You’ve worked hard on your marketing to attract clients. You may be wondering, “Why should I drop a low profit attorney client I have worked hard to obtain?” Some clients are not worth the effort it takes to work with them. Business owner Cheryl Schoen RN recently referred to these as the “black hole clients”. You give and give and give and yet they are not satisfied.
How to recognize a low profit attorney client
Low profit clients are always making demands on logistics, operations, or customer service. They want changes in your work product, but don’t want to pay for the changes. They want immediate assistance, usually at the last minute, and don’t want to pay a rush fee. They assume that they are the most important (and maybe only) client you have, and therefore they are entitled to your immediate attention.
You may attempt to justify keeping a low profit attorney client. The attorney promises you more work, or that he will share your contact information with others. You think that if you hold onto this client, it will get better.
Don’t hang onto a low profit attorney client.
He or she is hurting your business in ways that are not always obvious. The attorney who is making unreasonable demands on you is preventing you from marketing to being in more profitable business, or is paying attention to the less vocal client. It is a rule of a legal nurse consulting business that new clients enter your stream each year, while others drop off.
The sooner you address the behavior of the low profit attorney client, the better. Don’t equivocate. Implement a price increase. You should do this for all of your clients about every year, and don’t show favoritism by allowing the low profit client to escape this change. The client has the choice of paying the higher fee or walking away. If he walks away, you win, because you can now devote your time to other clients and to business building activities. If he stays with you, you’ve won because you’ve increased your profit.
Define a rush fee, and stick to it. Say “no” to impossible demands. Set limits on what you are willing to do for this client. You don’t have to be reachable by cell phone – in the evenings, on weekends, or on vacation. I have talked to LNCs who took cases with them on vacation. They could not relax.
The only way you can lose is by allowing the low profit attorney client to continue to control you. It is your responsibility as the business owner to recognize that not every attorney who wants to work with you is your ideal client. You set the price, you set the limits on what you can do. Otherwise you are at the mercy of an attorney who is likely to be a very good negotiator, but not someone you should work with.
Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC is president of the Pat Iyer Group. Would you like to get more clients, make more money and avoid expensive mistakes. Click on the nurse’s picture – holding the piggy bank – to request time with Pat.