What’s your collection rate? Hopefully, you’re getting over 90% of your clients to pay up. If not, you probably need more evidence. What?

Bear with me. Earlier, we talked about how important it is to ask to be paid by clients. It’s a simple thing, but most of us will avoid the ask.

However, a client who says yes to paying has set the expectation that they will pay. You don’t have to chase them. You simply remind them of the commitment they already made.

Clients want to be part of a crowd

The last tool is proof. It is human nature to want to be aligned with a group. Remember your junior high school days when all you wanted was to be in the ‘it’ crowd? You can persuade clients to pay you by sharing that past clients have paid you. That’s social proof clients need to align with past clients.

Robert Cialdini is an expert on persuasion. If you haven’t read any of his books like Yes! 50 Scientific Ways to Be Persuasive, please do. (aff link) You’ll enhance your persuasion skills, which are super important to continued success.

Because is your secret weapon

Cialdini reminds us that because is a very powerful word. You already know that if you have kids. Because I said so. It’s not logical, and a bit of a power play, but it works.

Why should your clients pay in full and on time? Because!

Nobody wants to be seen as the outlier. Help clients to understand that they want to pay promptly because that’s what all your other great clients do. People want to follow the normally accepted rules like getting at the end of a long line, not the front.

Deliver that message throughout the engagement to reinforce it. Tell clients what to do if payment ever becomes an issue (tell you immediately) because then you can help solve the problem instead of having clients avoid you.

You deserve to be well paid

Let me remind you of something. You serve a critical function in people’s lives. You help them solve legal problems that allow your clients to lead a better life.

We, as lawyers, are put on the defensive so often that I like to remind us that we wear the white hats, as Olivia Pope would say. You deserve to be paid, and well paid at that, for the discipline and grit you displayed in getting your legal education and your commitment to serving your clients now.

I call the three persuasion techniques I shared my GPS, or Great Payment System. GPS leads you to getting paid without feeling guilty or stalker-y. If you want help creating your GPS, reach out.


Dina Lynch Eisenberg, JD, is the CEO of OutsourceEasier.com, an outsourcing training/consulting firm for successful lawyers and entrepreneurs based in Oakland, CA.

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