Blow Up Your Annual Client Maintenance Program!

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law In this article, I addressed the marketplace issues confronting estate planning attorneys, in particular commoditization of our “products” and increasing low price competition.  One of the ways that I discussed to combat these issues is to emphasize how your “product” is better than your competitors’.  Another way to differentiate yourself is to emphasize your “service after the sale.”  When someone purchases a car, he or she wants to know what kind of service or maintenance program is available and what…

Generate More Revenue This Year with More Referrals from Clients

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law If you’ve read my previous newsletter articles or attended any of my teleconferences (or our Ultimate Level event), you know that I am a huge proponent of utilizing time-tested systems to run a successful practice – – from marketing to receptionist scripts, to initial client meetings, to generating trust documents, to signing meetings, and regular client follow-ups…FOR EVERYTHING. Yet, even those who do systematize virtually all of their practice often fail to have a system for generating new client…

Do You Know What You Are Doing?

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law It’s a bit curious how you can vividly recall just a few, brief occurrences in your life that have had an unexpected but profound and long lasting effect on you. I remember one day speaking with a businessman on a plane about what I do as an estate planning attorney and he asked, “What’s your customer service process?” I was immediately taken aback because I hadn’t thought of what I did with clients as a process, nor could I…

Do You Hate Marketing?

By Kristina Schneider When it comes to the idea of marketing, most lawyers cringe. For many lawyers, marketing seems tacky, unprofessional, and perhaps even “beneath” them.  They didn’t study for countless hours and pay thousands of dollars to get all those degrees and credentials behind their name to then be bothered with the idea of marketing. But, here’s the reality.  If you run your own practice, you are a business owner.  And, if you’re a business owner, marketing is essential to the success and, frankly, the survival of your practice. Marketing your business doesn’t mean you have to go out and…

Six Big Mistakes When Choosing an Associate Attorney

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Although attorneys are trained in the technical aspects of the law, we haven’t been taught how to run a successful business, often relying upon trial and error as costly teachers. In the process of building my own practice, I have made each and every one of the following mistakes when hiring associate attorneys, so I am speaking to you from experience. Mistake #1: Focusing mainly on the associate’s law school, credentials, experience and technical expertise. As educated and experienced…

The 10 Biggest Mistakes Estate Planning Attorneys Make – – Running Their Business!

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Over the past 37+ years, I have been blessed with a successful estate planning practice, as well as with the opportunity to help many other attorneys build or improve theirs. Based on that real-world experience, I have compiled what I believe to be the ten most common mistakes that I’ve seen most estate planning attorneys making that keep them from enjoying more financial success and a better quality of life. Mistake #1: Not Thinking of Your Practice as a…

The Client ISN’T Always Right – Tips on When and How to “Fire” a Client

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Some of the first jobs that I ever had were in the retail and customer service industries.  I can recall, in much of the training that I received, being told the old adage that the “customer is always right”.  Having run my own practice now for over 36 years (we’ll be celebrating our 37th Anniversary next month!), I can tell you that, although the old saying is usually true (or at least should be your guiding principle), there are…

What Can You Sell to Existing Clients?

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law In last month’s newsletter, I discussed an often overlooked marketing strategy that many estate planning attorneys are missing – – bringing back in existing clients for a review of their plan.  The topic seems to have resonated quite a bit with our readers and my fellow colleagues, several of whom took us up on our offer to schedule a consultation with our Executive Director, Kristina Schneider, to go over how to put together a review process in place for…

One Simple, Yet Powerful Marketing Strategy Many Estate Planners Are NOT Utilizing!

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Lawyers and other professionals often cringe at just hearing the word “marketing”.  The idea of marketing their practice feels cheesy, unprofessional, and perhaps even “below” them.  However, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, marketing is a basic necessity of any business, whether you call your plans and strategies for bringing in revenue to your company “marketing” or not.  If you are not doing some type of marketing, then how are you getting clients in the door?  If you’re…

Effectively Managing Your Boss’ Busy Calendar

By Kristina Schneider, Executive Assistant Whether your boss is an estate planning attorney, CPA, financial advisor or life insurance agent, chances are, he or she has an overwhelmingly busy calendar.  From client meetings, phone calls, seminar presentations, conferences and CE programs to numerous projects to be completed, goals to be reached, and endless obligations to be met. How do you organize, prioritize and manage it all while getting everything scheduled and done? Ask for Assistance with Prioritizing First, ask for assistance in prioritizing your tasks (and your boss’ tasks).  Thankfully, most executives acknowledge that their assistants are juggling several tasks…