For most Soloprenuers or Small Law Firms Owners one of the biggest obstacles in scaling our business is our own resistance to delegate and let go.

It’s not that we don’t know what to do, or that we are piling too much work onto ourselves. The problem lies in our ability to trust in the people we are already often paying to help us. Because the perception of how fast we can do this is in our favor. Especially if there’s management, training or setup time involved. Plus, having to be held accountable to the team members who need your help to accomplish what you’re delegating.

Last week, I was forced to come up with a plan for how I would be out of the office, relatively unreachable for five days. After I was unexpectedly informed that during a trip from Key Largo, to Key West, FL there would be ZERO ACCESSIBILITY during a journey at sea.

Now, keep in mind that Lex Tech Review and the Legal Technology Media Group were founded one year ago. Previously, I unwilling to forward my personal cell phone number which all of our clients have. It just didn’t feel right, and I kept coming up with excuses on why it wouldn’t be appropriate. All of which, I was proven were wrong.

Decision Day

I woke up at 5am and read the email reply stating there would be no wifi onboard the boat, nor reliable cellular service. (PANIC! I haven’t taken an off-the grid vacation in over 7 years.) Jumped out of bed and walked straight into my office and googled: How to Forward Calls from an iPhone.

And, much to my surprise, this simple image appeared. I couldn’t believe it was that easy, and this feature has been on my phone but I had never used it. In that moment, I knew what I needed to do… let go, and take advantage of the Answer 1 Virtual Receptionist Subscription I had in place for our main numbers but hadn’t truly leveraged.

Setup Couldn’t Have Been Any Easier!

I immediately called my Answer 1 contact Cameron Reichert, Director of Customer Success. I told her my dilemma and asked… So, do people ever forward their personal lines?

She was unbelievably helpful, and gave me tons of ideas and instructions on how we can best handle calls. Especially since my cell phone is tied to multiple businesses. We started with questions, like “How do you answer?” Should we give the option to book a call? We even role played how calls would be answered so she could adjust the script I prepared for best results when used by her team.

ALL of which, took about 10 minutes on the phone. Then Cameron sprung into action! She created a separate number for me to forward to, just for my cell phone. Then they can segment the calls, and use a different script than our two business lines. I received the number to forward to, and the final call script within the same day. I was so impressed, and equally relieved.

The Script & Process

After working with Cameron, one areas I’d like to share is the difference between forwarding a personal line compared to your business. The realization I came to was three-fold:

  1. Yes, there will be personal calls such as my doctor’s office, family or friends.
  2. The management and documentation of these calls will be far better than the random string of voicemails I receive and will try to dig through post vacation.
  3. By providing callers an option to book an appointment, much of the follow up would already be done or calendared before I get back.

Link to my actual phone script: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1duaOkc-bPpGxw2jhR4zAQzgmgrKAKz_ONj2oN89WFuM/edit?usp=sharing

Fearful of using minutes for telemarketers? Here’s what really happened.

I received far less “telemarketing calls” than I thought. Even with a new business, pesky phone calls from telemarketers were happening less than I realized. My guess is that it’s the post-phone call frustration feel when a call like that interrupts your day that makes you think they are happening all the time.

The Magic Combo: Virtual Receptionist and Rock Solid “Emergency” Out of Office Email

By combining call forwarding with an emergency out of office message, with contact information for our office administrator. I handed off the daily duties of follow up to a team of people who could access my calendar, and manage expectations by texting me for emergency responses.

My actual out of office email, with emergency definition:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1k144WU51GxC9s7n2Kosp14uXvEGfnST1ERAUp_V_rLk/edit?usp=sharing

Surprising Outbound Benefits – Answer 1 returned calls for me, thanks to easy text message replies!

As messages would come in, I would receive them via email and text message. Now, I was doing everything possible to keep myself from opening email… but text management was the perfect answer!

A call came in from a client asking if we had received sensitive documents related to a payment. In ONE TEXT MESSAGE I asked the Answer 1 team to call the client back and confirm that we received his information. The task was done in minutes, and they updated the same message via text.

The client was appreciative, and I went back to enjoying my day. I don’t know that it gets easier or better than that when it comes to client service. Instantaneous response, and prompt communication back to the client managed with a one-line text message. Management of nirvana.

The results: How well did it work?

SO WELL, that now I find myself forwarding my calls throughout the day so I can get work done. Delegating more to my admin because she was an absolute rockstar while I was away that my confidence and appreciation for her work is even greater than before I left.

The harsh and honest truth:

It is IMPOSSIBLE to break free and scale our businesses if we use our personal phone lines for everything. And, in the same breath, how can we ever do any work if your phone is constantly ringing? Like many, it is so hard for me to turn away from an inbound call. Feelings of guilt and obligation are overwhelming and I often pick up.

In just five days I realized how much unnecessary work I was putting on myself because I have a delegation program. (Or as some would put it, am a control freak, a trait of many entrepreneurs.) The whole point of having a business is to allow others to succeed at what they best, grow and be happy. NOT to give yourself more work to do.

Finally letting go, and letting service providers help you by doing what are experts at is a liberating and rewarding experience. I was not only able to trust that my calls were handled professionally, but it gave me uninterrupted time to focus on ways we can improve our operations across the board. A process I wouldn’t have gone through had I been worried about listening to voicemails or staying on top of my email.

Stay tuned for my next post, on how we are leveraging Answer 1’s Virtual Receptionist Services in other areas of our business.

Read our original product review of Answer 1 here:https://lextechreview.com/answer-1-review-law-firm-virtual-receptionists-trained-help-grow-business/

To learn how you can have your own “Break Through Moment” using Answer 1, contact Allison Vavra at:

Via email at allison@answer1.com by phone at 602.234.9131 or Schedule Time With Her

Chelsey Lambert

Chelsey Lambert

Chelsey Lambert is a Legal Technology Specialist, published Author and CLE Speaker. As a former Practice Management Advisor for the Chicago Bar Association, and Vice President of Marketing for a leading case management provider she has seen our industry from many angles. Today, she works with vendors to bring their products or emerging technologies into the marketplace. And, teaches legal technology courses to lawyers all over the country sharing different ways technology can benefit their law firm. As Founder of Lex Tech Review and Lex Tech Media Group she welcomes the opportunity to chat!

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