At the Academy we occasionally notice attorneys feel that because a document wasn’t particularly difficult to produce, or (in the attorney’s mind) because the client can’t afford the fee quoted in the last meeting, or even perhaps because they haven’t had anyone pay them the fee they are quoting, they ask for a lower fee than another attorney may ask for and get.
Why does the attorney asking for the higher fee actually get a higher fee?
Clients pay for the value you give them. They don’t pay for legal documents. They pay for the fact that they feel relieved of their burden, they trust it’s handled competently and with a high level of quality, they know you care and they feel like people at your office know them and you do what you’ll say you’ll do. In short, their problems are solved and they feel special and cared for.
Try having a meeting with your team to identify all the ways everyone on your team can communicate that you’re there to make a difference in the lives of your clients, and that every member of your team is dedicated to making each individual client feel like they are your ONLY client. You and your team members can come up with a laundry list of the “little things” that really make a big difference in someone’s experience at your office. Of course you need to provide the most competent, highest quality work, but what could you deliver in addition to the tangible work that will result in a “WOW”? How could you cause everyone leaving your office to feel you’re the most amazing law firm in town?
Some of the little things that cause a WOW could be:
- Dealing with your prospective clients and clients with warmth and a smile (how can this be a consistent way of being around clients?)
- Avoiding rushing on the phone or through the office with your clients. You don’t push them faster than they want to go (yet you remain in control of the conversations)
- Having a system for logging what refreshments your clients ate or drank the last time they visited your office and offering it to them again the next time they visit
- Taking notes on casual conversations and logging them, then sending short, thoughtful emails or cards asking about something personal they mentioned to you (How was the big summer trip? How’s the new grandbaby?)
- Taking photos of your guests or clients at seminars and emailing them the next day with the image and a note about how much you enjoyed meeting and talking with them
We have some exercises and a module for Academy Members on creating the “Wow” experience. The brainstorming it generates in the law firm office is uplifting to everyone. The trick is to put each of the items you feel like you can deliver into a system. Leave nothing to chance or only some clients will feel the love, maybe only some of your team members will feel like giving it. This is something that needs to be as fun and fulfilling for the attorney and the team as it is for the client.
When your clients know they can’t FEEL like this anywhere else; when they know they can trust the quality of your work and your word; Then… you’re actually WORTH that larger fee.
What kind of WOWing do you do now? Could you take it up a notch? What would that look like in your firm?
Chief Operating Officer
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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