Being a lawyer is tough; not only do you have to listen to the law and the higher-ups, but you also hear the whining and complaints of clients.
You hold a position where you have to please both parties and remain within the law that binds you. That job becomes even more complicated when your clients start asking for a discount on legal services.
Like for any other business, there are specific pros and cons of discounting your legal fee.
Depending on how you often you deliver these concessions, you can either prosper in your work or take a nose dive into the Pacific Ocean. On the other hand, it is a strategic move to keep your budget-conscious clients on your list.
So, are you curious to know whether to offer discounts or not? Then, this blog post will surely answer your questions.
Pros and Cons of Discounting on Your Legal Fee
Before you make any decision, take a look at the pros and cons of discounting on your legal fee; then proceed further with a more thought out plan.
Like everything else in life, even discounts on lawyers’ fee can have an impact on the firm’s overall success. Some of these most typical adverse aspects of discounting are:
• Undermines the value of your legal services and your firm
• Like attracts like; more discounts would encourage other clients to expect the same.
• Low-profit margin
• Low earning rate
• Reduced ROI on marketing
• Unfairness to other clients who pay in full
• You appear less competent in your work
• Clients who can’t pay your prices are the ones you should avoid
• You pass up the opportunity to work with other more profitable clients
• Lowering your rates limits your business’ growth
• It makes you appear as a target to your competition
• Law firms that offer discounting on legal fee have more past due clients
The cons for discounting on your legal fee mostly talk about how it is not a lucrative prospect for an individual lawyer and the law firm as a whole.
But, there is a silver lining to grey clouds…
Like the two sides of a coin, here are the advantages of offering discounts on your legal services:
• As a new lawyer, discounts will help you rake in new clients and build your profile
• More clients mean more business
• Concessions will also help you retain your client list
• You can help out someone in need with your legal support
• Improve customer experience and better customer service by being accommodating
• Rack up more billable hours
• More clients will increase your brand worth and bring in referrals down the line
• Some prospects may return for business and future deals and possibly bring in more profit
Meaning, you’ll be remembered in a good light, increasing your chances for closing more client leads.
How to Use Discounts Efficiently
With these pros and cons, you might want to know how to use discounts efficiently to bring in more clients; instead of damaging your bottom line.
The key is to increase your initial charges then offer a discount on your legal fees to offset the expense. That is much more effective in maintaining your brand image and worth in the market as well as a strategic move to get potential prospects to seal the deal.
It’s a game of psychology knowing how to please your client base but also preserve your firm’s standing. If you directly lower the rate of your business, people will assume they are getting something cheap and of low-quality.
But, a coupon for discounts on the expensive charges will have them think they are getting more value at a budget-friendly price; thus, increasing your brand worth.
Types of Discounts on Legal Fee & the Pros and Cons of Discounting
Besides a general effect of discounting on legal fee for the firm, some specific pros and cons are particular to the type of discount applied. These benefits and disadvantages are more for the client than the firm that offers them.
If you are wondering how to ask a lawyer for discounts, then one way to achieve that is to place a large amount of work with the firm. They are obligated to give out a volume discount when you have a high volume of work or have spent more than the threshold rate within the agreed time.
That said; there are specific pros and cons to this discounting on legal fee:
Pros: Volume discounts improve the value of work a client receives
Cons: It acts as a deterrent that prevents them from pitching to the same client and is less profitable than billing a new customer for the same task.
A flat discount applies to all hourly rates at a legal firm; for example, a 10% discount on lawyers’ price. The pros and cons of that discounting on legal fee are:
Pros: A flat discount goes over well with your finance department, and there is a possibility of negotiation for you to work.
Cons: There work given low priority and may even have low-quality output because of reduced profit.
Percentage of Deal fees
If you want to know how to negotiate attorney fees, then try for the percentage of deal cost. That discounting on legal fee is where you pay a portion of the agreement on lawyer’s rates the law firm offers you.
Pros: The cost risk is the responsibility of the law firm, and the due payments are filled by the other party involved.
Cons: The benefits you gain from a percentage deal are subject to a lot of contradiction. If the fee is high for the firm, you might be paying a more significant sum for the services than needed. And, if the percentage fee is low, then the quality of the work might not be worth the price.
There are some pretty distinct pros and cons of discounting on legal fee, but the benefits and disadvantages you gain depend entirely on how you play the field and the type of legal practice you run.
If you are a relatively new lawyer or firm, you might gain more perks than drawbacks; while the opposite is valid for professional experienced compensation lawyers.
There are particular disadvantages of discounts for the clients too. You might have a good value in terms of price but the quality of the work might be questionable; on the other hand, the rates might be higher than deserved but your work will be prioritized and valued.
That said, what are your thoughts on discounting on legal fees? Comment to share your thoughts and pin it to spread the word.