1762 – Law Firm Strategy with Demetrio Rico & Raquel Gomes of Stafi

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Chief of Operations & Founder of Stafi, Demetrio Rico & Raquel Gomes.

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Demetrio explained that Stafi's vetting and screening process is incredibly rigorous, with only 1% of applicants cutting. This ensures that only the best and most qualified individuals are hired.

Stafi takes pride in training its staff in-house and providing ongoing support to ensure they add value to the law firms they are paired with.

They don't just provide staff; they act as an extension of the law firms, handling onboarding, continuous education, and training for the virtual team. They even have a full-time psychologist dedicated to supporting the staff, which is a testament to their commitment to their employees' well-being.

Raquel added that Stafi offers different types of coaches to support the virtual staff representatives. Their client success team is in constant touch with the law firm owners, acting as their business partners.

Demetrio and Raquel emphasized helping law firms and lawyers with business development and sales strategies. They pointed out that many law firms mistakenly believe they need to hire more paralegals when what they need is to free up their time and focus on growing their business.

Stafi aims to help them find someone who can handle certain aspects of their business just as well, if not better, than they can, allowing them to scale their business to the next level.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Introduction of Demetrio Rico and Raquel Gomez, co-founders of Stafi
  • Overview of Stafi's services for law firms specializing in virtual staffing
  • Strict vetting and screening process for hiring virtual staff
  • In-house training and ongoing support for virtual staff
  • Different types of coaches and client success teams for support and engagement
  • Advantages of partnering with Stafi instead of recruiting locally
  • Importance of helping law firms with business development and sales strategies
  • Empathy and sales skills in a receptionist or intake person role
  • Negative impact of interruptions on efficiency

About Raquel Gomes:

Raquel Gomes, a passionate entrepreneur and advocate for women in business, hails from the south of Brazil. Armed with a unique blend of expertise as a licensed psychologist with an MBA in International Business, Raquel is the founder of Stafi.

Her company specializes in sourcing highly qualified offshore staff, enabling business owners, particularly women entrepreneurs, to focus on core tasks that drive client satisfaction and business growth.

Having excelled as a sales Rockstar and a leader of Rockstar Sales Teams, Raquel emphasizes the importance of balancing professional success with cherished moments with loved ones and self-love. Despite her success in business, family and friends hold paramount importance in her life.

A fascinating aspect of Raquel's journey is her upbringing without television until age 16, instilling in her a unique perspective on screen time and fostering a creative mindset, a principle she now applies in raising her daughter.

About Demetrio Rico:

Demetrio Rico, a seasoned professional with over two decades of experience, has significantly impacted the global telecommunications sector through his leadership in successful sales teams.

Demetrio recently served as the Global Vice President of Sales for 2600Hz, contributing to the company's rapid growth. Before this role, Demetrio held key positions, including Global Director of Service Provider Development for Five9, where he played a pivotal role in launching cloud contact centers for service providers.

His extensive journey includes serving as Director of Customer Experience for Cisco and as Global Vice President of Professional Services for Broadsoft, leading a substantial team with an impressive annual revenue of over 16 million dollars.

Demetrio's wealth of team management experience and business skills led him to his current role as Stafi's Chief Operating Officer, marking a new chapter in his impactful career.

About Stafi:

Stafi is a dynamic company that boasts a skilled team comprising executive and personal assistants alongside customer service specialists. With a commitment to providing scalable and flexible staffing solutions, Stafi caters to the needs of global legal firms and tech companies.

Their services encompass diverse professional roles and promise cost-effective and low-risk staffing solutions.

By offering a mix of executive and personal assistants, Stafi addresses the multifaceted demands of businesses, allowing them to optimize their workforce efficiently.

The company's emphasis on scalability and flexibility ensures that clients can adapt their staffing needs according to the evolving requirements of their projects or operations.

Stafi's innovative approach aims to enhance efficiency and reduce costs, making it a valuable partner for legal and tech entities seeking reliable and adaptive staffing solutions.

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Stafi website at

Check out Stafi on LinkedIn at

Check out Stafi on Facebook at

Check out Stafi on Instagram at

Check out Raquel Gomes on LinkedIn at

Check out Raquel Gomes on Instagram at

Check out Demetrio Rico on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. Demetrio Rico and Raquel Gomez, you are each the co-founders of Stafi. Stafi is found on the web at get Stafi. That's get Stafi. Thank you guys so much for joining us.

Speaker 2 (00:01:16) - Thank you so much for having us.

Speaker 3 (00:01:17) - Yeah, it's our pleasure. Thanks, Jeff. Yeah.

Josh (00:01:19) - Well, please give us an overview of the work you do with staff and who you work with and the impact you have in the world.

Speaker 2 (00:01:26) - All right.

Speaker 3 (00:01:26) - Absolutely. So staff is a company dedicated to providing services to law firms. And we've been doing that for over eight years now. And I think our approach is probably what sets us apart from other companies. I don't know if you want to add a little bit to that, to our approach and our methodology.

Speaker 2 (00:01:46) - Yeah. So besides being very strict with the entire vetting and screening process, by the way, all of our staff is located in Latin America, so it's all virtual. We have a very strict vetting and screening process that takes us about five weeks. We only hire 1% of all of the applicants, those who make it to the final cut. We hire them in-house. We train them. We put them through a two week intensive program where they have to graduate with 90% or above in order to be paired with a law firm. And when we pair them with the law firm, this is our big, big differentiator. We are there throughout the whole journey, supporting the law firm and the staff representative to make sure that they are adding value to the law firm.

Speaker 2 (00:02:35) - So we are most of our clients consider us as an extension of their law firms from an HR perspective, because we free the law firm owner from anything related to onboarding, continuous education and training to the virtual staff. So we are there supporting them, making sure that we are helping grow their businesses and they have more time off to be the CEO. Focus on the strategy or to also be able to have more fun and a more balanced life.

Speaker 3 (00:03:09) - And when we say support, I'll give you an example. Josh, we have a full time psychologist that's dedicated to the staff so that any problems that they have at work, any problems they have at home, we're talking to them because working remote, as you know, is not so simple. And a lot of our lawyers have immigration law firms or family law firms, and sometimes the stories they listen to are not so great. And so you want someone that can get through it, walk, talk through that problem and get back to work. So that's really part of our process.

Speaker 3 (00:03:39) - And if you think about these small companies, they can't afford to do that. So that's just one of the little things that we bring is as an escalation internally for our staff.

Speaker 2 (00:03:47) - Yeah, we have several types of coaches. Their roles is to support the virtual staff representative who is assigned to the law firm, and the law firm owner will have the support of our client Success team, who is going to be in constant touch with them. They will see them as their business partners and whenever they, you know, maybe they say, oh, I want my staff representative to learn more about this or that. The VP of Client Success and their team will bring that back, and we will enroll the staff representative in different classes or modules. We have the staff university with over 80 modules, and we're adding two per week. So we're very active. And and what sets us apart from all of the other virtual staffing companies out there is the amount of support and engagement that we have with our clients.

Josh (00:04:42) - Yeah, and thinking about it from your client's perspective here, when let's say that there's too much work that needs to get done right.

Josh (00:04:50) - And so they know, hey, we really need to start doing some hiring or some filling in some roles because we're missing out on opportunity. What is the advantage to partnering with staff versus just trying to recruit people in their local market?

Speaker 3 (00:05:08) - Yeah, that's a great, great question. And so our team of talent acquisition, I think we have a team of six people. We see over a thousand resumes a month. So no small business can do that. Number one, we do background checks both local and international. We do job references check. And if you look at the national average when you hire someone, most small businesses, they spend 15 minutes looking at that resume. They have that one interview and it's done. We do psychology tests on them. We do. You know how good and how bad are they going to be at multitasking or this type of work? We recognize different areas of work too, so that you'll find someone. Josh was an incredible sales person intake person, but is not that organized.

Speaker 3 (00:05:52) - So it really depends on what you're looking for. And sometimes small business owners, they just want someone that can do everything and everything is impossible to do well. So we help also the client to understand like, look, we can we can have someone that's organized and really understands legal work, or we can have someone that is really good at talking to clients and do some administrative work, but you can't have it all, not with one person.

Speaker 2 (00:06:15) - Yeah, I would say that's a big, big point. The other is the entire support that you have throughout the lifetime of the hire. If you're a small business. This owner, you're going to first of all, yeah, rely on one interview and you're going to be a lot to look if that's going to work out or not. But you're also going to have to come up with all the onboarding process. You're going to have to come up with, how do I continuously train this person to keep improving as a professional, having to manage this person day in and day out.

Speaker 2 (00:06:46) - So those things are big pain points to small business owners and we solve those pain points.

Speaker 3 (00:06:53) - And sometimes people don't know how to delegate. Josh, what we've seen happen is, you know, if I have we have 100 people doing the same type of work across 85 different law firms. And so we know how much they should be producing. And sometimes the small business owner doesn't know if they're doing a good job or not. We kind of know. I mean, there have been times when someone has not been doing what we think is the amount of work, and we've told the client, listen, we have to let this person go. They interviewed, well, everything was great, but at the end of the day, they're doing 70% of what everybody else is doing. We're going to replace this person. We have somebody already ready that we've interviewed that we want to swap them out with. And so that brings a certain level of calmness to the client, knowing that there's somebody there really watching their back.

Speaker 2 (00:07:36) - Yeah. They love that about staff that we are there for them. And we our mission statement is we help you grow and that's how we grow. So if we're not doing that, we're going to call it out. We're going to call and say, look, we would like to replace this person because we're not seeing the results for your company that we would expect if it was our business. And they love that about us.

Josh (00:07:57) - You know, that is a lot of management that I don't know, that some law firms realize just how much time and attention that ends up taking. If they say, well, listen, I'm just going to go find some staff here and take care of it all on my own. You can do that. But I think what you've just illustrated is a lot of not just bandwidth, that it's going to get eaten up to properly train, maintain, supervise that sort of thing, provide ongoing support and those sorts of things. But then you're also dealing with turnover. And are you truly going to be able to monitor, you know, this person's effectiveness and be able to make a shift if you have to.

Josh (00:08:44) - So I can see where staffing solves a lot of problems here in advance.

Speaker 3 (00:08:49) - Absolutely. And you know, what's beautiful about lawyers is that most people you can ask them how much money do you make an hour. And they don't really know. But because they bill by the hour, you know, you just said they can do it themselves. That's not the question. The question is, should they like how much time should a person that charges $500 an hour spend on anything that doesn't produce the money?

Speaker 2 (00:09:12) - Yeah. And being conservative here without the actual person that is assigned to do a specific role, just with the HR support that we provide, that alleviate the law firm owner from onboarding, ongoing management and ongoing training, we free up. We give them back. Being very conservative at a minimum five hours per week just with the management, HR support. Now, obviously, if you're hiring an an intake person or a legal assistant person, that person is going to be giving you back eight hours a day, you know, or it depends on how much you are taking that on yourself or other lawyers from your firm that also are billable.

Speaker 2 (00:09:54) - Right. So you can hire someone that is going to be about $15 an hour to do an amazing job. They come from the background, the right background, they have the right personality. They're going to do much better than a lawyer would, for example, the sales role, that it should not be done by a lawyer. While you're going to be using your time effectively and efficiently in your area of genius, right? Delegate everything you can possibly delegate and focus in your area of genius, and that's where you're going to make the most impact in the world.

Josh (00:10:25) - And there's the likelihood, you know, I'm thinking about someone who is, you know, they're just they're doing the best they can, right? As an attorney and serving their clients. And, you know, obviously they want to grow their practice. It looks like partnering with Staffy, there may also be some sales and business development considerations that they could partner with you, and you could actually help them increase the number amount of business that they're doing.

Speaker 3 (00:10:52) - Absolutely. Every single customer. That and not not from a strategy perspective. But when we we have our consultations with our customers and we see where they're at and their journey and their business journey, sometimes they think what they need is another paralegal. And it's like, look, I don't think another paralegal. You need to free up your time in your existing paralegals time, and let's find someone that can do more sales. Let's get you more business. I mean, you have no idea how many law firms and lawyers in general. I mean, they're geniuses of what they do. They can they can win a case in a period. They're. Oriented or perfectionist. I don't know a lawyer that doesn't work weekends and nights, and it's unfortunate. I'm not saying they wear that with a badge of honor, but the truth is, they overworked themselves and they're afraid of of letting go of that control. And that's really the what we try to help them with. Like, look, let's find someone that can do this piece of your business just as good as you or a little bit better, maybe not as good as you, but free up your time to, like, grow your business.

Speaker 3 (00:11:51) - You know, scale your business to the next level.

Speaker 2 (00:11:53) - Yeah. And going back to what you're saying, helping them with the sales and the business development. Our background is in sales. And we tell them that the person answering the phones, your receptionist and your intake is the most important person because it's the first contact that someone from the outside world has with your law firm, and that first engagement is going to dictate their experience, how they perceive that their experience will be by working with your law firm or not working with your law firm. So how important it is to put someone that is highly empathetic, and we test for that highly empathetic that comes from a background in sales and client care doing those. And most lawyers, they don't realize that until we have that conversation and they have like just anyone answering the phones, maybe the paralegal who's working on the cases in gets interrupted to answer phones. And by the way, that's like that not only affects the law firm reputation because they're calling in the person.

Speaker 2 (00:12:53) - Maybe that it's not the right personality, doesn't have the right soft skills to be answering the phones, but also you're interrupting that paralegal every so often that can lead to mistakes in cases they're working on. And it takes about experts say that it takes about 18 to 20 minutes when you're interrupted to get back in the groove of things. So, you know, you go in, you, oh, let me go grab a cup of coffee. Let's start answering emails. But getting back it really disrupts the efficiency of a process.

Josh (00:13:24) - Yeah, we have about one minute left. The website gets staff. That's staff I become. Someone's been listening to our conversation and they just want to learn more. Maybe have a conversation like what would you recommend their next steps be?

Speaker 2 (00:13:41) - Yeah, they can simply go into our website. It's really user friendly. Just click on Get Started and you're going to get in our calendar. We have a phenomenal team. They truly care. And then we'll run a consultation to to get some deep understanding where you are free of charge.

Speaker 2 (00:13:58) - We'll go through the different areas of work, and it's a consultation to see if we are a good fit and to see if you actually need help, or maybe you need something else. If you do need help, what type of help you need? That's where we do.

Josh (00:14:12) - And also I want to point this out. Your website does have some really good resources, including a couple of ebooks here. One is called the Busy Lawyers Guide to Improve Productivity, and the other one is called Mastering Virtual Legal Teams A Comprehensive Guide for lawyers. So even if you just want to geek out on this topic, looks like you give those ebooks away for free. Is that right?

Speaker 2 (00:14:32) - Yeah, absolutely.

Josh (00:14:34) - Nice, nice.

Speaker 2 (00:14:35) - As much as we can.

Josh (00:14:37) - All right. Raquel Gomez, Demetrio Rico again, co-founders of Staffy. Your website is get Staffy. Raquel and Dmytro, thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 2 (00:14:46) - Thank you. Josh.

Josh (00:14:53) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence slash guest.

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