How to overcome objections to price is probably one of the most common questions I field from lawyers so I know it is something every attorney has to deal with. Therefore, it stands to reason that, through trial and error, many lawyers have developed a standard reply to price resistance. But it’s clearly not working for many of you or else I wouldn’t be getting the same question over and over!
In order to control the conversation with clients and prospects about price, attorneys need to understand the basics of how people make purchase decisions. Gerald Zaltman, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and former co-director of Harvard’s Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative, studies consumer buying behavior. His research shows that 95% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously, based on emotion. The conscious mind then looks for rational reasons to justify the purchase decision.
You only need to look at your own buying habits to know he is right. How many of us have paid more than we intended to for something we really wanted? Emotion — the want — is driven by all sorts of factors that are important to us for one reason or another. When we are confronted with the reality of the bigger price tag, we look for logical reasons to justify the purchase to satisfy that want.
Many times, price objections are just a smokescreen. A majority of people, in fact, do not buy based on price alone. However, if your services are viewed as a commodity, then price is going to be the primary factor guiding a prospect’s hiring decision.
It’s time to start thinking about price objections in a different way. Here are some things you need to remember that will help you control the conversation about price:
Price is relative to the problem.
The price of your legal services is always going to be a part of the hiring decision; you just can’t let that decision be made in a vacuum. Most people have no experience with the legal system. They really don’t know what it should cost to solve their legal issue. But they have different frames of reference for value that must be understood. The issue for attorneys is how to frame the problem apart from price.
For example, someone charged with a serious crime is focused more on getting out of trouble than what it will cost to do so. They know that if they don’t invest in a good defense, there’s a big risk their lives will be dramatically changed forever. A defense attorney should be armed with examples of how he or she produced good outcomes for clients in similar circumstances to demonstrate how he/she can significantly reduce the risk of the client losing their freedom or finances.
Price is an indication of trust in the outcome.
If you could guarantee success for every case, a client’s willingness to pay your price would be much greater. However, no lawyer can do that. But you can do things that make a client more comfortable trusting you with their legal issue. Here’s how that conversation might go:
Prospect: “Your fees seem a little high.”
You: “If I could guarantee you a successful outcome, would that be worth what I’m asking you to pay?”
Prospect: “Of course, but I know lawyers can’t guarantee results.”
You: “No we can’t, but what you should realize is that this discussion is not about price. It is really about your confidence in the outcome of your case. Let’s talk about what would make you feel more confident about working with our firm and make sure all your concerns are on the table.”
Price is a reflection of context.
Consumers naturally gravitate to “apples to apples” comparisons when they don’t understand what they are buying. To them, one lawyer is the same as another. That is unless one lawyer makes it a point to truly differentiate.
If prospects are comparing you with another lawyer who is a lower quality provider, they will use price to differentiate you unless you differentiate yourself based on the value they will receive by doing business with you. The only reason they compare you on price is that you let them!
Focus on the prospect’s goals and needs and get them to tell you what a solution to their legal problem is worth to them. If you can get prospects to see the value of the solution, you will get less resistance to the price of achieving that solution.
More about managing the client relationship
At our 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, The Rainmaker Retreat, we provide attorneys with proven strategies for managing the client relationship, from intake to retention. We have the following upcoming Retreats scheduled:
- August 14-15, 2020 – Las Vegas, NV/Aria Resort
- November 6-7, 2020 – Miami, FL/Double Tree by Hilton Ocean Point Resort & Spa
If you register early — typically 2-3 weeks prior to the event — you receive 30% off the entire workshop. And if after the first day, you feel that you haven’t received value more than equal to what you have paid to attend, just let us know and you will receive a full refund – no questions asked.
For more information or to register online, go to rainmakerretreat.com
or call 888-588-5891.
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