RICHARD JAMES: Maria Jones has built the busiest and most successful immigration law firm in Phoenix, Arizona. I recently had the opportunity to chat with her about how she was able to build her wildly successful practice. Here’s a conversation with her and what she shared.
Maria, you have taken your place at the top of the heap of immigration firms in Phoenix. If you could name one element that you learned that had the greatest punch to your bottom line, what would it be?
MARIA JONES: That’s an easy question. The answer also is simple: SYSTEMS. Without systems in place, you cannot have a business that works; without systems everything is so much harder. Since I began working with you and have created incredible systems for each department of our firm, success became easier.
RICHARD JAMES: Yes, the word systems is practically my middle name. Before we began working together, what did your marketing look like?
MARIA JONES: I refer to my firm in two ways: “Before working with Rich” and “After working with Rich”. When I graduated from law school, I had no idea about marketing, systems, or anything. If you had asked me: “What is a lead?” my answer would have been: “What’s that?” I had no clue about unconverted leads or why they are important to address. Today, I can have a solid conversation about what leads are and how unconverted leads are valuable and the different strategies we use to turn leads into hires. That was a big deal for me.
RICHARD JAMES: You not only can talk about leads today, you have turned your firm into a conversion machine! What has been your most significant challenge?
MARIA JONES: It’s a big challenge to get all of my leads who set appointments to show up. And of course, the most important thing is to get them to hire the firm.
RICHARD JAMES: How do you address these things today?
MARIA JONES: With your help, I have accomplished so much! Our work has differentiated my firm from my competition—especially the immigration attorneys in our market. We have been very, very successful by creating an amazing marketing plan and with effective strategies.
RICHARD JAMES: Let’s drill down a bit. Can you pinpoint one strategy that has paid off the most for you?
MARIA JONES: The key to my success is outbound calling. I learned it’s very important to pay attention to your outbound calls because it’s the first time your leads speak to the law firm—especially those leads that have found you online or by chat. There are tactics for creating your scripts. You and your staff must learn exactly what kind of language to use when calling your leads. You train your staff to use these scripts and build trust with each lead, and success follows. If you don’t create that trusting relationship with those leads, you are going to lose them.
RICHARD JAMES: How do you view your role in your law firm today?
MARIA JONES: As the CEO of the company, I inspect every single staff member’s work and performance to be sure each are performing at his or her best. You have always taught me to inspect what I expect, and my expectations are very high. I expect a lot from people because my expectations of myself are very high. Those systems are number one, but they are nothing without the right people to run them. What’s critical is to be sure your staff members are correctly running the systems, and to do this, you must inspect their work. That concept has been amazing and has worked absolutely GREAT in my business.
RICHARD JAMES: How would you sum up your experience to someone who is asking you about working with me as your legal marketing coach?
MARIA JONES: I would say that it’s been an amazing experience. Over the years, we have had many absolutely fulfilling conversations of how to run my law firm business and of different marketing strategies and how to implement them. These discussions have driven me to be even more successful, month after month, and year after year.
RICHARD JAMES: I’m blushing…Maria. If a colleague was wavering about whether to hire a legal coach, what would you tell them?
MARIA JONES: That’s easy, Rich. I would say it is silly for attorneys who want to be successful in their practices not to hire you. I discovered so many things that I did not learn in law school in just the first few months of working with you. It was impossible for me to know about business and marketing while in law school. There, I studied law. There was no instruction about business or marketing strategies.
I would not ever have achieved the same level of success that I have in the same time frame, alone. I always knew I would be successful because I knew to treat my firm like a business. Yet you taught me exactly WHAT I should be doing and more of exactly how to get it done. The most important thing I would say is: “Hire Rich, your life will be so much easier, trust me.”