Nobody Respects a Cheap Lawyer
Written by Dave Lorenzo on August 12, 2020 / Getting Paid
You are a good lawyer. You might even be one of the best in town. Yet at the end of the day, you have a conversation with your partner or spouse, and it goes something like this:
“I do not understand why I keep getting these crappy clients. They demand EVERYTHING, and they wanted it YESTERDAY. They call my cell phone at all hours of the day (and night). They have unreasonable, no, not unreasonable; they have CRAZY expectations for their case. And then, when I deliver the best result possible…a true miracle…when I pull a real rabbit out of my hat…they complain about my fee.”
This conversation plays itself out over and over again in one form or another. It seems like a good portion of the clients who come to you have Champaign expectations on a Schlitz budget. No matter how hard you try, you cannot seem to shake this syndrome.
So you wake up in the morning, you get out of bed and splash some cold water on your face. You brush your teeth, comb your hair and head off to the office. You do this with the hope that today will be different. You do this with the desire that the Good Client Fairy will sprinkle some pixy dust on your desk chair, and a rational client with a reasonable budget will walk through that door and beg you to work with him.
Unfortunately, hope is not a strategy. Hope makes you feel good, but it does not change anything. Hope will not feed your kids, and it sure as hell will not pay your mortgage.
What is the answer? How can you solve this problem?
The answer starts with the value you place on your services. Most attorneys set their fees based upon the rates they think will attract clients. They view their fee as bait they put into the water to attract fish. The problem is that the smelliest fish go for the smelliest bait. Low fees attract bad clients.
There is a three-step process I take my clients through when we first begin working together. This process helps them reposition themselves in the market. It helps them attract better clients who pay higher fees. Once my clients accept that they deserve more money, once they recognize that they can charge WHATEVER THEY WANT, once they realize that people pay a premium for things they find valuable, their entire client base changes.
It is transformed from a parade of lunatics making outrageous demands, to an environment where the client views his lawyer as a trusted advisor.
But you have to take the first step.
You have to want to change this endless cycle of torture.
You can do it, but you have to decide to take action.
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