Working with attorneys requires a great self image, self-confidence and a willingness to stand up for yourself. A positive mindset eliminates a lot of problems. When legal nurse consultants talk to me about fee and collection issues, often their mindset, communication, or self confidence factors affect finances. Here’s how to avoid this trap. Listen to the guidance of Ben Glass Esq, a plaintiff attorney in Virginia who recently shared his perspective on how to avoid collection issues when he talked with some of my LNC coaching clients.
Legal nurse consultant collection fears
Collection issues are not unique to legal nurse consultants, but that happens when there’s a fear that if you don’t do the work first and get paid later or if you don’t cut my prices that you won’t make any money and that there will never be another lawyer who calls you.
It’s the same thing with lawyers who are doing non-contingent fee work. They face the same issues and the way to get out of that game is to establish yourself as celebrity. You certainly wouldn’t say to Dan Kennedy (Internet Marketing Guru), “Do the work today and I’ll pay you tomorrow,” because Dan is a marketing guru who has established his own rules and who knows that if someone is not willing to pay his $20,000 a day consulting fee that there’s a line of people behind that person waiting to pay it. He’s developed that with good marketing.
Build your client base
The best self-defense is to have a big enough group of clients so you can stop working with people who are not full of integrity. Get paid up front and don’t fall into that zone where you think that you have to play by the lawyer’s rules in order to get clients.
If a neurosurgeon says to me “Send me the records and send me a check for $5,000” I’m not going to go “No, here’s the records” because he’s going to say, “I’m not going to review the records.”
You are a valuable legal nurse consultant
You should have that same attitude because you are valuable. You bring a great value to law firms and to lawyers who need you. There’s no reason in the world why you shouldn’t be getting paid first.
Have open and honest communication with the lawyer. Don’t undervalue or underestimate how much time it’s going to take you to do a case. Remember you are very valuable to the lawyer and you’re part of that team.
Pick up Dan Kennedy’s book No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits: No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Really Getting Rich. It’s a terrific book about reinforcing in your own head why you are in business to begin with and having integrity with yourself and forcing people to play by your rules. That’s why you cannot be viewed as a commodity. You are viewed as a commodity when you send me the same brochure that everyone else is sending. There’s a stack of 15 of them on my desk.
Stand tall as a legal nurse consultant
Don’t be intimidated by lawyers just because they’re lawyers. Here’s the last point. If you want leverage on someone who’s jerked you around and not paid your bill, complain to the State Bar. That will get you paid assuming that you’ve done the work; you’ve got the contract. It’s not small claims court. It’s not whining on the internet. Make an ethics complaint.
That’s leverage, but it’s best to have great communications at the beginning, do a great job and have a line of people waiting to get in to see you. Don’t charge bottom-dollar fees because when you charge bottom-dollar fees you’re perceived as a bottom-dollar vendor.
You are special. You have expertise. Give the lawyer a Tiffany’s level experience. Over-deliver and make sure that they know that you are over-delivering. You shouldn’t be in a position of chasing dollars.
This blog post was created by Ben Glass, a plaintiff attorney who also teaches attorneys how to market.
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