You’re not the cheapest lawyer in town. That’s good. You don’t want clients who want the cheapest lawyer in town, you want clients who understand that they get what they pay for and who are willing to pay more to get more.
Have you explained this to your clients and prospects? If not, you should.
On your website, in your marketing materials, when you are speaking to a prospective client, tell them that you’re not lowest guy or gal in town. Tell them you cost more than other lawyers and then tell them why you are worth it.
First, tell them why low-cost legal fees aren’t always what they seem. Tell them that some lawyers hold down costs by
- Using lower paid staff to do much of the work, increasing the chances of errors or poor results
- Advertising only part of the work the client will need, when they often need more
- Billing separately for costs and other things that drive up the overall cost
- Cutting corners in terms of customer service
Of course you’ll also mention that most lawyer who charge lower fees do so because they have less experience.
Then tell them why you are the better choice:
- You have more experience (years practicing, number of clients, prestige clients)
- Your staff has been with you for X years and are smart, efficient, and your clients love them
- You get better results (verdicts, settlements, notable wins, endorsements, testimonials, awards)
- You are top dog (you teach CLE, Judge Pro Tem, arbitrator, mediator, articles by you, articles about you, books you’ve written, speaking)
- You specialize (so you are better at what you do, and more efficient)
- You specialize in your client types (so you know their business, their issues, their problems, etc.)
- You offer something others don’t (your unique selling proposition)
- You offer flat fees or other alternatives to hourly billing, so your clients know in advance what they will pay
Also tell them what you do to keep your expenses down: you aren’t on Rodeo Drive, you don’t advertise, you have systems in place that allow you to do your work more quickly and efficiently, and so on.
If you want clients who willingly pay higher fees, tell clients why you’re worth more than other lawyers.