Michael Chasin is CEO of Lexicata, a CRM and client intake software designed to help law firms and lawyers...
Adriana Linares is a law practice consultant and legal technology coach. After several years at two of Florida’s largest...
Client Relationship Management, or CRM, is a strategy implemented in business to maintain effective knowledge about and connections with your current, previous, and potential clients. Using technology, employees are able to nurture relationships with their clients by tracking conversions and setting notifications. But many lawyers, especially solos and small firm lawyers, aren’t using CRMs; they don’t know the potential value of these systems or even what they are. So why should attorneys bother learning about CRMs?
In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares discusses CRMs with Michael Chasin, co-founder and CEO of Lexicata, a law firm CRM and client intake software. Michael talks about the foundation of Lexicata and how it has helped many lawyers find and convert leads. He then explains how CRMs can help solo and small firm lawyers with client intake as well as marketing. By touching base with potential clients, we can create a positive, brag-worthy experience. In this way, clients will return with future legal needs and can also become great referral sources. Michael discusses how the right CRM can automate a significant part of this process, making your client feel attended to without taking up too much of your time. He finishes the podcast by talking about how lawyers should go about choosing the right CRM to build a foundation for the future of their solo practices.
Michael Chasin is CEO of Lexicata, a CRM and client intake software designed to help law firms and lawyers increase client satisfaction. Michael is also co-founder of both LawKick.com and Lexicata.com. He has his B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship from the University of North Carolina, and his J.D./M.B.A. from Loyola Law School.
CRM: Using Client Relationship Management in Your Law Firm
Intro: So you are an attorney and you have decided to go out on your own, now what? You need a plan and you are not alone. Join expert host Adriana Linares and her distinguished guests on New Solo. Tune into the lively conversation as they share insights and information about how to successfully run your law firm, here on Legal Talk Network.
Adriana Linares: Hello and welcome to New Solo on the Legal Talk Network. I am Adriana Linares. I am a Legal Technology Consultant and Trainer for about the past 18 or so years. I have been helping lawyers and law firms use technology better.
Today we are going to be talking with Michael Chasin of Lexicata and talking about CRM. For those of you who don’t know what a CRM is, we are going to make sure and tell you, and for those of you who have been wondering if a CRM is something your firm might be able to use, maybe you will know a little bit better after this show.
But before I introduce Michael, I want to make sure and thank our sponsors, Solo Practice University at HYPERLINK “http://www.solopracticeuniversity.com” solopracticeuniversity.com, and of course Clio, a great web-based practice management program that you should most certainly check out.
Solo Practice University is a great place for solos old and new to go and learn about how to better run their practice, and of course Clio, as I mentioned, is a web-based practice management program that is one of my personal favorites as a consultant, so I hope you go check them out.
Michael Chasin: Hey Adriana! How is it going?
Adriana Linares: It’s going great. Where are you today?
Michael Chasin: I am here at the offices in Los Angeles, finally got a lot of the traveling off my back so I get to actually hang out at home for a little bit.
Adriana Linares: That’s cool because I am in Orlando, so it’s kind of like a left coast, right coast recording today.
Michael Chasin: I like to call it least coast and best coast, but we can go with left and right.
Adriana Linares: Okay, nice, that’s good. Well, what does Jason always say, he says, we will split the difference.
Michael Chasin: There you go, sounds fair to me, we can go ahead and put the baby in the water.
Adriana Linares: That’s right. So listen, you and I met, do you remember where we met?
Michael Chasin: That had to have been at, what, Above the Law Practice Seminar in New York back in probably like March of 2015.
Adriana Linares: That’s right. That was cool. That was their CONVERGE Conference that they did early 2015, and you were there, I was there, and you said something about a CRM and I started to giggle and I said, a CRM, law firms and lawyers don’t want to hear about CRMs, and we just kind of launched a new conversation about how, I told you years ago it was very hard to walk into a law firm, especially when they were a little bit smaller and be able to talk about things like knowledge management, client relationship management, and they certainly didn’t like the words marketing very much back then, and they definitely didn’t, and probably still don’t like training that much.
But a lot of that has changed recently and I think your product Lexicata has come on to the market, as what I have been referring to a lot lately as, as the newest darling in law practice management.
So why don’t you tell us a little bit about what Lexicata is and then I am going to ask you a couple of questions about how you came up with the idea and your history, but tell us a little bit about Lexicata and yourself first.
Michael Chasin: Yeah. So basically I have a background in legal and business, kind of came from the world of entrepreneurship. I was always starting my own businesses and whatnot. I have a JD-MBA from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, that’s where I met my business partner there; he was going to law school as well.
And basically Lexicata, what we are is a CRM, and for those of you who don’t know what a CRM stands for, it’s contact or client relationship management, so we are a hybrid between a CRM and a client intake software. So not only do we want to be there to help manage your contacts and manage your leads, but we also want to help actually intake them into your law firm too.
And we can talk about kind of the history of CRMs and why they really haven’t been adopted in the legal industry historically, but basically what we want to do is make the retention process super simple, super easy, super streamlined and super organized, not only for the law firm, but for the client as well.
So we are hell-bent on creating a great experience for our firm, but also creating a good experience for the clients as well, which has kind of been lackluster, to say the least, in the legal industry for the last thousands of years.
Adriana Linares: Hundreds of years, yeah, no, it’s true. Little law firms, small law firms and even mid-sized firms didn’t really have CRMs. I mean, there is always sort of a do-it-yourself system that a lawyer can use, but big firms had, and they would spend thousands, tens of thousands of dollars on very sophisticated CRM systems and they would — I can’t remember the name of the one product, because it never worked. They would hire me to go train, man, even if I could remember it, I don’t think I would say it out loud, because it was so terrible.
And I remember just going and thinking, why do law firms continue to try and shove this crappy product down the throats of these lawyers, they are just never going to use it, and it’s not because I don’t think lawyers would use it, but it was really a hard product to use and understand and I really respect a lot of today’s technology and practice management tools and services that have turned that experience into something that almost any lawyer can figure out, but also really enjoy using. And I think certainly, in my experience with looking at Lexicata, that’s what I have seen.
So tell me a little bit about how you guys came up with the idea and why you are so hell bent on making it a good experience? I think when we talk to startups, especially young entrepreneurs like you and your partner Aaron, the perspective that you bring into how to develop these products with a fresh mind and totally fresh ideas is really interesting and important to the development of these tools.
Michael Chasin: So I think — so first kind of how we got there and then I will kind of address like why we are so hell-bent on the customer experience, but how we got here was kind of interesting. My business partner and I, again, we are both kind of entrepreneurs at heart. He came from the world of kind of building apps and games, so he is an amazing eye for design and was kind of more embedded in the tech side of things than I was.
We used to play basketball. We were friends in law school and we just sat down one day and I found out he was doing apps on the side and I told him about my history of like building businesses, and we said, let’s start something together and basically what made sense to us was doing something in the legal field.
Basically what happened was in law school we had all these friends who were lawyers but not quite lawyers yet and then we had all these friends who kept asking us for referrals to lawyers, but we didn’t really know anyone and we are like, if we don’t know anyone and we are in law school, then how is anyone else finding lawyers.
So basically what we did was we built almost like an Airbnb or like an oDesk or an eBay, so to speak, a marketplace for law firms. So basically all you had to do was fill out a short intake form, a questionnaire about your legal issue and then lawyers in that practice area and jurisdiction would send you basically price quotes, if applicable.
Hey, I will do this for a flat rate. I will do this for an hourly rate. I will do this for a contingency fee and everyone had — all the ratings were pulled into the platform and all this kind of cool stuff. And it was really useful and a lot of people got a lot of value out of that. That’s HYPERLINK “http://www.lawkick.com” lawkick.com, it still runs and we still have that as part of our network.
But we figured out the biggest problem was that two things happened. One, lawyers weren’t willing to pay for the leads because they weren’t actually converting the clients. And two, the clients were really unhappy because they would come through a tech website, find a lawyer and then the lawyer would have a really crappy experience. They would ask them to come in the office, they would send them paper forms, they would have to download things.
The analogy I give is kind of like walking into an Uber, taking the Uber and then the Uber driver asking you to pay with cash at the end of the Uber ride. It’s like, well, why did I take this Uber, it makes no sense at all. You don’t have that convenient seamless experience.
So basically what we did was kind of the traditional pivot from a startup sense is, we asked all of our users, hey, it seems like you are having trouble converting these people and they are not happy, if we built something for you that would kind of help you do this, would you use it? And basically like 80% of our users; I think we had like maybe 600 or 700 lawyers at the time on there, and they all basically with open arms said, yes, I would love to use something like that.
So basically we started with just intake forms and e-signatures, that’s it, and then as we got better and better at that, our law firms would say, hey, I love this, but it’s only allowing me to track from step 2, which is once they are ready to sign up or they are already talking to me, I want to track them from step 1, and basically a light bulb went off in our heads like, this is where case management has gone all wrong, it’s great at what it does, but it completely neglects and ignores the whole first part of the lawyer-client relationship, which is from the first time you are introduced to them, to the time you retain them, and that’s kind of how we have become a hybrid between a CRM and a client intake software, because not only do we want to intake them, but we want to track them before they are ready to be intaked.
Adriana Linares: Which is an interesting workflow; it’s not new to law firms, I mean that’s what law firms have always done, that’s what lawyers have always done, procure the client, secure the client, start working for the client, but they don’t think of it in a systematic way the way you guys did.
Michael Chasin: Yeah, exactly, and I think that’s kind of where we are getting the most headway in the industry, and we can talk about this in a little bit more detail, because it’s something I am really passionate about, but also something that I think is really important to understand why CRMs haven’t been adopted. And so basically we —
Adriana Linares: Yeah, tell me what you heard, like when you walked around and talked to clients and friends and lawyers and said, why haven’t these worked, what were the answers that they gave you?
Michael Chasin: Yes, so we integrate with Clio and we just did a webinar with Clio yesterday, and a lot of it what it went through was going through the product and talking about CRMs and client intake softwares and things that you can use.
And even after that people would reach out and be like, I don’t need a CRM, I don’t have volume, or I don’t need a CRM, I don’t do marketing, or I don’t need a CRM, I only take referrals. Okay, great, but they are missing the point.
Adriana Linares: Well, except for when it comes to the holiday season and they want to send out a card, and now all of a sudden that CRM that they didn’t need, they wished they had, and it’s every end of October, in every single law firm on this planet, they have that problem. So it’s hard to find a lawyer who can actually say, I don’t need a CRM.
Michael Chasin: Right, especially because when it comes down to it, if you are getting all your leads from referrals, you should be nurturing those referral sources. And also they are missing the point that like it’s very shortsighted to say I don’t need a CRM, because all that means is all I care about is what’s sitting in front of me, not what the future holds.
People don’t think about when they are setting — I get solos all the time that have come through, and this is a solo podcast so it’s perfect, so I get solos all the time that say, hey, this is great, but I won’t need this for 6 or 12 months until I start hiring someone, but again, they are missing the point. They need to focus on building processes from step one.
There are so many businesspeople that you will talk to; lawyers, legal technology people, whatever it may be who will say like, if I can go back and do it again, I would have set up better foundations, because it’s a lot easier.
Any lawyer will tell you this too, it’s a lot easier to build an operating agreement or a will or whatever it may be right the first time, it’s going to cost you 10 times more and 10 times more time to go back and revise it and have to fix something that’s kind of broken.
So it’s the same thing, build your technologies, build your processes and build your firms — build everything around your firm as if you are a big firm, not just assuming you are going to be a solo for six months.
Adriana Linares: I think a lot of misunderstandings or misconceptions is that the terms that we use when we are trying — like you used the word “nurturing”, that’s a very typical term in a marketing world, in a sales world, lawyers don’t know what that means, because a lot of us — a lot of them, remember, I am not a lawyer, so when I say “us”, I mean the collective good, but a lot of them haven’t gone through marketing classes and training classes and sales classes. They are lawyers and they are serving clients and they are trying to do a good job, and they are trying to survive.
So I think if you could take a couple of moments to just describe sort of what — and here is another thing I know turns lawyers off too, but I hear this a lot with startups, and it’s like the sales cycle. Lawyers do not like to hear the words “sales cycle”. And you know what, I don’t either. I am a consultant, and I have clients, not customers, just like lawyers do, and so for me, I always have to remember to just twist my brain a little bit and go, all right, yes, Adriana, you are a consultant, you have clients, but you have to apply these terms in a way that is comfortable for lawyers and consultants sometimes.
So why don’t you take just a minute and sort of describe the client intake process, which that’s a term that’s comfortable and they like and compare it to a sales cycle, which is I think a lot of what you are trying to get lawyers to understand is important.
Michael Chasin: Yeah. So I mean, I think the phrase, that might be a little off, yes, I think it’s important for them to understand a sales cycle; I don’t think it’s necessarily necessary for them to necessarily implement a sales cycle.
Obviously, there’s a no one-size-fits-all approach. A solo practitioner who does appellate work is probably not going to have a huge need for an intake software versus someone who does criminal defense in a volume sense.
So obviously with the caveat said, so we are lawyers, all we do is caveats and disclaimers, so I am basically saying that —
Adriana Linares: Yeah, cover your ass.
Michael Chasin: Yeah, exactly, there is no one-size-fits-all approach; you have to figure out what works for you, what your goals for your firm are, what you are trying to accomplish.
So what I think people just need to focus on, and I think the easiest way that I always compare sales is kind of like it’s like a relationship with your significant other. You have to sell yourself. You have to get to know them. Relationships aren’t built overnight. It takes work. It takes effort. It takes energy and it takes outreach.
So don’t expect to walk in, meet someone at an event, exchange cards with them and then all of a sudden they start sending you hundreds of thousands dollars of business, or don’t expect for you to get on a phone with someone, they need a lawyer to draft their well, and then within two minutes of talking to you they are going to be sold on hiring you.
So there’s a couple of things to take into consideration, couple of statistics. Number one, the number one factor why clients decide to or to not hire a lawyer is based on trust. So trust is a really important thing that I recommend that you build into your whether or not you call it a “sales cycle” or an intake cycle. Trust is extremely important, that’s something that we really found on LawKick was having, not necessarily a suit and tie picture, but having just nice, like business casual picture actually went a longer way towards conversion, because they made them more approachable and trustworthy.
Also, there is something in sales called The Law of Seven, which they say on average it takes seven interactions between you and a potential client to get them to build trust in you. So those two things, trust factor and Law of Seven.
So there are a couple of things that I would say, most importantly is don’t make it an impersonal process, make it very personal, make it very warm.
I am writing a blog for the ABA right now that’s titled ‘Why the Modern Law Firm Should Act like a Spa.’ And I basically talk about like, when you walk in you should have like — if it’s a hot day out, have a cold or wet towel that you hand them, give them a bottle of water, have some nice music in the background, give them comfortable stuff to do.
Adriana Linares: Certainly. It’s like when I get upgraded to first class on Delta, they hand me a warm towel. I am so happy. What would I like to drink, Ms. Linares; they know my name.
Michael Chasin: Exactly, right? Not only are you happier with the experience, but you are okay paying more. We already charge so much as legal services; we can spend an extra $3 a client and have a way better experience, why not do it. So that’s one of the things.
And then also, just making sure that you are constantly communicating to them. So again the misnomer of like the sales cycle is you don’t necessarily have to be marketing or selling people, but even having little ticklers and feelers out there like, hey, thanks so much for scheduling your consultation, here’s a blog you can read that kind of will get you up to speed about what you should know about when you get your — now that we are going to talk about your DUI tomorrow, here’s what to expect and here’s a blog that you can read. Or here’s a reminder for your appointment, or hey, now that you have been into the consultation, here’s what the next steps are going to look like, setting expectations.
So there’s going to be different levels of “sales” for different peoples depending on what your practices and what your goals are, but again, you shouldn’t just look at it as, the client walks in the office, they sign a document, they leave, I do their work and that’s it. People need to start looking at themselves as businesses who are law firms rather than law firms who happen to be a business.
Adriana Linares: And in the defense of many attorneys and law firms, there are some out there that are masters at this.
Michael Chasin: Oh yeah, oh unbelievable.
Adriana Linares: Like total masters. I always appreciate when I see those. I am not going to say it’s all of them, it’s definitely not, but the ones that understand that and do nurture that relationship from the very beginning and throughout, I mean, you have got a client for life there, and you have got a client that is going to refer you a lot of work, which is what we are looking for, if you have a type of law practice that has a very short shelf life, for example, or matters that have a pretty short shelf life.
Listen, before we move on to our next segment I am going to take a quick break to hear a message from our fabulous sponsors.
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Adriana Linares: Welcome back to New Solo. I am Adriana Linares and with me today is Michael Chasin from Lexicata. Lexicata is what I lovingly refer to as the newest darling in the practice management world, as far as technology goes, it’s a client relationship manager. Did you call it a client or a customer relationship manager or it doesn’t matter?
Michael Chasin: I guess it kind of depends on what the law firm wants to counter sales; client, contact, I mean really what it stands for is contact.
Adriana Linares: So it can be client, contact or customer.
Michael Chasin: Yeah, exactly, it’s mostly contact though.
Adriana Linares: Well, good. When we left off we were sort of talking about the importance of lawyers or law firms, just thinking about nurturing relationships from start to finish and then continuing, I think this is maybe where we can go on with the conversation is continuing that relationship in a positive way even after the matter has been closed, right?
Michael Chasin: Absolutely. I think this is the biggest oversight and the most amount of money that’s left on the table by law firms, not only around the country, but around the world, because this is pretty consistent throughout. And especially if you are a new solo, this is the easiest way to build your practice without having to spend more money.
So they say — so if you — they do Harvard Business Review case studies on this and they say on average it takes 10 times more money or more resources to sign a new client than it does to keep an existing client. So because they are in the door, you want to make sure that you nurture those relationships.
So for instance, you draft a will for someone, so this is one example, you draft a will for someone, most people say, hey, thanks, you drafted a will, okay, great. Peace out, I am done. I don’t need to work with you anymore. I got my $50 or $100, I am good to go. Maybe I will keep you on a mailing list or something like that. No good.
What you should do is do some — one, you should make them feel like you cared about them. Six months later, hey, hope everything is going well with your family. I knew you had a baby on the way, hope everything is happy and healthy. How is everything going? Just follow up with them.
Keep in mind, you can set up these types of things through CRMs and mailing softwares and stuff, so you don’t necessarily have to manually do this, you just have to set up —
Adriana Linares: Well, and you shouldn’t manually do it.
Michael Chasin: No, you shouldn’t.
Adriana Linares: I mean, I think that’s part of — the point of — unless you really enjoy it. I know, I have a couple of great lawyer friends who, I mean, they love this part of their relationship management, but most lawyers I don’t think are necessarily like that. And there are certainly automated ways and tools and services to keep those relationships moving and just remind your past customers, hey, don’t forget I am out here, if you or anybody you know needs a lawyer. I think it’s such a smart and easy thing to do.
Michael Chasin: But it’s not just about just, hey, refer me to other people, while I think that works, I think it’s a little insincere and I think people look through it. What I always recommend is giving them some sort of value.
So let’s go back to that example with the estate plan. Set a follow up for yourself. Hey Adriana, it has been 12 months since we drafted your will, hope everything is well. Life gets crazy. I know you are in a really pivotal time of your life, you are probably acquiring new assets and opening new bank accounts and investing in new properties, I want to make sure that everything is protected. I was not just here for you 12 months ago; I am here for you through the rest of your life. Come in for a free consultation, we will sit down for 20 minutes, or let’s hop on a call and just discuss things and see maybe there are some other things that need protection.
They look at it as like, wow, this guy is really nice. He is thinking about me. He cares about me. He is giving me a free consultation. But really, obviously, everyone, as I always say, if it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense. If you are on the phone with them and they say, yeah, I did just buy a house, and say, okay, great, well, we need to revise your will. This is my hourly rate. It will take me two hours to do it, let’s get this in there and make sure that your will is protected.
And then boom, that one email that you set up a year ago that literally took you a half a second to create or to put into the workflow now just generated an extra $500. Not only that, but that guy or that girl likes you a whole lot more than they did before and then now that’s a more natural referral where they say, hey, my guy is the best, nobody — everyone says like, oh, you need to try this restaurant or you need to go to this doctor, or this chiropractor, or this lawyer, everyone wants to be able to tell their friends I have got the best guy and be like the authority figure. You need to go to this guy or this woman or this person or whoever it may be, and if you are that person to them, they will be your biggest sounding board to get you more clients.
So it’s not just about, hey, think about me for referrals, because again, that’s very like, I think of almost not dirty, but I think of a not necessarily organic way of doing things.
Adriana Linares: Well, and I think — I do too, I completely agree with you, but I think just staying top of mind for people and an occasional little blip on the radar is really what we are after here.
So I want to go back to something you said a few minutes ago. You said, it will take you two seconds to spit that email out or that communication and it will be great, the question is, how does it only take me a couple of seconds, because when I look at the workflow for a lot of law firms that I walk into, it’s not that easy.
It’s going back, finding annulled email or finding annulled document and copying and pasting and then rereading it three times to make sure that we remember to 24:00 and revise or copy and paste or find and replace names and words and it never really takes like two or three seconds.
So I am assuming that you are talking about an automated way to set a reminder that you haven’t communicated with this client in a year and then having a canned, for lack of a better word, but personalized message that you can quickly send.
Michael Chasin: Yeah, absolutely. So I think the hardest thing about what you just mentioned isn’t even like the time and energy to do that, but the actual coming to mind, thinking, oh, it has been a year since that happened, I should reach out to them, I think that’s the hardest part of that. I think spending the minute or two or five minutes or whatever just to send that email, yeah, it’s time, time is money, but I never remember. I am never just sitting there so bored to a point where I just think back like, oh, let me think of people a year ago. So I think that’s the biggest problem within itself, but first, before we talk about how to do it, let me explain what drip marketing is.
Adriana Linares: That is one of the salesy, markety terms that lawyers — they hear and they go, huh! So yeah, I think that’s a great place to start.
Michael Chasin: And most people who use Lexicata don’t know what it is starting off and then they start using it and it’s a lifesaver.
Adriana Linares: But they have probably all been —
Michael Chasin: Drip marketed, yes.
Adriana Linares: Yes, exactly. I was going to use the word victim.
Michael Chasin: Yeah, victim, I like to think — I like to think — yeah, yeah exactly. So anyone, Clio, anyone who it is, like if you are a software, you are probably drip marketing, or if you are a technology, whatever it is, even a law firm, you should be doing drip marketing.
Now, obviously, I would be — again, disclaimer, make sure that you check your ethical rules to know what’s kosher and what’s not to be able to send and solicit.
Adriana Linares: And spamming rules and spamming laws. I mean, there is a lot you have to do here, but yes.
Michael Chasin: Absolutely. Federal anti-spamming law is a big thing, but that’s also why you want to use softwares that are going to automatically comply with those types of things.
But drip marketing is basically the best way — I think the term came from the other term drip irrigation. So basically the analogy would be a farmer, or let’s say you, don’t want to go out to your front lawn everyday with your hose and water your lawn for 10 minutes a day, because not only is it an inefficient use of water, because you get a lot of runoff and stuff like that, but it’s an inefficient use of your time, because you end up spending 10 minutes a day doing the same thing over and over again.
So basically you can do the same thing with marketing or marketing emails, where you could write a drip or a series of automated emails. So for instance, the exact example that I gave you Adriana earlier with your will that I drafted for you, I can basically create email templates, as you call them canned responses, that are basically pre-drafted and have some, what are called merge fields, where basically you put in hi, first name, and it will auto replace the name and stuff like that.
So I can basically set up three emails, let’s say, over the next three years; one year after I have worked with the will. Hey Adriana, it was great working with you a year ago, hope everything is well. Have you had any like recent purchases I should be aware of that we need to consider for your will? Let me know, I would love to chat.
12 months later. Hey Adriana, I just wanted to check in again. It has been a couple years. Any new kids or anything, I would love to catch up and see how things are.
Adriana Linares: Have you had quadruplets in the past year, I need to know?
Michael Chasin: Exactly, right, quadruplets, that’s the Triple Seven in the estate planning slot machine. You hit the jackpot when they get the quadruplets, but anyways, you can set up stuff like that to automatically follow up with them.
So for instance, another example is going to be if a client calls your office, this isn’t as much like marketing and stuff like that, it’s more about like, hey, if you scheduled a consultation or you didn’t schedule a consultation. We as lawyers, our goals are always to schedule consultations with people. Hey, I would love to talk to you about your personal injury claim, or let’s keep with that drafted will. Hey, I would love to talk to you about drafting your will. And then you tell me Adriana, you know what, I just don’t really have the money yet, I was just kind of feeling around for pricing and stuff like that. Okay Adriana, no problem. Let’s talk when you are ready.
Most lawyers would hang up the phone and never think about them ever again. But again, that’s thousands and thousands of dollars, not only in immediate income going down the toilet, but think about the lifetime, what we in like business world call the lifetime value, lifetime value of clients, how much are they worth to you, including referrals, extra business, those could be worth $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 to you.
So what you can do is set up drip marketing and basically reach out to them again. Hey Adriana, it has been a week since we got off the phone together, just wanted to see if you have thought more about anything that we are doing, and then you can start using what’s called content marketing.
Don’t just make it about you and your firm, make it about them and their needs. Maybe include a blog. Hey Adriana, it was great talking to you last week. I know you are not ready to make a decision, but here is a great blog that you should think about that will help you keep understanding what’s going on.
So you can do all sorts of stuff like that.
Adriana Linares: And I think these are things that a lot of lawyers regularly do. I think the comparable word of course is a tickler system.
Michael Chasin: Exactly.
Adriana Linares: 15 days from now, 30 days from now, six months from now, we have to remember to reach out to these clients or past clients and just, again, nurture the relationship.
I remember I worked at a big law firm, like my very first job ever out of college was at a big law firm, and the term that they used that all the lawyers were like, what, it was cultivating. They were cultivating relationships with clients.
So 20 years ago it was cultivating, and it sounded so organic and nice, and so now, I mean, no change, it’s the same, we still use cultivating. The whole point is, you are nurturing this relationship, and like you said, I like the way you compared it to dating and to forming relationships, it’s just something that you gently nudge along and just remind people that you are there and you are good and you did a good job for them.
So what kind of stinks is that we are a little bit out of time, but I just want to give you maybe a couple of extra minutes to tell us a little bit about Lexicata itself and how it works and how it addresses all the issues that you just described and reasons someone might look at Lexicata or CRM in general, wait, and I do want to say this, because I say this all the time and I am not saying this because I like you and your product, Michael, I am saying this because I tell lawyers this all the time.
When you are looking for a tool or a service that you want to help grow your business and make it successful or just keep your successful business going and there are choices between legal specific and consumer-based or business-based that aren’t geared toward legal, I always encourage lawyers and law firms to look towards services that were built by and/or for lawyers.
So I have a lot of people that are going to say, well Adriana, why wouldn’t I use Salesforce or Constant Contact or MailChimp, and not that those aren’t great services, but tell me a little bit about why choosing or looking at a product like Lexicata when I am reviewing products that’s built specifically for lawyers, by lawyers is important?
Michael Chasin: Well, I think that’s a great question, because it actually circles us back to what we forgot to talk at the beginning as why CRMs haven’t been adopted in the legal industry. I think the reason why our software has taken off the way that it has in the last couple of years is because we understand the industry, we understand the needs and we are not just a CRM. We use the CRM at Lexicata, Clio uses a CRM, Microsoft uses a CRM, enterprise companies use CRMs because —
Adriana Linares: Big law firms, small law firms and mid-size law firms also use CRMs.
Michael Chasin: They do, but when I say — when I use the term “CRM”, so this is kind of becoming a little bit of a misnomer in our industry and I am seeing this take place right before my eyes. A lot of people will call a CRM a pure CRM but again, we are kind of redefining the term CRM for legal, because we are including a lot of intake components in there.
So when you look at the traditional CRM like a Salesforce or an Infusionsoft or whatever it might be that lawyers might be using, they are not geared towards lawyers, which means they’re geared towards enterprise companies which —
Adriana Linares: Which also means they require a lot of tweaking and that’s hard if you are not a lawyer or you don’t have someone who is going to dedicate time and development time to these products. So that’s, really my whole point is, when you pick a product that’s geared toward legal, it is going to save you a lot of tweaking time, and I could give 40 examples in legal about this. So go ahead, sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt you.
Michael Chasin: Well, it is like saying, hey, it might be a bad example, but it’s kind of like saying, I need a vehicle to go to and from work. I really only need two wheels, but I am going to buy this four-tire car, cut off 90% of it and use it like a motorcycle. That’s pretty much what people are doing with things like Salesforce where this is insanely massive amazing product which is super-useful but they don’t need 99% of it.
Adriana Linares: But I could talk about a hundred practice management programs and tools that I have seen in law firms and I say this all the time. I go, look, you are buying a space shuttle and what you really need is a Jet. Like, you do not need a space shuttle because you are never going to use all of the components, pieces, and parts that a space shuttle has to offer. So it’s not that a space shuttle isn’t awesome, I mean, who wouldn’t want a space shuttle? But you don’t need a space shuttle, you really need a Jet engine plane.
Michael Chasin: Yeah, so two problems arise with that, Adriana, not only, one is, the space shuttle isn’t built for you, which means it is going to be really difficult to use and take a lot of time and a lot of investment of energy, but two is, you’re paying for all the parts in the space shuttle, whether you’re using it or not, it’s like you know again, do you need a Honda or do you need a Bentley? Go buy the Bentley, fine, but you are going to driving it the same way you do as a Honda, it makes no sense to get it.
Adriana Linares: Right, to go half a mile to work every day and back.
Michael Chasin: Exactly, it makes no sense. That being said, you obviously don’t you want to drive a nice car and not a piece of crud so you still want to make sure it is, so obviously you keep on saying that our CRM is so basic, no, but again, it is very different. It’s a different value proposition. Again, we focus a lot on the workflow of things. So for the people who say, I don’t need a CRM, they are used to the traditional word “CRM” as in an enterprise tool that’s only going to focus on marketing where we focus a lot more on the workflow.
So we have things like online intake forms you could build so your clients can submit information to you online rather than sending them PDFs, Word docs or doing paper forms. You can also do e-signatures, included on Lexicata, you don’t have to pay for it. So if you want to e-sign a document online, you can get that done. We have Document Automation to automatically generate things like HIPAA compliance forms.
Adriana Linares: And you integrate with Clio, which is one of my favorite.
Michael Chasin: And we integrate with Clio, so for a lot of people who use Case Management, a lot of what people refer us to is kind of like Pre Case Management software. So case management handles the case, we handle everything leading up to the case.
Adriana Linares: And do you integrate with anything else outside of Clio?
Michael Chasin: Currently we only integrate with Clio, unfortunately the legal technology market is a little bit behind the time, so Clio is one of the only ones that has an open API that can —
Adriana Linares: Actually in the podcast just before yours here, I did speak with Jack Newton, the CEO of Clio and I talked specifically about that that one of the things that’s interesting about Clio is their open API that allows tools like yours to plug in to theirs in all the right places. So yeah, you are right. And I do like the fact that you said, unfortunately, because I would like to see a lot of the other modern tools that I’d love to talk about, I am friends within the industry, have an open API to make it easier for lawyers who are using different tools to use tools like yourself. I appreciate it.
Michael Chasin: Yeah, absolutely, and I think that inherently I think there’s a conversation for a different day, but I think that’s inherently the current problem with the legal technology space. I think we’re so far behind the times when you consider like other industries, like, obviously medicals are pretty far behind, but, we are pretty far behind and I think it’s because nobody works with APIs. We came from the startup world where we are doing a marketplace and we are in TechCrunch in those standard things that you imagine that we don’t really care about now because lawyers aren’t really reading TechCrunch that much, but everyone works together.
When you go to log into — like Uber drivers, are trying to go through Uber. They still use Google Maps or Apple Maps. Uber didn’t try to build their own map system, it is the same way how Clio is extremely smart that they said, we are going to build a platform, we are not going to try to build the CRM and client intake software. We are going to let someone else do it, who is a lot smarter, a lot better, a lot more nimble and is an expert in this field.
So that’s one thing that will give us a recommendation or a warning to New Solos is be vary of softwares that try to do everything because as they say, a Jack of all trades is an expert as nothing, so you end up doing a lot of things at a very shallow level which works for you really well for the first 6 to 12 months of practice, but once you start adding people and once you need more power it’s impossible to switch off of it and you have to completely scrap your entire system and start for a ground-up. So look for companies like Clio that have APIs that other companies can build because if you know you don’t like an element of the platform you can use someone else’s rather than being stuck on one single software.
Adriana Linares: Yeah, that’s great advice, Michael, listen, we rattled on like you and I usually do for far too long but this has been great, I am sure I am going to have to invite you back to talk about some other great and important things.
Before I let you go though, let everybody know how they can learn more about Lexicata and find friend and/or follow you and/or Lexicata out there on the Internet?
Michael Chasin: Yeah, absolutely. So if you want information on Lexicata, you can just go to HYPERLINK “http://www.lexicata.com” lexicata.com, you can follow us on Twitter, we have a great blog, so you can go HYPERLINK “http://www.blog.lexicata.com” blog.lexicata.com, tons of great articles especially we really cater it towards like —
Adriana Linares: You guys do, do a lot of good work on content.
Michael Chasin: Yeah, that’s all Aaron; Aaron is an amazing writer and —
Adriana Linares: Yeah, Aaron, he is the man. You are just the face of the company, Aaron is just — he is the machine behind it all.
Michael Chasin: He is the better looking face behind the face, it’s what he is. But yeah, so HYPERLINK “http://www.lexicata.com” lexicata.com, you can follow us at Lexicata or if you want to find me on LinkedIn, I post all of our blogs there and you can meet or interact with me there. I am Michael Chasin.
Adriana Linares: Great, thanks Michael. And I think you mentioned that you might have a promo code available for our listeners if they wanted to check out Lexicata?
Michael Chasin: Yeah, exactly. If you go and book a demo on Lexicata or if you’re doing a demo and make sure that you mention that you heard us on Legal Talk Network’s New Solo podcast. Also if you use the promo code LTNSolo, when you’re booking your demo there will be a place to redeem your coupon and that will be good for $50 off on annual subscription.
Adriana Linares: Oh awesome, thank you so much. Oh, wait, one more thing, of course I should ask you about pricing, everybody wants to know about pricing and I think your pricing is pretty transparent. Can you tell us about it?
Michael Chasin: Yeah, absolutely. So pricing is going to be determined by two main factors. One is going to be the number of users that you need, and then two, is going to be whether you want to do a monthly or an annual plan. If you want to do the monthly plan which has no contract or anything like that, also no tiers, so you get unlimited of everything with this. It is going to be $49 for the first user per month and then only half the price or $25 for each additional user. If you want to do the annual plan which does come with a 30-day money back guarantee and it is going to be about $40 for the first user per month and $20 for each additional user per month. So you save about 20% if you do the annual plan.
Adriana Linares: Awesome, well that sounds pretty reasonable. Well, thank you so much, Michael Chasin of Lexicata. That brings us to the end of our show. For all you listeners who would like to learn more about what you have heard today, make sure you visit New Solo on the HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com” legaltalknetwork.com and of course make sure you follow us on iTunes, RSS, Twitter and Facebook. You can always find me on Twitter @adrianal.
That brings us to the end of our show. I am going to go and get out and work in my garden before a good summer storm lands in Florida.
So thank you for listening, join us next time, and don’t forget, you’re not alone, you are New Solo.
Outro: Thanks for listening to New Solo with host Adriana Linares. Tune in again to learn more about how to successfully run your new practice solo, here on Legal Talk Network.
The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
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In the second part of this two part series, Adriana Linares talks to a panel of solo attorneys about the many challenges of being...
In the first part of this two part series, Adriana Linares talks to a panel of solo attorneys about the many challenges of being...