You get what you pay for and so do your clients

I buy a lot of books. I also download a lot of free Kindle books. Many free books are excellent. Most are not. And since you “pay” for books not just with money but with the time it takes to read them, paid books are usually a better value.

There are exceptions. Some great books are free because they are on a promotion. Some paid books are over-priced because you’re paying a premium for the author’s celebrity or the higher costs associated with being published by a major publisher.

But when it comes to books, you generally get what you pay for.

How about when it comes to hiring a lawyer?

Many clients believe that better lawyers charge higher fees because they’re better lawyers. They have more experience, greater skills, and deliver better results. Clients are willing to pay more for that experience and those results, and fear they won’t get them if they hire a lawyer who charges (a lot) less.

Sure, many clients don’t appreciate this distinction and will opt for the lowest fees. But unless you operate a “discount” law firm (and you shouldn’t), you should avoid these kinds of clients.

Some lawyers take advantage of the “perceived value” concept and charge more than they’re worth. But I find that more lawyers charge less than they’re worth, less than the market will bear.

Most lawyers don’t raise their fees, or raise them high enough or often enough, fearing they won’t be able to compete. When most of your competition does the same thing, it drags down everyone’s fees.

Most lawyers charge what other lawyers charge because they’re doing what everyone else does. They offer the same services and do nothing to give clients a reason to choose them instead of their competition.

Show prospective clients that you are better or different and you won’t have any competition. You’ll be able to charge what you’re worth.

It’s called differentiation and it’s the key to marketing your services.

Here’s how to differentiate yourself

Winning

You may not be a legal scholar. You may not have a lot of experience in your field. Other lawyers may have more cash or better connections.

It doesn’t matter. You can beat them. You can build a fabulously successful practice if you do the one thing most lawyers don’t do.

Focus on marketing.

Many lawyers take marketing for granted. Or use flawed strategies that do little to bring in new business. Even when they choose the right strategies, they often get poor results because their heart isn’t in it or they don’t stick with it long enough.

You can do better.

Where other lawyers seek to attract “anybody” who has a certain legal issue or need, you can laser focus on specific segments of the market and dominate them.

Where other lawyers use a weak and ineffectual marketing message, you can show prospective clients and the people who refer them the benefits you offer and the results you can help them achieve.

Where other lawyers provide good “customer service,” you can deliver outstanding customer service that surprises and delights your clients, ensuring long-term repeat business and referrals.

Where other lawyers merely provide their core legal services, you can help your clients be more successful in their business or personal life. If a client wants to refinance their home, for example, you can give them information and referrals to help them do that. If a business client needs more customers, you can use your contacts to help their business grow.

You can work smarter than your competition and deliver a better overall client experience. If you do this thoroughly, consistently and enthusiastically, clients and prospects will come to see you as the lawyer they want to represent them.

It doesn’t take much to beat the competition. Look at what most lawyers do and do the opposite.

Start marketing smarter with this