In this week’s edition of Things I Wish I Knew, Joleena Louis discusses why she raised her billable rates and what she’s doing to add more value.
One of the ways I’m attracting higher net worth clients is by adding value to my services.
From the beginning, great service has been the foundation of my brand and practice, but since I raised my rates I need to go above and beyond just great service.
It not just about meeting the client’s needs anymore. It’s about providing them with options they didn’t even know they had and making them feel they are being treated with the utmost respect.
Here’s a few ways I have added value to my legal services.
Add convenience for your clients.
Since I started focusing on work-life integration, it’s become a lot easier for me to be flexible about the times I talk to or meet clients. I’m meeting more clients in the evening and on weekends, which may work better with their schedule.
Previously, I exclusively met clients at my office. This rigid approach ended up not working for me and after taking the the advice of another Law Firm Suites attorney, I started offering the option of meeting clients at their home or office.
This has been surprisingly popular, and I still bill for the commute.
Act as a connector.
I’m still building my ideal team of professionals for client referrals.
I currently have a good list of accountants, therapists and real estate professionals to give to clients. I also have a financial planner who will give a free consultation to my clients who want to discuss pre-marriage or post-divorce financial planning options.
I have even made connections for non-legal issues such as referring a moving company and even a child care service to a client.
Don’t nickle and dime.
I generally do not bill for simple things like postage, copies or quick texts. Charging for every little thing is not only tedious, but it also does not look good for an attorney in the long run. You end up looking greedy.
I will still put such tasks on the invoice, but mark them as “No Charge.”
This is one of the first questions I get when discussing my fees and clients appreciate not being billed for it. Since my office is mostly paperless, I rarely have to pay for postage or copies so it’s usually not much of a loss for me.
Educate your clients.
Most people have never gone through a divorce and have a lot of questions and concerns.
Not only do I provide materials on the divorce process and coping with divorce, I have also (on several occasions) purchased books for client with certain issues because I thought it would be helpful to them.
My practice area is very sensitive, therefore it must be treated as such.
These little extras are helpful to my clients and along with great service make my rates “worth it.” These are also things that clients will discuss with friends and family, increasing the likelihood of referrals. These things only take a little more time a forethought but brings great value to the client and are really easy ways to give better service.
Your office location can affect your hourly rates.