Client Connection

Client Connection

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Check Your Attorney's Attitudes - and the Behaviors that Follow

See if you can answer these multiple choice questions correctly.

(A) What is the first warning sign of potential payment problems?
1. A bill goes past 30 days unpaid
2. A bill goes past 120 days unpaid
3. The attorney did not hear from the client after the bill was sent
4.The client stops responding to e-mails

(B) Attorneys need to make collections a priority.  Which of the following should they NOT do?
1. Regularly communicate with clients about unpaid bills to ensure timely payment
2. Ask when payment can be expected
3. Let clients make payments at a time that is suitable to them
4. Resolve problem issues that are keeping clients from paying

(C) How can attorneys be held accountable for getting A/R paid?
1. Ask them regularly when they expect bills to be paid
2. Ask them to establish -- and meet -- self-imposed deadlines
3.None of the above
4. A and B

(D) Attorneys beieve they are the only ones who can contact their clients about their receivables  They are incorrect.  Why?
1. They don't like to do it
2. They aren't very good at it
3. They don't want to do it because they have other priorities
4. All of the above

(A) 1 -- Starting early in the ageing process, attorneys have allowed clients to pay at their leisure.  Because attorneys are not inclined to make contact sooner rather than later, clients do not feel obligated to pay.
(B) 3 -- Attorneys need to communicate to their clients about unpaid bills, just as they communicate regarding the status of the matter they are handling.  They must have regular follow-up to learn when payment can be expected and to help guide future follow-up.
(C) 4 -- Attorneys must be contacted on a regular basis and asked specifically about when they expect bills to be paid.  The culture of forgiveness needs to be replaced with a culture of high expectations of getting accounts paid through better A/R management efforts.
(D) 4 -- Firms should provide their attorneys help from trained personnel who have the appropriate communcation skills, professionalism and time to help gets bills paid.  Experienced help should have good relationship-building skills, the ability to understand payment problems and an understanding of solutions that are tailored to various practice areas and client situations.

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