Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

How to Use Client Bills to Grow Your Practice

If you think billing a client is merely a way to get paid, think again.

Your bill is also a tool to attract new business, market additional services, and create loyal clients who will keep coming back.

Start by detailing exactly what you did for the client and why. Go light on legal jargon. Instead of simply billing the client for what they owe you, communicate with them – either in a cover letter or in the invoice itself:

  • Do you have any lingering questions about your case or any loose ends you think need to be tied up?
  • Have you also considered the need for X and Y services? (Ex: after a divorce, the client may need to revise their Will, change their insurance policies, or even relocate their residence; perhaps you can help with those tasks or refer them to a lawyer who can.)
  • Would you like us to follow up to see how you’re doing (at no charge to you)? If so, when? We don’t want to be intrusive, but we want you to know we’re here for you.
  • Even though your case is concluded, please know you can call us if you need us in the future.

“If you want to attract loyal clients to your law firm, you need to showcase the value and services your firm can offer beyond the matter at hand,” according to this post in The National Law Review. “The idea is to become a one-stop shop for your client so they always think of you when it comes to their legal needs.”

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How Can We Help?

Here is a way to suggest ancillary services a client may need, courtesy of Bill4Time and The National Law Review:

“Imagine that you’re a corporate attorney. Your clients need your help to incorporate a new business; you’ve set up a new C corp or LLC on your client’s behalf. What they don’t know is that they’ll also need your guidance on:

  • Registering a DBA
  • Applying for an EIN
  • Designating a registered agent
  • Setting up business bank accounts
  • Apply for LLC “pass-through” tax treatment
  • Create a compliance plan to maintain compliance
  • Obtaining the proper permits and licenses
  • Asset protection planning
  • Intellectual property applications
  • Drafting agreements (e.g., operating, partnership, manufacturing, service agreements)
  • Obtaining business financing
  • Choosing an accountant
  • Purchase insurance

“Many clients that come to you for legal services may not grasp the level of work they need.”


A Cautionary Note

Don’t try to upsell your client. That won’t work, and it may lead to unpleasant consequences. Instead, educate them. Counsel them.

Be willing to give some of your time away for free, knowing that what you give out. you get back tenfold.

Source: The National Law Review


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About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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