Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Grandma - Is That You?



On a recent airplane flight, I was seated with a colleague who had maintained a successful small/solo legal practice on Long Island for quite some time. During the flight, I inquired with him as to how he remedied a key problem facing many small firms: delinquent clients.

His answer: "Get yourself a bluehair".

For a moment, I thought he was suggesting a cocktail from the open bar. But then I realized he meant hiring an elderly woman to do collections calls and keep the books.

"Why a bluehair? Why not a college student or construction worker?", I asked. "Look, you need someone who will work for pennies and not take any prisoners", he said. "An old lady reminds clients of their mothers and they inherently give them deference and respect. Plus, these old ladies tend to be tenacious, thorough and not afraid to call a spade a spade. Most college students are pretty dumb, unfocused and afraid to get aggressive. Furthermore, YOU can't make these calls. No attorney should ever call a client that is behind on his bills. Like I said, get yourself a bluehair."

How does your firm address delinquent clients?

Do you use a "bluehair"?

How long should you wait before harranguing a delinquent client?

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