Last week, top PI attorneys from around the country joined us in Nashville, TN for Xcelerate Your Average Fee 2023. Throughout the conference, we talked through the specific steps that attorneys can take to maximize case value and ensure that they are getting the absolute best result for their clients. By implementing these processes, the attorneys of Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have led to a 400% increase in average fees. If you were unable to join us in Nashville, read on for a few top takeaways that you can incorporate into your personal injury practice.
Growing The Distance Between Cost Per Case and Average Fee Is Key
We often hear attorneys discuss a desire to get their cost-per-case down. Given the fact that markets are getting more competitive and leads and cases are getting more and more expensive each year, this is understandable. However, if you only focus on getting the cost per case down, you might end up with lower-quality leads and not as much to work with, something that will hurt the firm’s bottom line. Similarly, if you focus on increasing average fee but allow your true cost-per-case to rise exponentially, higher fees will not be as beneficial to your profit.
Your average fee should be at least 5x more than your true cost-per-case. True cost-per-case is your average cost-per-case, adjusted to remove cases that close without a fee. So, if your average cost-per-case is $2,000 but you only close 75% of your cases with a fee, you need to divide $2,000 by 75%. This would leave you with a true cost-per-case of $2,667. Furthermore, it is much easier to add $1,000 to average closed fee than it is to knock $1,000 off of the true cost-per-case. So, if your ratio is out of whack, we recommend that you start by implementing the Xcelerate Your Average Fee ten-step process. This process is full of no-cost changes that can make a huge difference in results. If you’re interested in learning more about this process or private coaching, reach out to us at email@example.com.
Two crucial parts of the Xcelerate Your Average Fee process are ranking attorneys and ranking cases. Having systems in place to put both cases and attorneys into tiers ensures that the right attorneys are matched with the right cases and that your team is spending the right amount of time on cases. Furthermore, it encourages attorneys to think critically about cases from the onset and to work to investigate things that might otherwise be overlooked. The goal should always be to get the cases with the highest potential to the attorneys with the most skill and to then support their efforts with your best resources.
Each and every attorney at your firm should know their rating. Furthermore, this should be reviewed and discussed on a quarterly basis. We recommend that you start by having a process in place to rank cases as they come into the firm. To learn more about ranking cases based on expected settlement value, check out our recent blog post, “Case Value Blog One: Identifying Settlement Value.”
The Art of Lawyering is Communication
Working with an attorney can be incredibly intimidating for many clients, especially if it is their first experience in a legal situation. Building rapport with your client is one of the best ways that you can prove that they are worthy of a big verdict. A strong relationship is built off of consistent and meaningful communication, starting from the onset of the case.
Especially in depositions, it is critical that you make your client feel at ease and do all that you can to calm their nerves. Here are three tips from Attorney Ross LeBlanc that we found especially helpful:
- Listen actively: Mirror what the client says to show that you are paying attention and care about their story.
- Show the client you have nothing more important to do: Take off your Apple Watch and put your phone on “do not disturb.” These things may seem minor, but if you’re glancing down at notifications while a client is telling you their story, they’ll notice. When working with a client, you need to give them your undivided attention.
- 80% of all communication is non-verbal: Make sure your body language tells the client that you are listening and that you care about what they have to say.
Join Us At Our Next Event!
We hope that you find these takeaways from Xcelerate Your Average Fee as helpful as we did. If you missed this one, don’t worry: we have an exciting upcoming event!
This September, the Xcelerator team is headed to Las Vegas to host an event unlike any other in the Personal Injury industry: Xcelerate Your Profitability. Over two and a half days, we’ll be walking through every single report that you need to build and run your law firm. We’ll be providing attendees with tried-and-true knowledge that we’ve built from decades of experience working with law firms around the country. You do not want to miss out on this event! To get your name on the list, click here.