Magazine article Strategies: The Journal of Legal Marketing

Asking for Fees and Root Canals

Magazine article Strategies: The Journal of Legal Marketing

Asking for Fees and Root Canals

Article excerpt

When my coaching client Craig returned from the dentist following his unexpected root canal, he didn't complain about the pain. It was the sign in the reception area that got him: "Payment Expected at the Time Services are Provided."

"I was wondering why the dentist doesn't have any trouble insisting I pay him now," he told me. What he didn't understand is why some lawyers and consultants, including him, feel they have to tiptoe around the issue of discussing and collecting fees.

There are plenty of other professionals who don't have trouble asking for fees. Think about those in medicine and people like the snow plower, your car mechanic, real estate broker, plumber and your electrician.

What's So Hard About Asking?

Why is it that lawyers, consultants and others often have so much difficulty talking about fees? Why is it that with us, we act like we'd rather get a root canal than discuss fees? Clients expect us to be assertive when helping them--so why do we dance around when it comes to talking about fees?

How to Make it Easier

Here are three tips that just might help you ask for and collect client fees:

* Believe in yourself. Acknowledge that you are good at what you do and that your fees reflect the value of your work in the marketplace in which you are working. If they are not, you'll find out soon enough. And if you want some ideas on pricing your services, there are many great articles online.

* Deal with the topic sooner rather than later. …

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