The Disappointing Life of Collection Carol. 4 years ago

Be the Compass, Not the Collection Agent

Let’s talk about Carol. As an attorney, you hired Carol to be your office assistant, the face and voice of your practice. Carol is the first person who interacts with the public in your name. She’s sweet and friendly, but also strong and businesslike. She can do almost anything. What Carol is not – is a pit bull. Carol is not exactly what you might call an enforcer or your collections agent. When you give Carol the task to chase money from people she makes the calls, but she secretly hates this part of the job. 

Recently, iQualify Lending ran the numbers on a lawyer who’s been using the Fortify software. We collected over 110 contracts and averaged 95 cents on the dollar. When their Collection Carol was doing the job, she was getting paid 74 cents on the dollar. Imagine Carol as the CEO of a bank, whose job it is to create and collect on loans from clients. If you can’t see her as that person, then why do you have her doing that job?! If you went to a financial institution and said, “I have a plan to collect 74 cents on the dollar for all the money we lend…” you would be laughed out of the bank. But that is how we run our law practices: a fire sale every day. 

If you wouldn’t trust Carol to run the bank, why would you trust her to collect your money?

This is a problem that plagues many law practices and keeps them from being as successful as they should. You cannot be both collection agent and council to the same client. These jobs are at odds with each other. As council, you need to be a client’s compass…their guide through the confusing and intimidating legal world. You need to give your clients what they’re looking for in a lawyer: 

  1. easy to hire
  2. good communication
  3. clear direction
  4. outcome delivered as promised

Remove yourself from the collection process. Give your clients what they want: an affordable way to pay an expert to win their case. 

Nobody wants to be Shakedown Jimmy, either. 

“The client that can’t or won’t pay you money at the beginning of the case, is the same client that won’t pay you at the end of the case.” — Jay Foonberg

Everyone hates confrontation. If the client says “I don’t have the money” you’re stumped because chances are, you weren’t trained in negotiating payments. The worst-case scenario for many lawyers winds up playing out on the big day in court. You tell your client they still owe you money, they say they don’t have it. You tell them to at least bring you something or you’re not showing up to court tomorrow (Now, there is no way to actually hold anyone accountable without repercussions, because if I’m an attorney and I file a claim against someone who owes me money and they countersue, I have to tell my insurance company and my liability insurance goes up). You show up to courthouse steps and they’ve brought you $500, hardly the $2000 balance they owe, but at least it’s something. Now your client is nervous because they owe you money and YOU are the one who is supposed to be fighting for them. It’s a terrible spot for both lawyer and client. It’s a horrible way to do business. 

Attorneys just accept this and write it off as “it is what it is”. It doesn’t have to be. 

iQualify Lending is more than just financing…it’s a lifestyle change for how you get paid. 

You should never be touching another piece of plastic or taking a check for any reason other than a down payment or holding retainer. Fortify, by iQuailfy allows you to get back to being the compass and not the collector. Fortify allows you to present payment plans in a way that makes it simple for clients to say yes – to hiring you. And because we offer true retainer financing plans and manage all of your in-house payment plans – you can get paid in full more often without any of the headaches of chasing clients for money.

Using Fortify by iQualify is the easiest way to get hired, get paid, and get out of the collection business once and for all. With iQualify you are out of the collection business, you’re not part of the financial transaction, and you can be there just for them, building trust, guiding them, through scary and uncharted waters. And Carol? She can hang up her collections hat once and for all. And with all the extra money we are collecting for you, maybe you can finally afford to give Carol that much-needed raise!

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