It is funny, is it not, how everyone outside of the legal world believes that solicitors are all insanely rich, but all of us inside the legal profession know that that is simply not the case.
It never ceases to amaze me when I explain to someone who I meet what I do for a living which is invariably met with “Well solicitors hardly need help with marketing, they are all rolling in it.”
People were surprised that my book ‘The Law Firm Growth Formula’ was required, “because all solicitors just have work flowing through their doors.”
They don’t hear the conversations that I have with solicitors where they are struggling to sell their services at a fair price.
They don’t hear the explanation that the owner of the firm hasn’t managed to get away for a decent holiday for a few years because they can’t find the right staff to deal with matters in their absence.
They don’t hear these things because it is so much more fun to run with a ‘perceived truth’ as opposed to the actual truth.
We all do it to a certain extent, I am sure, but when it is your profession being attacked it isn’t quite so much fun.
The positive part for me is that I see both sides of the fence. I do see solicitors who come to me with the challenges mentioned above, but I also work with solicitors on a consultancy basis who are moving away from these positions.
Nothing gives me greater pride and pleasure than working with a solicitor to train them how to sell their services for the fee that is deserved because they are an absolute specialist in what they do. I show them how to move away from the miniscule fee that they have been charging for the last few years for their specialist service by having a structured conversation with a prospect.
They journey from the position of refusing that they can ever charge the fee that I suggest to them to selling their service for that fee and then often more, as long as that ‘more’ is still a fair fee for the service provided to the client.
One of the most interesting aspects of charging a higher fee for legal services is that it leads you to attract better clients who respect your time a lot more and who really appreciate what you do for them.
It doesn’t happen overnight, this process. Often it takes three or four months, but it does happen; that is if the solicitor has an open mindset and is willing to be coached through the process.
I have performed this task for enough years now to know that some people just don’t want to change. They prefer to maintain the status quo. They like to bemoan the fact that they are never paid what they are worth. I don’t understand this myself, but I have seen it enough times to know that it is true. Some people have such a closed mindset that they will always only ever charge the lowest fees for their services and even accept a reduction from their first quotation.
This is a ridiculous thing to do, because it immediately puts the client in charge of you. Think for a moment what is happening here. A client is looking for a professional service provider. They want the best person for the job. However, the first thing that happens is that that provider reduces their fee when challenged. What does that say about them?
This is what goes through the client’s head:
“Well, they dropped that fee easily. They can’t be that good or they wouldn’t accept a reduction in fees so easily. They must be desperate.”
You then have one of two types of clients. The first one goes elsewhere because they want a professional, not an amateur who isn’t confident in what they do (perceived to be the case by the reduction in fees).
The second one accepts the reduction but knows that, from day one, they are the ‘boss’ in this transaction. Any respect is gone because the fee was dropped so easily. It leads to a very painful relationship for the solicitor and perversely for the client. Nobody wins. It is simply horrible, yet I know from experience that this is how many solicitors run their businesses.
Charging too little for your services does not help you and it does not help your client.
Charging a fair price for your professional services is right for you and for your client.
If you need help on how to do this, download my free guide below to discover more about pricing issues and other aspects of growing a law firm.
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