Billing As A Competitive Advantage
When you bill by the hour you put your interests in direct conflict with the interests of your clients.
If you are a lawyer billing your clients by the hour it is in your financial interest to take as long as possible to resolve your client’s matter. In most cases, your clients want their matter resolved as quickly as possible.
So how can this be a competitive advantage in marketing for lawyers?
If you sit down with your client and understand the value he receives from working with you, you can offer him a fee based upon that value for resolving his matter.
This is not a contingency fee. It is a fee for improving his situation.
Here is an example:
Joe Smith is being sued because his dog bit a neighbor and injured him. Joe has no insurance for this matter.
Joe hires Larry Lawyer. The fee Larry charges Joe is $3,500 if the matter is resolved before going to trial and $10,000 if the matter goes to trial.
(These are not real fees. They are easy numbers to work with.)
Joe wants to put this matter behind him as quickly as possible. If Larry billed by the hour, he might have an incentive to drag the case out, or do work that is unnecessary.
This type of arrangement is not common in the practice of law today.
That’s why it can be a competitive advantage.
The key to employing this strategy effectively is in interviewing the client at the outset of the case and determining his objectives. All clients want a favorable result, but most understand the often the most favorable result will be in mitigating their damages. Your fees should be based upon your ability to mitigate his exposure.
In marketing for lawyers this idea – billing based upon the value you provide – can not only be a competitive advantage, it can disrupt the entire industry.
You have an opportunity. Create your own advantage by developing a billing methodology your clients love.
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