Deal or no deal?


When you have a client or prospective client who wants to negotiate on fees, you know what to do. Firmly and politely tell them no. 

But tell them why. 

Explain that your fees are reasonable, you do good work and deliver great value, your clients are happy, and if you were to give one client a lower fee than everyone else, it would be unfair to your other clients, and to you. 

You might explain that yes, your fees are higher than other lawyers, because you have more experience, so you are worth it. And give them proof—verdicts, testimonials, endorsements, awards—and how this translates to better results for your clients.

You could offer a payment plan, or get set up to accept credit cards. Or ask if they have someone who might lend them the funds or co-sign for them on a bank loan. 

You could suggest that you do part of the work they need or want, at a lower fee, and they can get the rest later. Or you could talk to them about waiting on everything until they’re able to get started. 

Finally, if they just can’t do it, offer to refer them to a colleague you know who charges less.

If these don’t work for them, or for you, thank them for considering you and wish them well. 

This kind of honesty, directness, and posture will often cause the client to figure out a way to say yes. 

Many people have the money but do their best to “get a bargain”. Nothing wrong with that. Smile and tell them no deal. 

You may lose a client or two but you’ll be better offer overall. 

If more than the occasional prospect or client tells you no, however, don’t even think about lowering your fees across the board. You’re not expensive. You just need a different niche or group of clients who can afford what you’re worth.

Getting the Check: Stress-free legal billing and collection