Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fee Setting

The successful practice of law is more than setting fees. But establishing a price for our services is necessary and is actually a way to distinguish us from other lawyers we compete with in the market place. I want my prospective clients to know up front I will not compete with other lawyers on price. I'll compete on service, effort, and expertise, but never on price. Michael Sherman at Lawyer Profit Systems says here:
If you are doing the things in your practice that you should be doing (e.g. choosing a niche, being the expert in that niche, providing exceptional client service, etc.) then you’ve earned the right to charge more for your services. But, unless you believe that, your prospective clients never will.

And, here is one more reason for you to believe it: you never want to compete on price. There is no doubt that you can build a business entirely by offering the lowest price. But, why would you want to? Would you rather have 4 clients paying you $25,000 each, 100 clients paying you $1,000 each, or 1000 clients paying you $100 each?

Of course, the question is rhetorical. But the answer is instructive.

Additionally, when you compete only on price, all someone has to do to take a client is to offer a lower price. When you compete on EXCELLENCE, VALUE, GUARANTEED SERVICE, etc. it is much more difficult, if not impossible for a competitor to steal your clients.

I know there are successful lawyers who disagree with this theory of law practice management. But that's the horse I've chosen to ride. It may be difficult for the client to understand, as well, but they're getting better service in the long run.

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