Tuesday, June 06, 2006
The Value of Your Expertise: Be Willing to Say "No"
Long-time readers and clients are doubtless familiar with our mantra, "If you are never turned down because of your rate, you aren't charging enough."
Attorneys may choose an expert based on any one or more of a variety of factors (primarily the "likeability factor" but that's a complete article in itself). But attorneys almost never pick one expert over another simply because he or she has the lower fee; they want to represent the client's interests and win the case!
In fact, a low rate can work against you, in that cost is frequently equated with value. If your rates are not in the mid to high range for experts in your field, it can indicate to some potential prospects that you must not be that good.
With that in mind, be willing to say "No" to potential clients who ask you to discount your rates (they are usually the ones who are difficult to work with and hard to collect from too). Value your knowledge, experience, and expertise and charge for it accordingly.
With 1,104,706 attorneys out there (ABA Market Research Dept., 2005), and growth trends in litigation showing no signs of waning, a scarcity of cases and potential clients is not a problem. It's simply a matter of achieving a certain level of visibility with those attorneys who may need your services and consistently communicating with them.
1) Adopt the attitude, "there is an abundance of available work out there"
2) Implement a strategic, legal-appropriate marketing plan to consistently communicate your value and increase your credibility in the eyes of potential clients, and
3) Be confident and assured of the worth of your services
...you CAN successfully charge and get paid the fees you deserve.
Communicate your value, charge what you're worth and say "no" to bargain shoppers.