This episode focuses on enterprise consulting and decision support. I interview João Teixeira who runs a consulting/software solutions company focused on helping law firms make better decisions. I ask Joao about helping companies get past their internal barriers to decision making. We also talk about the challenge of introducing complex and even mathematical tools to organizations and what the adoption curve looks like.
João has achieved an extensive experience of 20 years as Consultant & Business Developer in a wide range of sectors and industries, he now operates with value management consulting services for all kind of legal firms to legal departments in private, public and state-owned organizations, including banking and financial services.
Frank Bria (00:00):
The 6 to 7 Figures Show. Episode 78 ready? Let’s hit it.
Broadcasting from the Valley of the Sun outside Phoenix, Arizona. This is the 6 to 7 Figures Show. Tired of working so hard and having no time? Take your six figure practice and turn it to a thriving seven figure enterprise. And now your host, author, speaker, mentor and strategist Frank Bria.
Frank Bria (00:29):
Hey everyone. Welcome to the 6 to 7 Figures Show. I’m your host, Frank Bria and today’s episode we’re going to be focusing on strategy development for law firms and corporate consulting. But first a quick message from our sponsor. The this episode of the 6 to 7 Figures Show is brought to you by High Ticket Program. Did you know that you’re only 12 projects away from turning your six figure practice into a thriving seven figure enterprise? In the High Ticket Program Accelerator, we guide you through every step of growth and scale a process we call leap. Imagine having a world class project team guiding you and your team through every step of pain, free growth, all with the goal of becoming a seven figure enterprise and moving away from painful time consuming business operations and client delivery. Get a taste of leap in your own business by downloading our free high ticket program core offer Blackbook that contains more than 60 pages of standard operating procedures for your business, including onboarding, customer service, graduation, financial management, and much more. You can get that for free by going to the show’s homepage at 6to7.show That’s 6to7.show for your free Blackbook and I am very pleased to be introducing today’s guest. His name is Joao Teixeira and he has achieved extensive experience, 20 years as a consultant and business developer in a wide range of sectors and industries. He now operates with value management consulting services for all kinds of legal firms to legal departments in public, private, and state owned organizations, including banking and financial services. Joao, welcome to the show.
Joao Teixeira (02:13):
Thank you Frank for being here.
Frank Bria (02:15):
Oh my pleasure. And we were having a little bit of a conversation prior to the interview, we were joking about our common engineering background. It seems to be that we’ve had a couple of interviews with folks with engineering background in the last few episodes. It seems to be a really good skill. So talk us through how you think that kind of infrastructure, that kind of background helps you in your consulting practice.
Joao Teixeira (02:46):
Yeah. Normally in engineering, and I’m from Portugal, we are taught to be a critic about everything that goes around us. So I have a degree with engineering, and then afterwards, several years ago I took another degree, a master’s degree in industrial management and engineering. And what I have looked upon as I am doing my consulting work was that I only worked as an engineer for one and a half year. Right after that, I started doing some internal consulting within the company that I was and I was invited by a software house to develop software and to be aware of all the prerequisites of the clients to do the software itself applied to the customer demands. So what happened was that I work in several areas from total quality management, the easel line fathered one certificate snore.(?) And I’ve also apply these to management consulting, several services consulting. And I finally ended up doing law practice management consulting in software that is applied to law decision making. It is very interesting to see that engineering can be used as a process for you to be critical about all kinds of approaches and reduce the burden of the bureaucratic procedures from the normal lawyers and these goals from the sole practitioner to inclusive the banking and financial and also government. We apply several metrics and several KPIs during the consulting procedure. And we normally do business user cases so that the clients can follow up the procedures in a more efficient and productive way.
Frank Bria (04:56):
So is this a, would this be considered sort of decision sciences, is that right?
Joao Teixeira (05:01):
Yeah, decision management.
Frank Bria (05:03):
This is a fascinating area, man. I worked in decision management in the banking industry for a number of years and you know, I think a lot of corporations are missing a great deal of benefit from not implementing some kind of decision management framework. And for those people who are listening and are not aware of what that means, essentially it’s some kind of an automated system from either rules-based or AI. There’s lots of different algorithms, but helps organizations make better decisions and decisions which are aligned with their strategic objectives rather than, today I feel like doing such and such. It creates consistency and organizations. Do you find that as you’re working with law practices specifically the management, is that more of a revenue item or an expense saving item for those practices?
Joao Teixeira (06:03):
More revenue items seen by the lawyer, but expensive items seen by us doing consulting. We break the norm because we apply both within our software. We normally tell our clients that they have to look upon a binomial factor, the right per cost hour and the rights of the value hour that has to be applied for the lawyers to be producing time, producing and factoring. This because the lawyer itself is only one active ingredient to be able to be payable. And that is time. It is not experience, it is not faxes, diagrams, procedures. It is time, 24 hours a day and they can only produce faster or slower. Normally when we do consulting, we try to increase the productive abilities of the lawyer, of the organization itself. And I am very proud to say that while applying law decision making software to the organizations, we normally apply from 40% to 42% increases in productivity.
Frank Bria (07:23):
Wow. Yeah, that’s pretty significant.
Joao Teixeira (07:26):
Yeah it is.
Frank Bria (07:27):
There is something about the mathematical or whatever you want to call it, algorithmic decision making pieces that create productivity that I, a real human being, I don’t think could really do. I remember working a number of years ago with a software company that was working in the banking space and they were using this kind of algorithm decision making to increase profitability in price setting. And the conventional wisdom, I guess, was people were like, “Well, you know, experienced people can make good decisions. They don’t need machines”. And this particular software the CEO of this particular software company, he always would walk into a conference room and make a bet with anyone in the room that they could outwit his algorithm. He’s like, “I will buy dinner for everybody in the room if you guys can even come within 10% of what the computer can do”. And no one ever could, you know, there’s too many moving parts for a human being to figure out.
Joao Teixeira (08:33):
I’m all for it. I can also bet the time way over 10% normally our clients, what they look upon is that they lack several metrics to manage the business. And this is only accomplished by a solution that is straight forward and giving mathematical metrics.
Frank Bria (08:54):
Now, are you a lot of consulting upfront to help organizations figure out what their strategy should even be? I mean one of the things that I saw when I was in this space was that most organizations thought they were using metrics to make decisions, but they didn’t even really have a good definition of what success looked like to them. Is that, is that a big part of your practice as well?
Joao Teixeira (09:15):
Very big. Normally we have about 80% of our consulting practice is driving the customers forward. The kind of tools that they have to use. Only 20% of the consulting is operational and this is kind of art. Normally the client doesn’t know exactly the metrics that they need to operate the business, and this is odd because we’re talking about banking, financial, government and several impact law firms that are in the market and when they are focus within their problem, within their metrics, they are not looking inside the organization itself. They are looking only and focusing on the problem. Not only when we enter as an outside person just right. This is exactly just what you do, Frank. When you enter as an outside person doing consulting, we are able to see the old picture and direct the directors of the company, banking, financial to what is more important than that single problem. That is why the metrics are for that is 80% of consulting, normally 20% of operational consulting.
Frank Bria (10:39):
That, and again you’ve identified one of the magics or magic things about corporate consulting is depending on the organization. In fact, I was talking to a very large fortune 500 company just a few days ago and they were saying they’re trying to solve a problem internally, which they kind of know the answer to. They could use a little bit of help, but frankly, they wanted to bring outside people in because half the organization won’t even believe anyone internally. They need someone from outside to come in and tell them what to do.
Joao Teixeira (11:11):
Normally what happens is that when you do the consulting that drive the customer forward, he’ll end up being the policeman.
Frank Bria (11:20):
Yeah, that’s true. That’s a great metaphor. So there’s a lot of consultants who are listening to this who do a lot of corporate work and there’s a sort of common theme that’s a challenge for a lot of consultants that I think you guys have tackled cause you’ve been really successful going to market with this that I’d like to talk about and that’s you are fundamentally, your solution is complicated. You know what I mean? In the end it’s a complicated thing to explain and complicated things are hard to sell. So what are you finding is the positioning that works for you to communicate the benefit of this very complicated solution? What kinds of things are working for you in terms of messaging?
Joao Teixeira (12:06):
Yup. Then normally we have two core business in our company. One is law practice management software and another is digital marketing. So it is kind of easy for us to do the right marketing for our customers and we do it in a way that normally it is the customer itself that provides value. Okay. It is very important that the client knows the added value of the consulting that we do and that the software offers. But more important than that, is that we have 12 clients reference in order to be successful in our strategy of communication, direct marketing for the clients. And this is an odd Harriet(?) work. When you are trying to work in law practice management normally it is not you look upon the clients, these, the clients that want to look upon the best consultants in the market to work with and we are perceived in our company and, I’m fortunate to say, that we’re perceived as consultants with a very, high degree of added value. So we do not have great problems contacting clients and normally it is a clients of competitors. We are fully booked for three months and it is quite the challenge.
Frank Bria (13:33):
Well, clearly your reputation makes the whole thing a lot easier when you’ve got a good reputation in the of inbound requests. Did you push through that challenge as you were starting, as you were growing of trying to communicate what you do? Cause I think a lot of people, and it doesn’t even have to be as complicated as decision sciences as industrial engineering, a lot of corporate consultants have processes that they run, which I think one of the mistakes that a lot of consultants make is they sort of lead with that process. They lead with the, the secret sauce and they ended up talking about sort of inside baseball as we like to say in the United States. They talk about stuff that no one really cares about unless you’re in that process. This client certainly doesn’t care about it, they want the result. Did you have to kind of push through that to get to build the reputation that you have?
Joao Teixeira (14:28):
Let me quote Jocko Willink. You have to go get some, you have to grind it off. It is no chance at all. You have to grind it off. The beginning was very tough. You have to learn a lot of things. You are from engineering, you are going to management consulting, then you are going to law practice management consulting. Then you are directing metrics for lawyers that are, you should know exactly what they do. You have to commit your full time to it. There is no escape. The grind that you apply to the business goals into your reputation add value that the client perceives of you.
Frank Bria (15:11):
Yeah. Well we just lost half the audience by telling them it’s not easy. It’s a common misconception that there’s some magic pill that you can take that makes all of that easy. But the fact of the matter is building a successful consulting practice is very, it’s hard work.
Joao Teixeira (15:29):
Frank Bria (15:29):
For sure. So let’s turn the attention a little bit to the kind of work that you do. Because you’re providing a solution that’s sort of surrounding a software practice. Can you walk us through what an engagement looks like with you guys? So you know, what kind of onboarding do you do? Kickoffs. What kind of milestones are you looking for as you’re working through an engagement? Do you mind sharing a little bit of that process?
Joao Teixeira (15:57):
Yeah. Normally we are contacted by the client itself, either due to several word of mouth within the several sectors of law practice and also due to several announcements that we have on the social networks. I’m talking about Instagram, Facebook, including Tik Tok now. Yeah, we are using them all because we are following a range from the 26 years to lawyers until 70 years old. And normally the onboarding processes, proceed with the consultation, this is free of charge. Okay. We have to add some kind of value upfront for the client to start… For the clients being able to start to gain some trust in our ability and what he might perceive of our work. And as I’ve talked earlier, normally the law practice management world, it is misinformed in financial and our software is very financial based. What I talked early about the cost hour versus the right hour. It is a binomial product that normally the lawyers don’t get along with well. Our software produces all kinds of metrics. Combining these two together and automatically in real time.The perceived value is that the lawyer doesn’t have to change his way of working to produce your body process that we offer. It is an integration with Alto word(?), the normal tools that lawyer needs that works in the Trek, the time in an automatic matter for the right to be able to tell himself, “okay, this is exactly the produced time that I have” and then when you will have to dictate objectives to his company, institution, he will be able to direct the produced time and you can translate that to the time that will be billed to the customer. When we are talking about banking or financial, you are able to have objectives directed to the producing expected time to several kinds of process. This is a framework and a checklist that is introduced within the system in order to be able to start out with the greatest buyer inside the organization or not. This is all about consulting over here. When you are talking about consulting. The first consulting is giving added value the binomial product or the financial adjustment of the costs for the client. Possible costs for billing, for talking about this law firm and this perceived value. It gives us the opportunity to present the software for the client. Normally we do a business user case that directs all the questions and all the metrics that the client is not looking upon when we are talking to them and afterwards we do a demonstration of our software. If this applies to the customer itself, then we follow up within the requisites to develop specific kinds of reports, metrics, diagrams, faxes, everything. It is very straight forward process. It is add value, trust, and deliver.
Frank Bria (19:58):
Yeah. I was going to say that it just taking it up one level as applicable to a lot of different consulting practices. I think it’s interesting. First of allthat you’re doing the free consultation to add value at the beginning of the process. I think that’s important. A lot of consulting companies are starting to move away from that now or are afraid that they’re kind of giving away too much in that first piece. But I think that’s a critical first area. So at first it sounds like you are defining the metrics for success. In other words, you are helping the organization get the framework to even understand whether or not they’re going to be successful in the engagement upfront.
Joao Teixeira (20:45):
More than that you are really finding the metrics that they have upfront and doing so, you are surrounding yourself with all the information that you can get in order to do a better job implementing the solution. This is the main gain on the free consultation.
Frank Bria (21:11):
And this is critical. I mean, most consultants will go through a process. One of the things I think is critical here that a lot of consultants don’t do is set themselves up to be able to declare victory at the end of the engagement. I mean, you want to be able to have an agreed upon definition of what success looks like in the engagement. And most organizations don’t even know what that is. They haven’t created their own internal framework for measuring that so that you do that up front is really, really smart. The other thing that you’re doing that I think is really interesting and I think people need to listen to this as an example is you are leveraging the solution inside of their own existing process. You know, a lot of people do process change work. You know, they’ll do change management and they’ll re-engineer processes and then other people are optimizing outcomes in existing processes. And most consultants will confuse these two and they’ll try to do both at the same time. Well, and I’m sure that there are processes that change, but I’m kind of hooking onto the idea that your, the person who could be the biggest challenge for you in the engagement, the lawyer, is keeping with their existing tools and you’re making this sort of friction-free for them. You know, you’re making it an easier process for them to adapt the new framework that’s again, really smart. Really smart move.
Joao Teixeira (22:45):
Thank you. We normally apply one procedure that within these kind of business is not applied. Normally it is only the lawyer that is being evaluated and we advocate that the administrative personnel should also be evaluated. So the work that they produce because normally when law practice management what our law practice management software does and our consulting does also, it’s been able to talk to tell a law firm and also government and banking and financial that they are losing money if they don’t consider the administrative personnel that is working for them. Because normally this encompasses for 18% to 20% of the work time. They didn’t considered the total amount of time produced and the costs associated with it would have to be quite direct in this. It is financial matter. At the end of the day. We want to have money in the bank.
Frank Bria (24:00):
Right? Yeah, again, you’re coming back to this idea that at the end of the day you’re there. This is a financial transaction for the organization. You’re working for him. Even though there’s complex mathematics and things like that, an engineering and process work and revamping and metrics going on in the background. At the end of the day, they’re just trying to make more money. That’s great stuff. We are unfortunately out of time and I really appreciate, I would love to talk you about this, I geek out on this stuff with you for hours probably, but most of the podcast guests would get lost in the mathematics, but I think it’s fascinating what you guys are doing. And you’ve laid out a really good framework for consultative efforts for a lot of corporate engagement. So hopefullylisteners are taking that away and as they have their own engagement that they’re designing for folks as well. One last question though before we go. As folks are listening and they want to be able to connect with you, what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you and your company?
Joao Teixeira (25:10):
So best way to contact the company is go direct to the websites, kaimylaw.com or the cloud website that we are presently developing. That is solutionsforlawyers.com or you can also look upon the link that Frank can put up that is a direct link to my LinkedIn profile. Normally I am contacted by almost 90% of my clients through my LinkedIn profile.
Frank Bria (25:37):
Okay, great. Great. Yeah, we’ve got those links are below the video. If you’re watching the video, if you’re on the show notes page, they’re in there. If you’re out and about listening to this audio, come on back to the show notes page or the YouTube channel, and you’ve got the links there to click on through. Joao, thank you very much. This was a fascinating conversation. You’ve shared a lot with us. It’s terrific. Thanks so much for taking the time.
Joao Teixeira (26:00):
Thank you, Frank.
Frank Bria (26:01):
And thanks for being with us on the 6 to 7 Figures Show. I’ve been your host, Frank Bria. And just a quick reminder about the free high ticket program core offer Blackbook. It contains more than 60 pages of standard operating procedures on how to run your coaching, consulting or expert based service business. You can download that for free at the show’s homepage, 6to7.show. That’s 6to7.show for your free Blackbook. And thanks so much for being with us and we’ll see you on the next episode of the 6 to 7 Figures Show. Make it happen.