Discuss Travel Expenses in Advance – If you’re traveling with an attorney-client or at his request as a CLNC® consultant you should always discuss your travel expenses (e.g., airfare, meals, hotel and cancellation/change fees) and consulting fees in advance. You don’t want any surprises at billing time that may undermine the trust or good-will you have built up with that attorney.
If you travel on business often, you may want to establish a day rate which covers your usual hourly rate for the time you are working, plus an appropriate premium for the time you are traveling and away from home. Otherwise set your hourly rate to cover door to door (excluding non-working hours).
Arrive Early and Stress Less – Airline travel can be stressful to say the least, so reward yourself and arrive as early as possible at your destination the day before the meeting or event. Not only does this ensure you will make it to the event, you will be less harried once you do arrive. Arriving early also allows you time to prepare for the next day, enjoy a little of the city, eat well and get a good night’s sleep.
If you must fly the day of the appointment, travel in the morning and arrive early. You will encounter fewer delays. Allow time to make connecting flights and book direct flights when possible. The attorney-client may require you to book through the firm’s travel agent. If you have preferences about an airline or a specific time of day you want to travel, give the travel agent suggestions. Since the law firm is paying for expenses, the final decision is obviously theirs. Remember to confirm and reconfirm again.
Prospect on the Go – Something many Certified Legal Nurse Consultants forget is to prospect as they travel. Dress business casual. As comfortable as your Juicy Couture sweat suit and flip-flops may be, they don’t lend themselves to legal nurse consulting prospecting. Carry plenty of promotional materials. Keep your “A-dar” (attorney-radar) activated at all times. You never know where your next attorney-prospect will appear. The person standing in line behind you at Starbucks or sitting next to you on the plane may be a partner in a law firm. Remember too that attorneys have parents and siblings who can be a great source of information and may help you get your foot in the door.
Attorneys Have to Eat Too – So if the attorney-client invites you to join him for dinner, preparatory or celebratory, go for it. This is the perfect time to cement the bond. Do not bill for the time spent. Think of it as easy and inexpensive marketing, plus the opportunity to discuss the next medical-related case you will consult on.
I’m just sayin’
P.S. Comment and share your favorite business travel strategies.