This week I'm talking with immigration lawyer Jim Hacking. We started off expecting to find some new Profit Activator 2 audiences, but ended up uncovering a great opportunity to dominate his after unit...
Hacking Law Practice
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 001
Hi, it's Dean Jackson. Welcome to the very first episode of the More Cheese, Less Whiskers podcast. I'm very excited that this is becoming a reality. This is the very first episode. The story about how I decided to do this podcast is that one of the most popular episodes that we do on the I Love Marketing podcast with Joe Polish is the Yellow Pages Roulette episodes. Every time the Yellow Pages arrives at my office, we immediately text Joe, we get on the conference slide and we randomly pick pages from the Yellow Pages and we start brainstorming, applying the 8-profit activators to that business. I thought, wouldn't it be cool if instead of brainstorming on some random business, we were actually brainstorming and hatching evil schemes for a real business? That was the seed for doing the More Cheese, Less Whiskers episodes.
Here's the first episode. We got Jim Hacking who's an immigration attorney. We started out the conversation thinking that maybe we're going to go down the path of creating a new add and a new before unit strategy to attract people who are moving to America. We took a different turn. You'll see how we discovered what the biggest asset that Jim had in his business was and how we turned into a winning strategy to move forward. I think this is going to be a big breakthrough for Jim. Enjoy this episode. I look forward to doing many more of this.
Dean: Councilor Hacking, I presume.
Jim: Hi, Dean. How are you?
Dean: I'm good. How are you?
Jim: I'm doing great. Thank you.
Dean: I'm excited. This is going to be the first of many More Cheese, Less Whiskers episodes. I'm excited.
Jim: You're starting a new podcast?
Dean: Yes. We’re going to do a new series here. Joe and I travelled a lot over the summer here to do some of these episodes to put in here. This is my idea is that the one of the most popular episodes on I Love Marketing is always the Yellow Pages Roulette episode where we just pick randomly a page from the Yellow Pages and start brainstorming about how to apply the 8-profit activators to that business. I thought how much cooler would it be if we were actually applying the 8-profit activators to somebody's actual business? That's why I had that idea. The whole thing is this is really, I don't have an agenda. I don't have any ... I'm not worried about some ... That we're making this as a podcast for other people listening. We're recording right now. It's going to be just authentic. I'm here to spend the whole hour just being an evil scheme hatcher with you for your business.
Jim: I feel really lucky because I've gotten so much out of listening to the podcast itself and then taking Email Mastery course which was great. My big dream is to set aside some money so that I can come to a breakthrough in Orlando ,hopefully, in the winter. This is great.
Dean: That would be awesome. I've just gotten back from Toronto and London and Amsterdam, all back to back here. Back in Toronto and heading to Australia in August. It's all very exciting. That's what this is replicating here is we'll have conversations just like we would have out of Breakthrough blueprint and it will focus on how we can apply the 8-profit activators to your business. What do you think right now, what are the things that you are applying and the things that we could maybe amplify or brainstorm as an opportunity for you?
Jim: This is so great because I do suffer from jumping from one little project to another. I have a guy that helps me look some of my projects. When I found out that you and I are going to be speaking, I talked to him about it. He was really brutally honest with me about how I have a lot of different irons in the fire. He really suggested that I try to focus. Then I was laughing at myself because that's your pick 1 target market.
Jim: There I am. I'm an immigration lawyer. we practice immigration law. Mostly that's about helping people or employers sponsor non-citizens become or to stay in the United State. When I was thinking that probably 40% of my practice involves sponsoring a spouse either for a green card in the United States or for bringing a spouse from overseas. That's really a big component of what we do. I really think that's not something that I have really created a funnel for or an experience with people like the Hotel Impossible. I haven't really done ... Make a wow experience. I really think that be a good one for us to focus on. I think we can do it in our time, too. I'm in the US, I just got married to someone in Morocco. I'd like to bring that woman or man to the United States based on our marriage? Then, that's what I thought we could focus on today.
Dean: Okay, perfect. Now, do you serve people anywhere in the country? Do you serve them locally where you are?
Jim: When I think about immigration laws that it is federal. There are some things where it doesn't make sense for someone to hire economically because I have to go there for an interview, but this is really something we could do for people anywhere in the United States because we don't actually have an interview here. The non-citizen gets interviewed overseas at the embassy until we could handle it. Obviously, most of our clients are in the Missouri and Illinois area.
Dean: Okay. Are there a lot of those ... What kind of data do you have about the size of that market? How many people move a spouse into the country? Is it always after they're already married and they bring them here or they want to get married and bring them here to get married?
Jim: That's a great question. In fact I don't know the exact data on it. I know that it's thousands and thousands of people. It's interesting that you bring up that. Do I bring them as a fiancé or do I bring them as a spouse because it's a strange cork of way things are bringing processed right now? Fiancés are actually getting to the United States faster than spouses. If someone wasn't married yet and asked me which should I do, we would probably recommend the fiancé. It's a little bit different process, but it gets the couple together faster. Usually, that's like the #1 concern.
Dean: Okay. You're reuniting couples. Really, that's the part of it. It doesn't matter whether they are married or anticipating getting married. It's the relationship that's the thing.
Dean: I was just going to ask, do you know ... How much is that service that you provide? What would be the average fee for that just to get a sense of the scale of the service?
Jim: Generally, someone is going to spend in filing fees with the different government agencies around $1,200. Then our fee is right around $2,750. Generally, they're going to spend about $4,000 on the whole process.
Dean: Okay. Is that a process that you can do in high volume? Are you set up to do that as a process? Is that something that requires your individual time? I want to get a sense of how many of this you could do?
Jim: That' a great question. We have a staff of 3 attorneys and 2 support staff. One of my paralegals is very, very good at this. She does a lot of it. She's about to go out on maternity leave. We have been spending the last 3 to 4 months getting all of her stuff out of her head and into written procedures. I think we're in a pretty good system. Basically, we would send an intake form to the couple. They would provide us with a bunch of information. We will prepare the documents. They would sign the documents. We return as often as we need and we monitor them. Really where I get involve is in the initial consultation talking to people about the process. I try to oversee to make sure the submissions are correct. Then, as a team, we monitor the thing as we go through the process.
Dean: Okay. Now, as a dream-come-true scenario for you, how many of these would you, if we were able to just deliver them? Or for a snap of the fingers here, how many of them would you anticipate that you could accommodate or that you would love to have?
Jim: I think about 200 a year.
Dean: Okay. 200 of these a year, and that'd be about $800,000 in total revenue if you were complete, full with that, full capacity, I must say.
Jim: Yes. It be 200, let's say, 3,000. The rest of it, legal fees.
Dean: I got you. Okay, yeah. Okay. About $600,000. $50,000 a month would be a nice thing. The limitation of 200 or setting 200 as a goal here, would that be because of the logistics of it? Or do you think the size of the market?
Jim: Oh, no. I think that the...
Dean: In other words, if you could handle the logistics of it, could you do 2,000?
Dean: Is there 1,000 as a opposed to 200?
Jim: Yeah. I was like, whenever somebody tells me a number, I'd like to connect it.
Dean: Just to see if it's possible.
Jim: We would need more support..
Dean: Yeah, of course, you would need more support. That's part of the thing is that I always have to help ... One of the breakthroughs that can really be useful for anybody is to think both what you can handle right now, what will be a dream come true in your current situation, but to also think about how high is high and take off those logistics goggles, as I call them. That sometimes we've set a number based on what we think we could handle in terms of how much work that would be. If you get to a point where you've got the process, the experience of really smoothing entry for somebody coming into the country to get married or as a fiancé, that a lot of that is systems based.
It's funny. I'm here in Toronto right now. I am looking out the window. I'm looking south from the Four Seasons and there's a tower at the TD Building, and it was the top 3 floors of this building. I met this guy who's an international lawyer. He's got the top 3 floors of this tower. It just reminded me seeing you. One of the people that I met him with was a guy who's golfing, who's one of the largest real estate attorneys here in Ontario. He's got a complete machine for doing every aspect of a real estate transaction. They do hundreds and hundreds of real estate transactions. There's lots of I’s that have to dotted and T’s that have to be crossed to make all that work. It really is probably 90% a logistics and efficiency thing than it is a lawyerly type of things that requires some legal strategy and thinking. Is this a similar thing?
Jim: I think it is. Dean, it's interesting, I used to ... When I first hung up my shingle, I was lawyer for immigrants. I thought that I will do immigration law and I will do other legal work for immigrants like if an immigrant a got in a car accident or needed a will. Then I narrowed to just immigration, right? I thought that was a big step. Then I started doing better financially. We have better systems when I just started doing immigration. Now, I'm even limiting the things with immigration that I do. I'm thinking about this book that I read called Built to Sell about this ad agency that decided to eventually do nothing but logos because they did systematize it.
Dean: That's it. Yeah. Perfect. That's where I'm getting at with this is if this is something that you could ... Do you know how in the Breakthrough DNA book, I talked about the weshootbottles.com.
Jim: We shoot cans.
Dean: We shoot cans, exactly. The whole thing is setting up the system for it. The thing that it requires, which is often sometimes a departure for professionals, I call them, people who have gone to school, trained to be a lawyer, trained to be a dentist or doctor or whatever it is, that there's often this part of them that can't imagine taking themselves out of that practitioner role and instead of setting up a business that does what the requirement is. I think that's cool if we can look at the people who are looking to bring a spouse into the country and then we can do as many of them looking to set up the systems to handle as many of them as you can efficiently. Then the question that I always ask to set the stage for the before unit here is how much would you cheerfully pay for them if I could deliver them like a vending machine?
Jim: Love it. I would cheerfully pay certainly 10%, so that's $275, maybe $500.
Dean: Okay. $275 up to $500, you said, is that?
Jim: Yeah. If I had the vending machine, I could put in $500 and take out $2,750 or $3,000, I'd be happy. I do it all day long.
Dean: Okay, great. That's something that ... I love that you've thought that through because a lot of times, people who do personal service type things often, they set their pricing based on their cost of delivering it plus a margin of their time, how much their time is worth and don't allocate any money for finding them. Don't have that budgeted in there. Is there a price sensitivity in that market or is it pretty standardized pricing? Is there anything ... Are there people that charge more and people that charge less? Or is pretty standard pricing?
Jim: That was interesting. I would say that our biggest "competitor" are people thinking that they can do it themselves. There's a lot of that. There's also a lot of fly by night in an immigration form companies on the web where you pay them $200 and you give them the information, then it shoots up these forms for you, but there's no issues fighting, no identifying for potential problems. It's just we create the forms that you need to submit. I would say financially, we're on the upper end of things, I think. I don't think we're on a low end at all.
Dean: Okay. I'd like to hear that, too. Now, when you look at where they are right now, is there something in profit activator 2 here, what I'd look at is looking how are we going to reach them? They seems to me like they would be what I call invisible prospects, in that they haven't yet started the process of ... Or they haven't registered anything yet, right? Or am I wrong? Are these people ... If you had to find them, where would you look?
Jim: Let me just throw this out there for you, Dean. I don't know if this is a wild card or not. My wife is from Egypt. I became a Muslim 20 years ago. Unlike most immigration attorneys, I have probably 3 Spanish-speaking clients. Almost all my clients are Muslims and/or Arab Muslims from Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iraq. Those kinds of areas. Where I find those people is locally at the mosques and word of mouth. There's not anything like ... I remember in I Love Marketing, you had that example, forget what it was. I haven't really done much in that particular marketing and certainly, I haven't done any for this specific area of spouse visa.
Dean: Okay. One of the assets that you have right now, of course, would be the number of people that you've helped do this already. How many of those ... How people do you have that you've helped do this for?
Jim: With spouse visas, I would say probably about 200, but we have visa...
Dean: It doesn't even matter if it's spouse visas right now because if it's Middle Eastern or those countries, however they got in here, that's probably they're likely in their circle to have friends or know people who are looking to do this same thing.
Jim: I'd say around 1,000.
Dean: Okay, perfect. Those are all local ones?
Jim: I'd say, 80%, 90%.
Jim: Then, we have an email mailing list. I send out my flagship email, like you said, every Monday morning. It's half about me and my family and half about the ... Some about the firm and then half about immigration needs. Then, I have roughly 150 YouTube videos all about immigration. Then on our website, we have about, I think, 1,000 pages of content on our website, all immigration related.
Dean: That's awesome. You got a real great footprint there and 1,000 people that you've already ... You are their de facto immigration attorney. That makes a big difference right there, right?
Dean: That's going to be a great asset. Now, is that a community referral based? Is that something that they would look to friends and family to advise them or to point them in the right direction? Or are they find it on their own and not really depend on the community?
Jim: The one who refers people as I help was a client named Nazim. I helped him bring his wife here from this town in the Kurdish part of Iraq called Zakho. My man has probably referred me between 15 and 20 families. Now, one of the spouses get here, I sometimes get invited to the wedding sermon as the wedding celebration. They're big on referral. Once they feel they trust you, then they're willing to recommend you to other people.
Dean: How cool. It sounds like you've got a lot going on here. Let's work backwards from this because I would like to start where the asset is rather than try and convince new people. You've got an asset of ... How many of the 1,000 would be ... It doesn't really matter where they're from because you're not specializing specifically on ... We're not narrowing it to that particular region per se. The fact that all of these 1,000 have immigrated and you've helped them. Do you measure what we call your return on relationship in your after unit? Are you familiar with that term?
Jim: No. I'm familiar with it of you talking about it, but it's been a while. It's not something I do actively, no.
Dean: All right. Here's how we calculate it. This is going to be a number that I think we're going to be able to move really pretty easily for you. If we look at the number of people that you have in your after unit, these are people that you've helped and already know you, like you and trust you. Then we looked at the number in the last 12 months of people that you helped that have been either repeat or referral clients within those 1,000. How much of your current business, would you say, fall into that category if you were to look back at the last 12 months?
Jim: I would say at least 20%, maybe a little higher.
Dean: When we look at that 20% of your business right now that, that does it, the way that we calculate the return on relationship is as a percentage of the people. If I would take that 20%, and how many transactions or how many people would that represent in a 12-month period will be the number that, that you can define that.
Jim: Last year, we opened 230 matters last year.
Dean: Okay, great. You're saying maybe about 50, 45 or 50 of them are repeat and referrals?
Dean: Okay. I would say when I look at it, I'm saying repeat but there's probably not ... It would mostly be referral, was it?
Jim: The nice thing about immigration is, is that there's its virtuous cycle. If you help someone bring their spouse here, then later on, you help that spouse become a citizen and then they sponsor their mom and and dad. Then the mom and dad come and they sponsor their children.
Dean: Yeah, exactly, okay. When I look at this, part of it is that I think you've got a big opportunity here just in the after unit when we look at that. If we look at and dissect the referrals that you did get, if you were to say how they happened, can you think of the most recent referral that you got and maybe how that came about? I don't want the most recent, but just think of one that comes to mind of how ... Yeah.
Jim: It's all friends of the people that I've already helped someone else bring.
Dean: Okay. If one of them, just think one of those scenarios. What I'm looking for is to see how it actually ... What were the mechanics? How did it happen? Did they call you and say, "Listen, I'm somebody's cousin. You helped them immigrate. I'm looking to do the same?"
Jim: It's usually them calling the office. They get an appointment to see me. When they come in, we ask them, "How did you hear about us?" Then they say, "You helped my cousin bring someone else."
Dean: Perfect. Yeah. Most of the time, if you were to look at the referrals that you do get, a lot of them would probably follow that exact same pattern. That's what I call a passive referral, in that they show up, they set up an appointment and they come in to your office, and then they tell you that "You helped my cousin. We'd like you to help us do the same."
Dean: Then the other one is often a what I call a reactive referral where one of your clients might call you and say, "Jim, our cousins are looking to move to the country. Here's their contact information. Could you help them get started?" Does that happen as well?
Jim: It does.
Dean: I would bet that, that happens probably less often than the passive referrals, just if it's following the pattern of virtually every business that has a orchestrated referrals.
Jim: I'm nodding yeah.
Dean: Yeah. If you look at it, that's primarily how they happen. Where we, I think, we have the big opportunity is that we've got the opportunity to orchestrate some referrals here. When We look at it, the thing to understand is that you've already got momentum on your side, in that this issue and these people are already inclined to want to take advice from somebody who's already done it and give that advice to their friends who are thinking about immigrating. You don't have to ... That's not an upstream battle that we have to face here. They're already inclined to do it. That means that we can skip right to the logistics of how it happens and try and orchestrate scenarios so that it happens more. I look at it and I will say that referrals happened in conversation. That's how all referrals take place. Somebody is talking to somebody and they're talking about immigration or they're talking about coming to America or they're talking about whatever it is that fits in that world.
Now, in order for a referral to take place, 3 things have to happen. They have to notice that, that conversation is about immigration. They have to think about you. Then, they have to introduce you into the conversation. They have to introduce that 2 of you so that you can help them. When we look at that, the way that we can orchestrate that happening more is using the power of suggestion. One of the tool that we use all the time is the world's most interesting postcard. You could send anything but the world's most interesting postcard is what we've been using as a way to make the ... As a delivery device for the best. The magic of it isn't the information on the front side of the postcard, which is just interesting facts and fun things on the front.
Where the magic is, is on the back. It's a delivery device just to give us the opportunity to write a note on a graphic that looks like a post-it note that says, "Just a quick note. In case you hear someone talking about blank" and then a little bit of an explanation about why that might be happening or why this is the time of year that, that might be happening. With. Then saying, "If you hear someone talking about that, give me a call or text me and I'll get you a copy of this to give to them." That frame the work there.
The way that we would use that in real estate is that we would say, "Hey, just a quick note. In case you hear someone talking about buying their first home this month." If we're doing this at the beginning of the year, we'd say, "New Year is the time when people make ... Rest their New Year's resolutions and buying a home is often the biggest resolution they make. If you hear someone talking about buying a home this year, buying their first home this year, give me a call or text me, and I'll get you a copy of our 6 Steps to Home Ownership to give them. It's got all the ... They'll walk them through the whole process. It's what to consider when they're buying their first home.
That little mechanism of sending a message to somebody who already knows you, likes you and trusts you, giving them an opportunity to ... If you break down the way that, that works, we're not saying "If you hear someone talking about buying a home, tell them to give me a call or tell them about me or don't keep me a secret" or any of those kinds of things that are just depending on them to be a salesman for you, just we're saying, "If you hear someone talking about that, give me a call or text me and I'll give you a copy of my book to give to them."
Now, that is something that really gets at the heart of why people refer in the first place. Those people refer because they want to feel good. The way that we can help people feel good is by letting them have the glory of being the deliverer of this good thing. Not just touting how great you are, but being your ... You're giving them a chance to feel like an insider. Now, does your book ... I know you've done a 90-Minute Book with us. Is that one applicable to this marriage? Or was it particularly for employment immigration?
Jim: No, it's for students who want to get their green cards.
Dean: Okay, for students. That one was called Staying Here, wasn't it? Is that the one?
Jim: You're right. That's it.
Dean: Right. Okay I remember. I love the cover we did for you with the pin in the map, yeah.
Dean: Do you have something similar that would be the mechanism that we could use to encourage the people who already know you, like you, trust you to ... That we could give them to give to their friends or family or relatives who are thinking about coming?
Jim: Right now, I've been putting together, as I decided with my friend the other day, that's focusing on spouse petitions, I started putting together a white paper with content off my website and organize a brochure, but I don't have a book or anything.
Dean: Okay. I think that would be a really great tool that would be an easy thing for people to refer. Easy thing that people could say, "Let's get that for our cousin" or "Let's get that for whoever." That whenever you're communicating with them, that we've got this opportunity here. When we look at what I would look at in calculating your return on relationship right now is that you have right now 50 transactions out of 1,000 people would be a 5% return on relationship. Does that make how I calculated that?
Jim: I think so, yeah.
Dean: Right. We look at it that in the last 12 months, 50 of the 230 transactions that you did or matters opened, is that what you call it?
Dean: That those were from repeat and referral. I understand you're just telling me anecdotally what you recall right now. It's a metric that is worth looking at because it's one of the ones that you have the highest yield and the lowest cost on tapping into. I'll give you an example. I just did a Breakthrough Blueprint in London. One of the gentlemen who's there is a financial advisor. He's come to 4 of the last 5 Breakthrough Blueprints I've done in London. Every year, he takes lots of notes, but he has one key thing that he liked just goes in implements. Last year, the thing that he implemented was the world's most interesting postcard and focusing on his after unit. When we did the math, it had generated an extra £80,000 in his after unit just from adding the world's most interesting postcard. That's pretty interesting when you start to look at the return on investment of doing things like that, that you could ... When you look at that measurement, there's something that happens when you presence that thought all of the time.
Even though we say something specific every month, like the idea is to think through what are the high-probability conversations that your clients right now are going to be involved in, that if you could plant a chip in their ear and monitor their conversations and you were alerted to certain trigger words, what would be the conversations that would be valuable to you and what would be the context of those conversations? Like I mentioned in real estate, it might be somebody buying their first home or somebody moving out of town or buying an investment property or moving out to the country. Those are the kind of things that would be overtly related to it. What would be these kind of similar conversations that people might have in your situation?
Jim: I think that one is the interesting thing is if you're going to sponsor your spouse, you have to go overseas and get married. There's time away from work, there's time where you're probably preparing for your trip, probably time when you come back from your trip where you're telling the people around you, "Hey, I'm going to back to either meet my wife or I'm going to get married or to go and actually get married." I think that's one. I think another one would be like you said and people who have arrived. Then they oftentimes, they get together with their ethnic group and celebrate that person.
Dean: That's great, too, yeah, because then everybody is around there.
Dean: Okay. When you start thinking about ... When you start to make a list of those conversations, this is a great thing to do in a 50-minute focus finder, just 50-minute and a blank sheet of paper and just start thinking through. What are all the conversations that I imagine that my clients are having right now, that if I could listen in on them would be an opportunity for them to do something, to introduce me to those people so that we can help them.
When you start thinking about how to fill in those blanks, the rhythm of it is "Just a quick note. In case you hear someone talking about this," and here's why that might be something that would come up right now. "If you do hear someone talking about that, give me a call or text me, and I'll get you a copy of this to give to them." That just connects all of those steps. We're connecting the dots because so often, where we'll fall short is right now 50 people are turning into new clients for you, but there's probably 250 people who had a conversation about you or had a conversation that could have helped you, but you didn't get that some clients.
Part of that is just presencing it in their mind. It's not always ... This is what we've found now doing that for about 6 years now. Thing that it does is not ... It's not ever the overt thing that happens. It's not, "Hey, if you hear someone talking about their first house and somebody get you a postcard and says, 'Hey, I got your postcard and I heard someone talking about buying their first house, can you send me the books so I can give them a copy of it.'" That is not exactly how it happens. What it does is that it increases the volume and the times that people actually come to you because you're triggering something in their minds that when they hear even in an adjacent conversation to that, they are thinking about you and are much more likely to introduce you into the conversation because if, yeah, if I say to you, "Hey, Jim, if you see a pink elephant, give me a call or text me because really I've got some good stuff for pink elephants right now."
If you leave your office 3 weeks from now and you pull out of the driveway of the office and you see a blue elephant, that's still going to trigger that part of me because it was so close and so unusual. Same thing if you saw a pink giraffe. Even though it wasn't an elephant, it would trigger that adjacency to it. That's really the value that we have is to get people talking more about you and noticing the different types of conversations that they're likely to have.
Jim: It makes a lot of sense. It's like planting a seed.
Dean: That's exactly what it is. It's planting that referral seed. 2 things that, just to get us to where we are right now is that I see that as that after unit as a low-hanging fruit for you right now, in that you're ... You've already got that kind of relationship with people. Now, it's just a matter if we can orchestrate as we can take that number. It will be great to take that number from 50 to 200 and get a 20% annual yield on your relationship portfolio. I think that's completely doable. It's just going to be a matter of figuring out how to keep that conversation going.
You've mentioned something at the beginning of the call about the ... Right now, you're saying fiancé visas are ... It's easier to get somebody as a fiancé than a spouse. That's insider knowledge that you have that somebody might be ... They might be thinking the other way. They might be thinking, "I'm going to go back and get married and then be able to bring them over here." If they knew that it would be easier to bring them over and then get married here, that would be a valuable piece of information that any one of your clients, any one of the 1,000 people that you've helped right now would be happy to have.
Jim: Yeah, that's a sad conversation when the person comes back, all excited about being married. I was like, "You should have come to see me beforehand because I could have gotten them here a lot quicker."
Dean: Yes. I think that might be ... That would be the kind of thing where you're saying, "Just a quick note. In case you hear someone talking about getting married before .. And bringing their spouse into the country." There's a lot of misconception about that. Right now, it turns out that it's actually faster and going smoother. If there's any reason that you can say ... That gives some validity to that and then say, "If you hear someone talking about that, give me a call or text me and I'll get you a copy of the new regulations or the new whatever or my book on bringing" would have come up with a great title for your book that's faster than just coming off the top of our tongue. I always laugh, if people knew, a title doesn't just float up and that they knew how much work goes into ... Coming up with just the right title.
Dean: We're just going to say the awesome title of your book right now and leave that as a placeholder for the actual awesome title of your book, that that would stimulate a lot of those types of referrals if those conversations are happening right now.
Dean: Then if you think about maybe the other conversations that might be high probability there and presencing those. I think the way that we look at it is like you've got 1,000 people who you're sort of the incumbent and you communicate with people pretty regularly. How often in your after unit would you communicate with those people, like with the people?
Jim: There's nothing specific targeting people that I've done business with in the past. They're not treated right now any differently than the people who raise their hand and just ask about us at some point.
Dean: Okay. There we go. You've got to elevate that to you're their advocates. They're in the family. Now, you're part of the family because you have facilitated them being part of the American family. I think that, that's a big piece. You're a very significant person in the history of that family, especially if they're the first ones coming to America and you're the one that ... You're probably the most intimate relationship that they had outside of their friends and relatives who were encouraging them become. You're probably the first contact, the first person that they have the most interaction with. It's very highly emotional, even not demonstrably so maybe. It's very significant in that family history. I think if you really reveal that and really take that seriously that there's going to be a number of other needs that they have just like what you're saying here in terms of the amount of help that you could be to one family and their extended family and friends. That's a really serious opportunity for everybody.
Jim: You're right.
Dean: You got to feel good about making dreams come true, right? You're changing family histories. There's going to be families that come over here and then their kids are going to be the first kids born in America to that family and the rest of the family is coming over here, and you're really part of that extended family. I think embracing that and treating it like that would really be a great thing.
Jim: It's great, Dean.
Dean: I think, philosophically, that approach of embracing these 1,000 people and knowing that they're the gateway to the rest of their family, I think that's really where I would start, as opposed to looking to find new people. If our budget is $275 to $500 per person, if we were able to push the vending machine button for them, I look at it that the way I would look at those metrics is that if I were to set up a budget and say we've got these 1,000 people and maybe you start with ... I don't know what's your financial situation is or whatever, but maybe you start with $250 of them or $500 of them, or even if it was all 1,000 of them, if you had a budget of say $1 per month per person for the year, I just know that if you spent $1,000 a month, spending something valuable, like that kind of conversation starting peace to the people who you're the de facto immigration family attorney, that those conversations are really likely to be happening.
Jim: I'd be happy to do that. Spending $1,000 a month, if I get 1 case a month, I’m making money.
Dean: Absolutely. I think that making that as the baseline here, if you look at that, that's the baseline, that everybody is going to get that communication, and then there are probably ... Of those 1,000, there are probably a top 150 that you would recognize by name and have a conversation with them. You probably have a closer relationship with those people. Then some of the 1,000, right? If you were to really look at the top 100 or top 150 of them and layer on top of the every month campaign with those people, some specific opportunities to pay attention and notice what's going on that might affect them preemptively. By that I mean, I'd say that referrals happen when 3 things line up. They have to notice that the conversation is about immigration. They have to think about you and then they have to introduce even to the conversation, that you can do that same thing in reverse side by being aware, paying attention and noticing what's going on. Something is changing where just like you said, you noticed that.
It's that fiancé visas are coming faster than marriage visas. That's some insider knowledge. If you know that, that might fit a specific person in your family there, and I call that your family, your 1,000 people there or you're top 150, especially, the ones that you know more about, to reach out to them individual. These are the people that you're going to really treat like family in a way. By that I mean recognizing their birthdays, that's appropriate, recognizing ... Just reaching out to them more often. The ones that you feel comfortable and have that kind of relationship with.
I would start with the 50 that were attributed to your after unit this year, the last 12 months. Those 50, the people who either ... The people who referred them and the people who came because of that referral would probably get you up to 100 people right there, both the people who were referred and the ones who did the referring. You've already got a pretty high probability group that demonstrated that they appreciate referrals because they accepted the referral from their friend or their family member and you appreciating that and showing people makes a big difference.
Jim: Right. You're really talking about digging deep into my list and really parsing out the rock star of members to really like to refer us and pay more attention?
Dean: Yeah, I'm saying why not? Yeah, I'm saying let's do that first and work on your process and your dream-come-true experience for it, right, because now, it's going to be less expensive for you to do it that way because right now you got those referrals but you really don't have an attribution for that money. You got those for free right now.
Dean: Right. The way it works up, is that a pretty typical year? Is that a pretty typical scenario that, that percentage of business comes from referrals?
Jim: It is now, yeah.
Dean: Okay, great. That's what I'm saying, it's like such a high-probability, high-yield scenario to focus on your after unit. I'm not saying to do that forever. I'm saying that in the world where we've got limited time and resources to apply things, to actually do them, that, that's a very valuable thing to start with. Let's start with what you've got, something that's already working and let's orchestra it. Let's try and double or triple that number and see what's possible because if you were to chart out over the last 12 months just the frequency of how often these referrals happen kind of thing, is it pretty evenly spread out over the course of the year? Like you can just count on every month 3 or 4 people are going to walk through the door that you just didn't know they were coming in and here they are?
Jim: Yeah, I'd say probably closer to 3 or 4 a week.
Dean: That's perfect. Okay. There's a great opportunity there. In that way, when you shore up your after unit, you start with this lifetime relationship, that's what we're talking about in the after unit, profit activator 7 and 8, nurture lifetime relationships and orchestrate referrals.
It also reminds me when I took piano lessons as a child. My piano teacher would always have me start learning the song with the last bar, so I'd learned the last line and then I would build up and learn the last 2 lines and then back up so that by the time I had learned the first line of the song, I'd already mastered the end of it. No matter what, it's all we're going to get I'm going to finish strong. I'm going to end really well. I think that's a good way to think about your business as well is to start think like, "I'm going to maximize the relationships that we have." That really makes then anything that you're spending in the before unit to acquire new people is a multiplier because you know that the lifetime value of that one person is now you can count on instead of a 5% return on relationship in your after unit.
I understand that, that's not a number that you measure. I understand that. That's a new thought to really put a metric to it. When we look at it, that if instead of your after unit having a 5% return on relationship, we can get it to where you get a 20% return on relationship. That makes every new person that we add in worth that much more.
Jim: It's brilliant.
Dean: Does it make sense?
Jim: Yeah. It's so funny because we spend so much time just making about new clients, new clients, new clients.
Dean: Yeah, but it's a lot like ... Another analogy for that is if we're playing golf and we're trying to improve your golf score, the best way to lower your score is to get better at 5 foot putts. Everybody wants to go out and get a new driver and hit it 20 yards further off the feet. That's the equivalent, that's the golf equivalent of getting to get a new add.
Jim: Looks very good.
Dean: I think that, that's the ... I think having that focus on your after unit, I think you should look sending something like the world's most interesting postcard to your top 1,000 there and especially even your top 150 with those conversational notes on the back to orchestrate the referrals. Like you talked about, that could be the first one, "Just a quick note. In case you hear someone talking about going back to get married to bring their spouse into the country."
I don't want to put words in your mouth, but however you say that there's ... "What we're finding right now is that fiancé visas are actually getting faster processing and favorable treatment to spouse visas. It's a faster and easier process. If you hear someone talking about thinking that they need to get married in order to bring their spouse over here, give me a call or text me, and I'll get you a copy of my report or the guidelines or the book, whatever." Something that makes it clear that this is something that they can get to give to their friend or family member, that's going to be one thing. Then, if there's something else, another conversation that would be a high-probability conversation just looking for each month to presence that to let people know.
Dean: I don't think it's exciting to start looking now to even measure over the next 6 months the impact of really focusing on looking at those relationships. When you've got that focus, what it's going to encourage you to do is to build out your knowledge base about each of the people. We talked about building our referral profile for each of your clients that you start to think right from the very beginning, what are they likely to do next? Who are they likely to be in conversation with? Do they have other family that could be ... You're just as part of your intake process, gathering information that you know is going to be useful and helpful to them further down the road, too.
Jim: In the after unit.
Dean: I would start with the top 150, the ones that you know now, the ones that you know a little more about and rank through those ... Think through those scenarios. If they were to refer somebody, who would it likely be?
Jim: Thinking like a chess master.
Dean: That's exactly right. That was fun.
Jim: That was awesome, Dean.
Dean: I'm going to enjoy doing this podcast. I forgot we're doing a podcast for minute there!
Jim: Thank you so much.
Dean: It's just fun to hatch evil schemes.
Jim: It was awesome. I got a lot out of it. I really appreciate it.
Dean: There we have it. I hope you enjoyed that first episode of the podcast. I really enjoyed doing it. I'm looking forward to doing a lot more of this. If you want to keep the conversation going, go to morecheeselesswhiskers.com. You can download a copy of the More Cheese, Less Whiskers book. You'll get notified every time we do a new episode. If you'd like to be a guest on the podcast, just click on the link we've cleverly labelled Be A Guest. Maybe we can have some evil schemes for your business. That's it for this week. I look forward to many more episodes of More Cheese, Less Whiskers.