What Alcatraz Can Teach Solicitors About Key Performance Indicators

I recently visited Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco. Until that point I had, I am pleased to say, never been inside a prison, so to start with one of the most notorious was quite something.

What Alcatraz Can Teach Solicitors About Key Performance Indicators

We had tried to obtain tickets before our trip to the States but without luck – they sell out months in advance. The only way to obtain the tickets was to join a queue at 5.30am on the day and hope to get one for the first trip of the day.

My daughter and wife volunteered to do this for us, leaving my son and I to lie in a bit longer. However, once they were out of the door I quickly followed to buy them a coffee and a hot chocolate to keep them warm in the queue. I wasn’t keen on them being up and alone in a foreign country at that time of day.

As it transpired, everyone that wanted to be on the trip had to be in the queue, so on arriving with their drinks, rather than being greeted with warm smiles, they were snatched from me whilst orders were ushered to run back to the hotel to collect my son otherwise we would not be able to go. Run I did, then run Sam and I did, and luckily tickets were obtained, phew!

I have to say that the trip was well worth it. It is still exactly as it was when it was a prison, so you get a real sense for how it must have felt to be there. Those cells are tiny!

On return to the UK we felt compelled to watch Escape From Alcatraz with Clint Eastwood (having also visited Carmel where he was the Mayor for some years).

It was good to see that they used the real prison in the film, the one we had been walking around just a week or so earlier.

In one of the scenes in the film one of the prisoners called English is speaking with Clint, explaining how the prison works to the new inmate.

He mentions how there are counts of the prisoners 12 times a day, so little chance of escape.

He goes on to say:

“Sometimes I think that’s all this place is. One… long… count. The prisoners count the hours, the bulls count the prisoners and the king bulls count the counts.”

That quote struck me. Even in prison the King Bull (Governor) checks that his staff are doing their numbers.

Are you, Mr or Mrs King Bull, on top of your numbers too?

How is your fee earner wage bill as a percentage of your turnover? If it isn’t in the right ball park, how will you fix it?

How can you dramatically improve your chances of reaching the targets that you set for your law firm to provide the life that you want? When I say improve, I mean improve by a factor of 45% no less? A significant improvement, is it not?

Both of these questions are answered in detail in this month’s issue of Marketing4Solicitors, which goes to the printer early next week. To secure your copy, you need to be a member before it hits the print run.

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Case Study

Beating the big boys whilst spending a fraction of their budget

We focus on accident claims, and it’s vital for us to have a strong web presence, which we didn’t have before Nick got involved.

As a result we had to buy in leads from other sources, reducing our profit margins and making us reliant on other companies to generate revenue.

We did have a company working on our Adwords and website, but the truth of the matter is that they weren’t getting the results we needed them to get – we only had a handful of clients coming in from those efforts, making us highly reliant on buying in the leads from elsewhere.

And then I came across one of Nick’s books, was impressed by what I read and got in touch with him.

The rest – as they say – is history.

We started working together with a clear brief: Nick’s job was to help us bring in more self-generated work, so we could stop relying on buying leads.

He started by working on our website, making it more accessible and easier to navigate.

Next he overhauled our Google Adwords, which the previous company had been running fairly unsuccessfully.

Adwords is hugely challenging in our sector, with some very big players bidding on some of the most common keywords, making it very difficult for any smaller firms to get a look in, and I’ve got to be honest and say that I didn’t know how Nick was going to make it work.

But he did, by analysing very closely what people were looking for and tailoring our Adwords efforts towards them.

It worked! We were competing with the big boys whilst spending a fraction of their budget, and the amount of work we got in was tremendous – we jumped from just a handful of leads and clients a month to 500 leads and 150 clients, every single month, all from our online efforts.

Nick didn’t just work on the lead generation side of things either – he helped us with the client conversion process too, training our team, making our sales calls better and improving our onboarding process to avoid drop-offs due to ‘cooling off’.

Now we don’t buy in any work at all, our pay-per-click efforts do a sterling job, and the large client database that Nick has helped us build has allowed us to increase the amount of work we do by a factor of ten, in just three years.

I’m one extremely satisfied client, and despite the dramatic differences Nick has been able to make in the time we’ve been working together, things are still improving thanks to his guidance and support.

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