Legal Billing Rule #5: Don’t Cause Problems For Your Client & Screw Up Her Budget
The following post is an excerpt from our free e-book, Ridiculously Remarkable Legal Billing. Better billing practices improve your law firm and your life. Here’s the fifth one from the book we identify.
When your bills come in on-time and on-budget, your client is more likely to automatically pay them without thinking twice.
If your client has a business and that business has any type of management “best practices” in effect, there is a good chance that by sitting on a bill you are creating more work for your client. In reality, you want the opposite. You want me, the client, to perceive you as someone who solves problems
for me, not someone who creates more of them.
For example, if we’re working together on a project, I have likely budgeted an estimated amount to pay you during that project. If you don’t bill me timely, it’s going to be difficult for me to accurately plan or budget for when I’m going to need to pay your bill.
You ask: ”Why would you (the lawyer) give two hoots about my (the client’s) internal budgeting practices?” The answer is this: If a business has budgeted to pay something during a specific time period, the bill has a darn good chance of getting paid as a matter of routine if it’s timely received.
Often, once a budget has been prepared and approved, it’s already been mentally “spent” by the person responsible for that budget. When your bill matches (or comes in under) the amount that was budgeted and is delivered in the time period it was budgeted for, you are a very long way toward getting that bill into the dreamy, beautiful “just pay it” pile – the pile where puppies and unicorns frolic.
Take it from a finance guy: That’s the pile you want your bill to find.
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Legal Billing Rule #2: Clients Won’t Pay A Bill Unless They Receive One
Legal Billing Rule #3: Not Billing In A Timely Fashion Sends A Message
Legal Billing Rule #4: You’ll Poison Relationships And Scare Away Business