Tips to Maintaining a Positive Online Reputation

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach With the growing use of the internet, clients, prospective clients and professional referral sources will look you up online and learn about you before they decide to do business with you.  So, you have to maintain a quality online presence, more than merely having a good website.  You also must maintain a positive online reputation! First, let’s start with some basic questions: Have you ever Googled yourself or your firm before? Do you know that Yelp, Google, and Facebook create profiles for your business (even if you didn’t initiate one) and customers can leave…

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…

64 Years of Combined Experience Running a Successful Estate Planning Practice

An Interview of Phil Kavesh’s Two Most Senior Employees Interview by Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach I had the most amazing experience to go on a trip with nationally renowned estate planning attorney and Ultimate Estate Planning Attorney, Phil Kavesh’s, Law Firm Office Manager (Arlyn V. or “AV”).  We went out to Florida to visit with his Senior Estate Planning Paralegal (Elaine A. or “EYA”).  Elaine just celebrated her 34th anniversary working for Phil and Arlyn will be celebrating 30 years this August. During our trip, not only did we get the opportunity to stop by a client’s office and…

Drowning in E-mail? Tips to Save Time and Be More Efficient!

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach Electronic mail, otherwise known as e-mail, has become a vital and primary form of communication for most businesses.  In fact, it’s the very reason you’re probably reading this newsletter article. While e-mail has become a very efficient way to communicate and handle business, it can also become a source of major inefficiency and time-wasting in the office.  Think about how much time is spent sifting through all of your daily e-mail.  Double or triple that when you come back from the weekend.  And let’s not even talk about how much e-mail we come back…

The Most Effective Way to Handle the Price Objection

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law If you were to ask most estate planning attorneys to narrow down the most common objection most people have about moving forward with their estate planning, price would definitely be on the top of the list. With the influx of cheap, online and do-it-yourself estate planning, living trusts have become a commodity and people are more price-sensitive than ever. While price may still be one of the main reasons a prospective client may choose not to do business with…

What to Do When Everything is Urgent & Important?

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach Too often for most people, there’s far too much to do and not enough time to do it.  This requires a balancing act of figuring out how to prioritize your work. For most people, the work that gets set aside are the non-important, but also sadly, the non-urgent and important items.  The things that you know you need to get to, but that don’t have a looming deadline to be met.  Those tasks will constantly be backburnered into an oblivion, perhaps for eternity. We implement what is known as the “Urgent & Important” (or…

A Conversation About Perceived Value

By Melinda Merk, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, AEP® (Distinguished) This time of year, we tend to see an uptick in estate and trust administration and guardianship cases. All too often, we see situations where the deceased or incapacitated person did their estate planning on the cheap, did it themselves or, worst of all, did nothing. Unfortunately, their families and loved ones are now bearing the added cost and emotional burden of a court-supervised probate or guardianship proceeding and other unintended consequences, which could have been alleviated had the proper planning and documents been in place, working with an experienced estate…

8 Steps to Hiring a Great Executive Assistant

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach An executive assistant is an often overlooked position for many estate planning professionals. I know this because I often interact with a lot of attorneys, financial advisors, and CPAs directly on matters that I also know would be best handled by an executive assistant. Not having an executive assistant means that you, the executive, are often stuck with a lot of daily administrative tasks in the office. And that’s fine if that’s something that you enjoy doing and it works for you. But, for most estate planning professionals, that’s a huge misappropriation of the…

Should You Have a Full-Time Marketing Person on Your Staff?

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law We often espouse the importance of building your firm infrastructure with competent staff, adding first an executive assistant and/or paralegal, then an associate attorney, and then more staff. Having effective staff is the primary way to leverage your own time and output and increase your profit margin. But most attorneys overlook one particular key staff person when building their practice – – a dedicated full-time person to handle their marketing. Everything from making and confirming appointments to managing the…

It’s You! Hi! You Might Be the Problem! It’s You!

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach I am not going to sugarcoat this article and it may rub some people the wrong way.  This is a topic that has the power to be life-changing and transformative to your life and your practice, but it depends on what you do with this information. I recently had the pleasure of sharing the success story of estate planning attorney, Leigh Cowden, who finished up her first year of practice with close to $400,000 of revenue in her first year!  While I was like a proud mama bear to share how much she had…