The Secret to Getting Your Legal Clients to Pay You Faster
Good cash flow is critical to a successful law practice! The sooner you get paid, the sooner you can pay your bills and yourself! But how much time do you spend chasing clients to get paid? How long does it take you, on average, to get the money? How many steps does the client have to take to pay you? But the biggest question is: How do you get them to pay you faster?
Don’t Make It Harder for Them to Pay You!
Getting retained and paid is much easier if you make it easier for the client. But so many lawyers make it harder! They insist that the client:
- Write a check
- Put it in an envelope
- Address the Envelope
- Put a stamp on the envelope
- Mail the envelope
People are busy, and the harder you make it for them to do something, the more likely it is that they will put it off!
Let’s face it; if you want to get paid faster, you need to have electronic payment!
Electronic Payment Makes It Easy!
Yes, that’s right; you need to accept credit (or debit) cards. I was reluctant to do it myself, but once I took the plunge it changed everything. I firmly believe that I have gotten more clients and made more money by accepting credit cards. This is not possible in all areas of my practice (particularly bankruptcy), but it has been a boon to my traffic court, DUI, and collection defense practice. There are many clients I have not ever met with face to face, other than through Zoom or Microsoft Teams, but I have been able to convert them and get paid!
If all they have to do is click a link, they are much more likely to do it right away.
Yes, taking credit cards means that the issuing bank gets a piece of your action (close to 3%), but the increased revenues you will see from doing it will far outweigh it! Also, people tend to spend more when they can put it on their card, because to them it isn’t really coming out of their pocket, especially if they don’t pay their balances off every month. The bank is financing your fee for them!
LawPay for Electronic Payment
You can use whatever vendor you like, but I would like to put in a good word for LawPay, which is the one I use. There are three key reasons for this:
- Their fees are very low (1.9% at the time of this writing), and if the client is using a debit card, they just charge a $2 processing fee. How cool is that?
- They do not take their fee out at the time of the transaction; they bill you monthly by ACH from your bank account.
- It integrates with Clio, so I can send bills and receive payment through their platform, and LawPay waives monthly fees.
No matter what, the most important thing is to be able to accept credit or debit cards. Sending a payment link is easy, processing payments through your accounting system (I use QuickBooks) is simpler because they charge separately for their fees, and I get paid faster!
But Wait; There’s More!
Want to learn more about how you can grow your practice, become more efficient, and work less? Then check out my book, Getting Off the Hamster Wheel for tips on managing your time and work, improving your marketing, and becoming more nimble by moving to the cloud.