How much do you charge?

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When you hear from a prospective client who’s first question is, “How much do you charge?” that’s not a good sign.

A prospect who is more focused on price than value, on your fees rather than your solutions to his problem, means you may be dealing with someone who’s going to question everything you do for them and every bill you send them.

So don’t answer that question.

Instead, ask them questions, to learn more about their problem (and pain), to find out what they’re doing now or have done before, and to find out what they want from you, so you can tailor your answer to their situation.

And so you can control the conversation.

You want them to sell you on accepting them as a client, instead of you selling them on hiring you. You do that by asking questions.

When you know enough to quote a fee, you can give them a number or present their options, e.g., Service A or Service B, Package A or Package B. Do this in person or on the phone, if possible, so you can read them, respond to any objections, and close the deal.

Or you can turn the conversation over to a surrogate. “My office manager handles all the fees and billing. . .”

Because someone else can edify you and your capabilities in ways you can’t.

Before any of the above, make sure you have a page on your website that provides general information about your fees and billing practices. No, don’t post your fees. That invites price shopping and discourages prospects from contacting you.

Keep it general. Tell them you bill by the hour or offer flat fees or contingency fees and encourage them to contact you to learn more.

Whatever you do, don’t say “low fees” or “competitive” fees or otherwise suggest you charge less than other lawyers.

Because you don’t (or shouldn’t). And because that’s what attracts people who’s first question is, “How much do you charge?”

How to quote fees and get clients to pay them

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