, and make it actionable for your law firm. Throwing money at a pretty dashboard may make you feel more on top of things, but getting down and dirty with the raw numbers will put you more in touch with your business.

Next, you’ve heard this a million times: your clients want alternative billing methods. And yet, according to the Clio Legal Trends Report, only 37% of law firms offer flat fee pricing. We know change is hard, but seriously, why aren’t you listening to what clients say about fees and billing?

And then, back to the business bookshelf for David C. Baker’s “The Business of Expertise.” Selling expertise is exactly what attorneys do, even if you aren’t allowed to say you’re an expert. “Five Stars” – Gyi Tsakalakis.

The News:

  • Google is changing Similar Audiences, the algorithm for finding ad targets.
  • Plus, some Google spam updates. Be in the know.
  • And a mystery CRM product coming in January, we know nothing … nothing!
  • Finally, some talk about SEO, rankings, and reviews. This never gets old.

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Transcript

Conrad Saam: Hey Gyi, I know you are a huge Twitter fan, Twitter Roddy, are you bailing on Twitter now that Mr. Musk has just purchased it?  What are your Twitter plans?

Gyi Tsakalakis: I’m not, I’m staying on Twitter.  You know, whatever this is our banter section.

Conrad Saam: Banter section.

Gyi Tsakalakis: All day that come out.

Conrad Saam: Let me banter you. You must like conspiracy theories, Gyi.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Do I?  I feel like I don’t, oh because you’re saying that there’s going to be more conspiracy theories on Twitter.  I mean, moderate your own content.  I don’t know what to tell you.

Conrad Saam: All right, so you’ll see.

Gyi Tsakalakis: There’s a block.  There’s a filter.  There’s a mute.  You don’t like it you can create your own filter bubble.  That’s my social network app, new app.  It’s called filter bubble.  I’m going to call it Echo Chamber.

Conrad Saam: You could call it do your own research.

Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s too long, and that’s not catching you enough Conrad, you’re a marketing person, come on.  What are we talking about today, Conrad?

Conrad Saam: All right, beyond Elon Musk, we’ve got a great show for you today.  This is a really good one.  Again, I spend a lot of time putting this together.  We’re actually going to also be launching a behind the scenes so you can see what it took to put this together.

As always, we’re going to cover legal marketing news, which there is a lot of, lot of salient stuff at the beginning of the show and we got a great comment on our post on YouTube.  One of our YouTube posts.  So, we’re going to get deeper into metrics.  Someone was asking about how to actually build out these metrics.  So, we’re going to go deep on that comment.

Following up on our clear Legal Trends Report review, we’re going to go into business models and the demand for different business models by consumers as a legal industry and the digging in of the heels among the legal industry to adopt those changes.  And finally, to put you all to bed, Gyi is going to do his favorite book review.  All right, that’s what’s we got going on.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Let’s hit the music.

[Music]

Conrad Saam: All right, all right, all right. We have got a jam-packed show.  So as always, we’re going to start out with the news.

[Music]

Male:  Welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing, teaching you how to promote market and make fat stacks for your legal practice, here on Legal Talk Network.

Gyi Tsakalakis: All right, all right, all right.  We have got a jam-packed show.  So, as always, we’re going to start out with the news.

Conrad Saam: And what news segment wouldn’t be appropriate without us talking about Google?  Gyi and I went back and forth for a long time, just like, how can we get Google out of this, because people don’t want to talk about Google all the time.  But today is not today.  We’ve got two items coming out of Google for you that you should be aware of.  The first is building more durable and effective audience strategies.  Google announces that they’re going to be getting rid of similar audiences in 2023.  And so, Gyi, can you talk about what is a similar audience?  Why do we care and what the changes are coming up?

Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, so similar audiences are the algorithmic way for Google to try to find your target person you want to send an ad to, whether it’s on search or across the display network, and it sounds like, there’s not a ton of information on this yet, but sounds like they’re trying to balance privacy, but they’re making, they’re killing custom audiences for more powerful and durable custom audiences.

Conrad Saam: Ah-hah.  Powerful and durable.  This is a dodge ram of custom audiences?

Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, they’re not killing.  I mean, they’re saying they’re killing custom audiences only to, so custom audiences are dead.  Long live custom audiences.

Conrad Saam: That’s right.  There you go.  You heard it here first.  We have no idea what’s going on, other than maybe this is just another silly rebrand, right?  In the face of privacy, we’ll see.

Gyi Tsakalakis: I’d love to know how many of our listeners actually use custom audiences.  If you use custom audiences in your advertising #LHElonMusk.

Conrad Saam: You know what, that would be a really good show to talk through how that works.

Gyi Tsakalakis: My guess is zero, zero are using it.

Conrad Saam: More coming out of mountain view.  If you have not thought that we’re going to talk about a Google algorithm update, you are wrong.  I think we’re now, like, four shows in a row, five shows in a row about Google algorithm updates.  So, there’s a spam update on 10/19.  Just be aware of this.  This may impact your rankings.  If you have been using nefarious spam tactics, which if you have been probably in the little industry, it’s just rampant.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Chances are you are using spam tactics.

Conrad Saam: Or having the time.

Gyi Tsakalakis: I was trying to say or are about to.

Conrad Saam: Or are about to or about to realize that what you’ve been doing has been spam all along.

(00:05:00)

Gyi Tsakalakis: Or are frustrated that your competitors are using spam and beating you and so therefore now using spam yourself.

Conrad Saam: Or if you’ve been white hat all along, maybe you will rise to the top as we’ve been promising for years.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Someday, someday.

Conrad Saam: Gyi, the other thing, and these are just, this is not official news yet, but I saw this on a post I did about the Clio Legal Trends report.  Rumblings about a new CRM coming out that is going to blow away all of the existing competitors.  This came from a comment from Stephanie Forbes, who is a big Salesforce fan, and I can also tell you by the tone of her comments, not a big Clio fan.  But talking about a brand-new thing that is going to blow CRM out of the water coming out in January, currently in beta.  Now, she’s a former Morgan and Morgan Marketing person, so maybe you can connect those dots.

Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s coming out in January.  So, it’s not lithified which is built on Salesforce by Morgan and Morgan.  Well, maybe not built by Morgan and Morgan, but you know what I mean.  So, it’s not that unless it’s like a new version of it or something totally new, but hopefully not built on Salesforce.  Exciting times.  It’s cutthroat in this legal tech game.

Conrad Saam: Listen, I did dig into Stephanie’s background a little bit.  She is a Salesforce cheerleader.  So, I will go 19 out of 20 that this will be built on Salesforce.

Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s not HubSpot.

Conrad Saam: It is definitely not going to be HubSpot, which is what I would do if I had too much money and wanted to.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Or maybe she’s going to be.  There’s been a lot of Salesforce HubSpot converts recently I’ have seen.  There’s a lot of LinkedIn handles saying, “I used to be a Salesforce person, I’m HubSpot person so.”

Conrad Saam: Yes.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Maybe it’s going to be that.

Conrad Saam: Bluntly, we’re doing quite a bit of work helping people make that jump.  It’s great.  Okay.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Sponsored by HubSpot.

Conrad Saam: So, rumors coming to you clearly from Lunch Hour Legal Marketing, and finally, Joy Hawkins, Darren Shaw talking about Google Local to two different points coming from two of our favorite people in the local SEO World.  Gyi, what do Joy and Darren have to say?

Gyi Tsakalakis: That keywords in reviews and in Google business profile descriptions are not ranking factors.  Go check out what Joy has to say at Sterling Sky, Darren and I was really being facetious.  I love both of these people, super smart.  If you don’t follow Whitespark and Sterling Sky and Joy and Darren, you should, you know, Darren was saying, “You can’t put keywords in your description” and I was like, “Well, what about engagement a factor?  Because if engagement is a factor, then arguably putting keywords that are bolded for this target search might draw someone’s attention and draw a click, increasing click through rate and potentially that could be a ranking factor.”  But I was really being a smart aleck, don’t spam your reviews and descriptions with keywords.

Conrad Saam: Yeah.  I mean, I think this is a common conversation, and I would take a look at Joy’s article. It’s fascinating. But those keywords do get bolded, right?  In the results?  So, there’s something there.

Gyi Tsakalakis: It bolded and, yeah, there’s something going on there.

Conrad Saam: All right, when we come back, we’re going to be talking about a continuation on our conversation around metrics.  Talking about how to display the five most important marketing metrics.  This is a comment from Will McLaughlin after the ad break.

[Music]

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Gyi Tsakalakis: Welcome back.  And now we would like to thank Will McLaughlin for his YouTube comments.  See if you leave comments and stuff, we will talk about them —

(00:10:00)

— on the five most important marketing metrics video on YouTube, which of course, we will link in the description from Will.  Any recommendations of how to display this info.  We are using Power BI.  Kudos to you by the way Will, to pull in data from various sources, but some sample dashboards would be great to see.  Conrad?

Conrad Saam: Yeah.

Gyi Tsakalakis: This is a great question.  Do you have examples of dashboards to share with Will?

Conrad Saam: There’s tons of examples of dashboards, and I think that’s actually might be the problem.  I have sat through on behalf of law firms.  I don’t know how many vendor pitches about data and display of data and the beautifulness of data.  Some of the reporting is really fancy, right?  There’s all sorts of different tools that you can use to make these things automated and collected and pretty grass and stuff like that.

Gyi Tsakalakis: So beautiful.

Conrad Saam: But we were talking about kind of the five most important metrics, like if you’re — and we talked about the importance of like a dashboard, where you, there’s not so many metrics that you’re going to find to a mountain but like and these are business metrics, so you’re not looking at this stuff every single day and I have a really low tech answer for this.  Sorry, let me give my low-tech answer and then I’ll tell you why I think its important thing through this, this way.

My low-tech answer is use Excel and you should manually crunch this data for a couple of reasons.  Number one, if these are really kind of big picture business metrics, you’re not looking at this every week.  If you’re looking at this every week, you’re phonetic and you’re zigging and zagging far too often and you’re missing the forest for the trees.

And so it’s not like this is labor involved in putting together these pieces of data warrants the labor required to (a), automate the process and (b), when you do automate that process and build all this data together, you’ve got to keep that thing up and running, right, which is difficult.  We do this for all of our clients and it is a — we were a full-time person this is all they do is they maintain the connections between different systems.  You’ve got CallRail, you’ve got Google Ads, you’ve got Google Analytics, you’ve got your intake management software, you’ve got your matter management software, maybe there’s billing involved in all of this.  There’s your social media accounts.  All of this stuff that you might want to look at when you look at the five most important metrics.

So my answer is (a), the labor required to keep something up like that up and running on the regular is probably not worth it and (b), and I think people miss this.  When you have to actually go in and find the data and look at the data, it forces you to get more intimate with what that data is actually telling you, right?  And so, I need a better analogy on this, but if you imagine the oil temperature gauge on your car, and that’s something that you do need to know about all the time if it goes wrong because it’s a problem.  But you know a lot more about it if you go in and look at the engine and figure out why the oil temperature is hot.  If you go and check the actual reservoir and figure out what’s going on to make it hot, you actually know a lot more about that than just knowing that the oil temperature is too high.  That might be an old school.  May be too old school for the audience but you learn so much by putting this data together.

And Gyi, our own dashboard for the agency, you and I are big disciples of David C. Baker.  He has his eight metrics to run an agency.  We review them internally.  I only calculate them once every quarter, right, because these are big picture metrics and I’ve been running this off Excel for, I don’t know, since 2014, ’15, and it means that every quarter I go in and I spend two hours pulling data together and I always find something that I want to dig deeper into and I think there’s value in that.

Gyi Tsakalakis: So, I agree with you on the value of kind of this idea of rolling up your sleeves, your data sleeves, and diving in and understanding the numbers better, and I think for 99% of our audience, I think all of everything you said is right on point, but poor Will over here on YouTube.  He has asked us about — he’s pulling the data in through Power BI.  I mean, if he’s using Power BI I think he’s pretty sophisticated.

Conrad Saam: Sure.

Gyi Tsakalakis: He’s pulling the data and again, Will sorry we’ve already, you’ve already graced us with your comment, but maybe we need a little bit of clarifying follow ups.  You can hashtag us.  But I think what he wants to know is, is like, you know, can you show me some specific examples of stuff that is in there?  And, you know, I don’t want to revisit the metrics that we talked about last time.

Conrad Saam: No.

Gyi Tsakalakis: But I think in this context of Power BI and pulling data sources in, here’s some things, I’d be pulling in, right?  Accounting metrics, like if you use QuickBooks online, I’d pull that in.  I’d pull in all the stuff Conrad’s talking about all those front-end marketing metrics, I’d pull in your CRM data for sure.  And then, that’s the great thing.  Something like Power BI you can start layering that data on top of each other.

(00:14:56)

But again, and this is the thing that Conrad pointed out and we deal with this a ton too.  It’s the data hygiene, the data maintenance, it’s keeping all everything working properly.  That’s a whole job.  I mean, there are, you know, companies that just do that.  They just pull the data together, keep the data clean, and so you got to be careful, you know, classic, garbage in garbage out, but I think for most people Conrad’s right, you can be low tech.  You can copy and paste from those various sources into a spreadsheet.  But if you’re more sophisticated, I think for me, it’s really the maintenance and the cleaning and then the insights.

But something like Power BI super, super powerful and Power BI if you get the more data you give it that’s clean, it’ll start actually giving you automated insights and stuff so you can — the AI is learning and it will give you some pretty good insights for doing that.

Conrad Saam: So before we move on, I want to make a — I think the point that the I have missed on this, which is a really good point for everyone who’s listening.  Will is creating his own data.  He’s not relying on his marketing agency to tell him how good his marketing is working.  He’s not relying on a CRM system moot with pre-built graphs, because those systems rarely have all of the things.  So either they rarely have all the things integral in that system in order to create the meaningful business data or (b), and more nefariously, they’re run by scumbag agencies who try and lie to you about how good they’re actually doing, right?  And so, I love this concept that you are building your own data.

On the software side, you mentioned Power BI.  There’s Tableau which is probably overkill and over expense.  That’s kind of one of the most well-known business intelligence and data visualization software out there that’s based in Seattle.

Gyi Tsakalakis:  Looker.

Conrad Saam: Looker, Domo, we use NinjaCat for automated reporting.  So there’s plenty of stuff out there that you can use this for, but I love and I don’t want to miss that, that really important point that he’s running his own data, right?  And I think that’s, that’s an important function that those law firms that are moving from being a lawyer to running a business need to do.

Gyi Tsakalakis: He’s a data company that happens to practice law.

Conrad Saam:  That’s sounds like a, it sounds like the tagline of a CRM software.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Built on Salesforce.

Conrad Saam: All right.

Gyi Tsakalakis: We love getting these comments and questions on YouTube and everywhere else, please do keep them coming.  Thanks again Will and if you do have follow-ups, please do let us know.  Let’s take a break.

[Music]

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Conrad Saam: All right Gyi, last week, we talked about the Clio Legal Trends Report data and one of the things that was very interesting to me where there seemed to be some level of dissonance was the number four thing that people wanted when they were thinking about hiring a lawyer that was important to them, their impact, number four, after things like reviews was alternate billing types, right?  We are not looking for that traditional hourly engagement.  And so that was the fourth most important thing that people are considering when they’re hiring a lawyer and Clio mentioned and I believe their verbiage was only 37% of law firms offer flat fee billing and I bluntly thought 37% was a lot higher than I would have thought.  Nate, you clear kind of talked it down as being only, but I was some level of encouragement about that.

But I wanted to do a little role play here.  Can you play the lawyer who is stuck?  I mean, you have these conversations all the time and I’m having them right now.  You are the lawyer stuck in your hourly rate business model and you do not want to hear about this garbage about flat fee billing, right?

Gyi Tsakalakis: Right. Well, and you know, first of all, we know PI lawyers are like this is a waste of my time because we’re contingency fees, but we’re going to we’re going to talk about transaction, hourly rate billing, different billing model.  I mean it would be interesting.  I don’t I don’t think PI is ripe for disruption or contingency fee, but maybe it is.

Conrad Saam: No, no, well, you know –

Gyi Tsakalakis: I know, I know.  I know you’re going get to, just wait hold your thought.

Conrad Saam:  Wait, all right.

Gyi Tsakalakis:  But, you know, I thought about this even in our conversation about pricing, right?

(00:20:00)

Like, you and I get on this show and we’re like, up inflations up, demands up raise your prices.  You know, the Legal Trends Report says you’re underpriced and, oh, it’s just so easy to go out to all your clients and be like, hey, JK, everything now is 10%, 15%, 25% whatever you’re raising it to higher.  And I think this is true of the business model issue, too, right?  We’re like, oh, yeah, these people don’t want hourly rates, they want to hire lawyers to hire solutions and I’m going to roll play, I’m going to be the lawyer.  So, Conrad, I’ve been doing this for 10,000 years, as it says on my website, in practicing law.

Conrad Saam: Combined experience, baby.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Right.  And we’ve been doing hourly billing for since I can remember.  We’ve been doing hourly billing since when Rome was still the empire of the world.  I don’t even know how to start having these conversations.

Conrad Saam: Right.  So, Gyi, my friendly lawyer, who occasionally do function as my lawyer, which I appreciate.  But on the hourly thing, the reality is the market is moving Gyi.  So, there’s kind of two layers of this.  Number one is the market is moving, and this is an opportunity for you to get ahead of where everyone else is on the hourly billing because people, the consumer does not like the hourly rate.

Gyi Tsakalakis: So, I just go to them and I’m just like, look, how do you want to pay me?  How would you prefer to pay me, consumer?

Conrad Saam: I think that is probably a bad idea, because we actually already know, we already know that the consumer prefers to pay you on a fixed rate, okay?  And there are a couple of things that you need to think about this.  What is the value that you’re bringing to this issue, right?  What is their upside and what is their downside?  And if you want to spend a lot of time Gyi or dear listener, listen to Blair Enns.  He talks a lot about value pricing.  He has his own podcast with David Baker.  But there’s a lot of conversations around value pricing.  But what is the value that you’re delivering?  And the other part of this, one of the big reasons lawyers do not like working on this hourly rate, it’s very hard to scope, right?  So, we’re going to do X, Y, or Z and take family.  Family classically goes from an agreement, a separation agreement, to we’re fighting over the silverware, right?  And it’s really hard to scope that, “hey, we’re going to start fighting over the silverware at the very, very beginning because most people don’t think it’s going to go as badly as it does.”  And so, you need to be able to scope what you’re going to do and put a box around those deliverables because the other component of this and this is what consumers don’t want to pay for.  They don’t want to pay for your unnecessary time, right?  And in changing this model, you’re actually going to become more efficient at delivering those services to your client, because the more —

Gyi Tsakalakis: We hope so.

Conrad Saam: We hope so, right?

Gyi Tsakalakis: Because otherwise, you know.  So again, I’m going to be a skeptical lawyer.

Conrad Saam: Go.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Okay, now I understand what you mean.  So, let us look at the family law context.  You’re saying, all right, I’m going to say, here’s a package of divorce services, and its X thousands of dollars.  No matter how much time, how much or how little time I spend, and the clients going to say, that sounds great because I have predictable, I know how much it is.  Now, there’s another issue that you raise here, which is on my scoping side of the house, I’m like, okay, I know I’m going to be covered if I charge you 50 grand, but I can go online and get my divorce for $500.  And so, you got to distinguish why if it’s your point about the value stuff, why you should spend way more for the lawyer because of all these things that are tied to the perceived value of it.  That’s what you’re saying.

Conrad Saam: The other part of the scope.  And I’ll use family because it’s so obvious to me and it’s such a good example.  If this goes further, like if we come to an agreement with your spouse, your soon to be ex-spouse, and it falls within this package and this is all we need to do is draw some documents and sign them, and we’re good, that’s fine.  But dear client, in many cases that doesn’t happen, in which case we move on to kind of the next phase, and I’m going to do everything I can to get you divorced within this one package.  But if it does escalate, and that’s going to be a function of me and you and your spouse and a lot of history, if it does escalate, we’re going to be talking about a different layer of scope, right?  And in doing so, if you can do that, dear lawyer, if you can do that, you will actually be incentive to solve your client’s problems more efficiently and more to their liking, as opposed to drawing things out on the hourly rate.  Now, I’m not suggesting that some of you deliberately, actually I am suggesting some of you deliberately go out of your way to do unnecessary legal work that doesn’t help your client.  Stop doing that, right?  Deliver more for your client.

(00:25:00)

And this will be a benefit both to you in terms of profitability if you can figure out how to do this more efficiently.  And one of the things that is missing in legal, as you all know, and it is encouraged by the hourly rate, is this lack of efficiency.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah.  And then the other, putting back my skeptical lawyer fees back on, I would say, “But Conrad, I am bound that my fees must be reasonable.  If I charge you, let’s say that I charge you $50,000 for this divorce service and it takes me one-minute.  I just charged you –.”  I don’t like to math a lot.

Conrad Saam: It’s 30 million an hour.

Gyi Tsakalakis: 30 million, wow.  So that’s your MBA, 30 million an hour.

Conrad Saam: I may have moved the zero somewhere, but I think that’s right.

Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s a lot.  That is that a violation of the prohibition on unreasonable fees.  That’s a debate for a different day, but that’s something that you’re going to have to think about and reconcile with your rolls professional conduct.  I don’t think that’s a nonstarter, personally, and I’m not an expert on this area.  So if you are, if you happen to be an expert on our PCs related to fees, #LHElon, we’d love to hear from you.

Conrad Saam: Well, let me play and I will caveat this way.  I am both not a lawyer or an ethicist.  I’m a marketer, which is the worst of all worlds, right?  Maybe not me individually, but come on, we’ve talked about this a lot here.  Anyway, my point is I think you’re probably at much greater risk for over billing for services that are unnecessary than you are for having a high hourly rate for a fixed project that gets solved quickly.  I believe that to be the case and I think the bar associations by and large would agree with that, not to mention so will consumers.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Right.  And then I wanted to bring it back because I told you to put a pin on it, but I was excluding contingency fee lawyers.  But maybe they shouldn’t be excluded because there are market players putting pressure on PI lawyers now.

Conrad Saam: Well, so this is I mean — I appreciate the bringing back around.  The question is and the PI lawyers, this is very much not a part of what they talk about and perhaps that will change.  Our shoppers of PI services going to become price sensitive.  There’s a company law firm called Mighty that is stunning its nose at much of the PI industry, suggesting that that is the case, right?  And I think it remains a question.  The internet will bring more information to everyone over time.  Whether or that not information is good and correct and accurate CC to do your own research people, but people are spending more time on the internet, they will start to realize that personal injury there is a price to personal injury, right?  And when those price pressures become relevant, I don’t know.  We might not be there yet in terms of what consumers are looking for, I don’t see that as persisting.  People will become increasingly intelligent about the price implications of hiring a different personal injury lawyer.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, they haven’t really had yet, so the market, they haven’t really had another option.  It’s very rare.  So, raise my hand.  I used to be a former plaintiff side PI lawyer and I think it’s very rare that you get PI firms competing on reducing their contingency fee.

Conrad Saam: Absolutely.  And it’s probably one out of a thousand where the client asks about it.

Gyi Tsakalakis: There’s an interesting thing, is that antitrust?  Is that price fixing?  That all of the PI lawyers have agreed to the same rate?

Conrad Saam: Interesting.  collusion brought to you by Lunch Hour Legal Marketing.

Gyi Tsakalakis: That probably not.  But anyway, point being, is it the lack of market?  Will consumers — I’ll say this my hunch is, yes, they will.  Because we already know they’re shopping for lawyers in general, right?  Like, this is the thing that lawyers can’t stand in general, but plaintiff’s lawyers in particular, they didn’t sign up.  They’re talking to five different lawyers.  Like what?

Conrad Saam: I think there’s more lack of self-awareness on that.  It is everyone signs up that I talk to, and yet we know that consumers are talking to lots of lawyers.  So mathematically, you are wrong.

Gyi Tsakalakis: I’ve heard the calls — I’ve heard the calls were literally the potential clients, like I’m going to have — to get back to you because I’m talking to three other lawyers today, let me tell you what’s happening.  So, my hunch is that it’s like I’m talking to three other lawyers today, and they’re offering 10% less fee.  Chances are they are probably going to go that direction.

(00:30:01)

Conrad Saam: And the response, and I’ve seen this because I’ve looked at a lot of the responses to mighty has been, you get what you pay for, right?  And I’m this amazing lawyer and you’re going to be missing out by taking the low-cost provider, right?  That’s the counterpoint to price, to the race to the bottom.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Ironically, I am the best lawyer to ever do this and I’m charging no more than the worst lawyer who does it, right?  Because I’m charging the same fee.  Now they’re going to say, well, I can get a better result, so my fee is bigger, right?  That’s what they’re going to argue.

Conrad Saam: So, your winnings are bigger, right?

Gyi Tsakalakis: Right.  Your winnings are bigger.

Conrad Saam: That’s the point, right?  And that’s the roll the dice that the client is taking with the lawyer selection.  All right, let’s move on from insulting the personal injury industry.  We’ve now been uninvited to all of the speaking events for PI lawyers.  Let’s talk about the legal transport Gyi.  What do we have?

Gyi Tsakalakis: Let’s do it.  And now it is time for the Legal Trends Report minute, brought to you by our good friends at Clio.  What do lawyers with great client relationships all have in common?  They use Cloud based legal practice management software to run their law firms.  There’s no getting around it.  The fact is, when it comes to client expectations, standards are higher than ever for lawyers.  Proof is in the numbers, 88% of lawyers using Cloud based software report good relationships with clients.  For firms not in the cloud, barely half can say the same.  That gap is significant, and that also seems like very correlative versus causative, no?  Conrad?

Conrad Saam: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing as you read it.  And what Gyi is saying here is if you haven’t gotten to a Cloud based CRM system for your clients, it is an indicator of the sickness within your law firm that you really don’t care much about your clients.  Because if you did, you would be going out of your way to make it easy to stay in touch and communicate with them.  I kind of painted that in a really negative light.  But frankly, that’s what this means.  Like, get on its people.  Communication is important.  Responsiveness is important.  Being able to stay on top of multiple relationships is important.  You cannot do this outside of CRM.  You just can’t, right?  You don’t with Excel, et cetera, but it’s hard.

Gyi Tsakalakis: The thing is too, I remember when I first switched from practicing to starting this marketing thing, the resistance, the story was technology tools, they don’t help you be a better lawyer.  I’m a great lawyer and I use my pen and a yellow pad and that’s it.  But the thing that we said then and we say today, and I think this is in fairness to the practice, a lot more lawyers have jumped on the bandwagon.  The thing that lawyers that think that about the I’m a great lawyer, I don’t need technology, they might be right in terms of actually practicing law.  They might be right in terms of actually winning trials.  I would disagree with that.  But we — they don’t need any trial technology.  They’re doing it.  They’re just great at it.

Okay, I agree with you.  What you’re not getting, though, is we’re talking about the service aspect, we’re talking about the part that Conrad is mentioning responsiveness and this is the irony.  There are lawyers that think that responsiveness has nothing to do with practicing law.  This is true.  But again, it doesn’t matter what you think.  It’s what your clients think, right?  And again, here’s an obvious example.  Look at negative reviews on Google.  You know what so many of them say?  They didn’t respond to me.  So, you might be the best lawyer, but it literally is published now on the internet forever that you are unresponsive and your former clients are looking at that and saying, I don’t care if you’re the best lawyer in town, or maybe I do care, but man, I’m very frustrated to have to rely on you because you never Tellme anything about what’s going on.

Conrad Saam: Get this from CRM software.

Gyi Tsakalakis: For more information on how Cloud software creates better client relationships, download Clio’s Legal Trends Report for free at clio.com/trends.  That’s Clio spelled C-L-I-O.com/trends.  Moving on to our new segment.

Conrad Saam: Your favorite book Gyi, tell us.

Gyi Tsakalakis: My favorite book.  Are you surprised that this is the book that I was going to review, Conrad?

Conrad Saam: I do not.

(00:35:00)

Let’s talk about pandering.  We’re going to make sure that David C. Baker gets copied on every single opportunity we can.

Gyi Tsakalakis: You were fan personing, and now I’m going to fan person.

Conrad Saam: Yup, go.  Go after Baker, and a little bit of background.  Baker does not work in the legal industry.  So, it’s interesting that you pick up a non-legal person as your favorite business book.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, it’s my favorite business book.  This is just a book that I really love, and Baker is an author and speaker that I really love.  But to Conrad’s point, Baker works with mostly small creative agencies, people like Conrad and I.  However, the book, ‘The Business of Expertise’ by David C. Baker, which is what I’m reviewing, is really talking about selling expertise, which is exactly what lawyers do and the crossover, well, you’re laughing.

Conrad Saam: I was just thinking about our last conversation about the South Carolina bar and expertise.com.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Right.  You can’t say that you’re an expert.

Conrad Saam: Right.

Gyi Tsakalakis: But that is what you’re selling.

Conrad Saam: So, this episode of Launch Legal Marketing, not brought to you by any bar association, but read the book, ‘The Business of Expertise.’

Gyi Tsakalakis: ‘The Business of Expertise’, and a couple takeaways when we talk about — I mean, it’s about — a big part of the book is about positioning, but he hits a lot of this stuff not surprisingly because I am such a fan.  You’ll see a lot of stuff in there that you’re like, oh, I think maybe Gyi had said that, but I’d give all credit to Baker.  And so in the law, they say people say niche.  People say niching down or the riches are in the niches and I think that’s certainly part of it.  But we still see this happen all the time were like, “What do you do?  I’m a personal injury lawyer.  Well, there’s no positioning there.”  “What do you do?  I’m a family law lawyer.”  There’s no positioning at all versus, obvious one would be like, I’m a father’s rights family lawyer handling just custody cases in Chicago.  That’s better positioning.

He’s got a bunch of different examples of how to test your positioning, check out the book, five-star review from Gyi.  There’s a bunch of stuff, too, in there.  Like, I think that will philosophically help lawyers understand that they’re actually selling expertise and not lumber.  Also, I think the other thing that’s safe I should qualify this because, again, I’m fan personing, but it really applies to entrepreneurs who sell expertise, right?  So, if you’re a lawyer at a firm that’s not in charge of the positioning, the marketing and the business development and that kind of stuff, it will have less applicability.  I still think there are some takeaways for you.  But if you’re hanging your own shingle, if you’re out there on your own trying to position yourself in a corroded legal market, this book is for you, go get it.  Read it.  If you don’t take my word for it, you want a taste?  Go check out expertise.is.  I think that’s the companion site.

Conrad Saam: Yeah, expertise.is.  You get some good stuff there.

Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s my review.  I don’t know what else is supposed to be in a book report.

Conrad Saam: You were going to read us a passage to put us to bed towards the end.

Gyi Tsakalakis: Should I write a passage? All right.

Conrad Saam: Do you write in your books?

Gyi Tsakalakis: I do.

Conrad Saam: This one I haven’t written.

Gyi Tsakalakis: I got a lot of dog ear pages.  Actually, you know what I’m going to do?  I’m going to read something from the website.  The three foundational chapters form the basis of the entire book, experts develop insight by isolating patterns and data.  See, lawyers are going to hear them and be like, what?  No, I don’t like, oh, yeah, you do.  They convert those insights to wealth by crafting a unique positioning for which few available substitutes exist.  That’s the key.  You are positioning yourself as one of the very few options.  It’s not fungible.  Expertise is not like lumber.  You can’t swap it out, and their confidence grows as the marketplace embraces their application of expertise.  I mean, that is it folks.

Conrad Saam: And to bring it full circle, we were talking about value pricing earlier.  Baker’s books expensive, because there’s value in it, right?  It is a fixed price.  If you look at your normal books, Bakers is going to be more expensive because there’s so much value in it.  That is value pricing in a nutshell.

[Music]

Conrad Saam: With that gushing towards David C. Baker, Gyi and I are going to try and salvage what remains of our dignity and bid you adieu for another two weeks.  We’ll see you later.

Outro: Thank you for listening to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing.  If you’d like more information about what you heard today, please visit legaltalknetwork.com.  Subscribe via Apple, Podcasts and RSS.  Follow Legal Talk Network on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

(00:40:09)

Gyi Tsakalakis: And I’m going to try to stare right at you.

Conrad Saam: In a creepy fashion?  Can someone walk in and slap Gyi because he does look like — he looks like a cross between the Greek God and the monsters.  All right, ready?

Gyi Tsakalakis: That was underhanded.

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