Four Reasons that Price-Based Marketing is Like Shooting Yourself in the Foot

shootftWhen there are lots of lawyers in your market, it may seem like the only way to get a foothold is to market yourself based on a lower price. Unfortunately, when you do this, you often end up shooting yourself in the very same foot you were so excited to get in the door!

There are several reasons that this strategy is likely to backfire on you:

  1. You attract the wrong clients: If someone is coming to you because you offer the lowest price, then they’re far less likely to develop a sense of loyalty to you. They are there because they want to get as much as they can for as little as possible. Sure, you got them to hire you for the short-term, but the next time they need a lawyer, they’ll be back out shopping for the lowest price. If someone else charges less, “your” clients will be moving on, no matter what a great job you did for them previously.
  2. It undermines your credibility: Face it; if you see two similar products available for vastly different prices, you’re going to conclude that one of them is inferior to the other. When a potential client learns that your fees are significantly lower than the competition, it’s going to raise a red flag with them assuming that your services aren’t as good as someone else’s.
  3. It costs more to charge less: As mentioned above, you’re going to see a lot less client loyalty if you charge less, and one of the biggest rules of marketing is that it costs more to get a new client than to retain an old one. You’ll end up making less money per client as well as spending more to continually market to new ones.
  4. You have to work harder: It stands to reason that if you’re charging half of what another attorney does, you’ll need to serve twice as many clients. This is one of those things that’s easy to overlook until you see it spelled out in front of you. Serving half as many clients means you have more time to do a great job for the ones you have, more opportunities to go out and market your business, and the ability to take a deep breath and remember why it is that you do what you do.

It can be tempting to market your services based on a lower price, but when it comes right down to it, you end up costing yourself time, money, and energy that you could be using in much more effective ways.

Instead of focusing on price in conversations with prospective clients, strive to find other ways you can set yourself apart for marketing and client retention purposes. Do you use flat fees vs. hourly billing? Do you have special programs where clients can gain access to you at no charge? Do you offer additional services that your “low cost” competitors don’t provide? Do proceeds of your work go back to charity? Are you regularly featured in the papers and on TV as “the” go-to resource in your practice area?

As with all luxury brands, people are willing to pay more when they believe they are getting more or a higher quality service, so don’t be afraid to venture outside the box in this area. Even if it seems obvious to you (and even if other firms are doing it), discover what your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is and choose to compete on that, rather than price. You will find that you are able to attract better quality clients, choose more of the cases you really want and maintain your sanity In the process!

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Laura Lee Sparks

About Laura Lee Sparks

Laura Lee Sparks is the Founder and CEO of Legal Marketing Maven, a full service outsourcing firm for estate planning and elder law attorneys designed to train virtual and in-house staff and provide the tools and resources lawyers need to implement consistent, focused, diversified marketing in their law practice.

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