Answering The Big Q: How Much Do You Charge?
How does your firm answer a common question posed at the first call to your firm, “how much do you charge?”
Of course, the answer depends upon several factors, including the time, expertise, and complexity necessary to satisfy a client’s estate planning goals. But saying so doesn’t often satisfy the inquiry.
Instinctively you, or your staff who first interacts with the prospect, might mention your lowest fee, “Our revocable trust plans start at thirty-five hundred dollars…” so as not to run him off.
No. Not at all.
How about giving a range of fees?
Don’t do it.
Estimate the number of hours?
It’s been my experience, validated by Arizona State Psychology Professor and marketing guru Robert Cialdini, that the lowest amount your client hears anchors expectations. If you later learn that his goals, family, and financial situation are complex, your quote will likely exceed the amount (or a number of hours) you initially mentioned.
Upon quoting the actual fee, your prospect objects. “Wait a minute! I thought it would be thirty-five hundred dollars?!”
A discussion follows how your initial off-the-cuff conversation wasn’t a specific quote for him but where your fees start. He exits your conference room stating, “I’ll be in touch.”
Ultimately another firm quotes him something close to what you would have charged, but does so more effectively, resulting in your competitor securing the engagement.
Ultra-fee sensitive clients aren’t worth your time. Yet not all A+ clients are fee sensitive.
What to do? The prospect expects an answer before scheduling the consultation, and you (or your staff) can’t be evasive.
First, acknowledge that fee inquiries are reasonable. When purchasing a good or service, everyone wants to know the price. Second, there’s a process that will satisfy your client’s question and lead to a thirty percent (or more) increase to your average estate planning fee without altering your current fee structure!
To discover that process, register for my free 50-minute Zoom Practice Xcelerator Preview, Friday, September 17th at noon eastern time.
To your bigger future,
Craig R. Hersch
Florida Bar Board Certified Wills, Trusts & Estates Attorney
Senior Partner, The Sheppard Law Firm
Founder, The Freedom Practice®
PS – “Craig Hersch has put together systems, processes, and support tools that I’ve been working on for 15 years. He is delivering tens of thousands of dollars in value that will make a difference in my practice that will translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next few years.” Hank Weatherby, Weatherby & Associates P.C., Bloomfield CT.
PPS – In addition to what you’ll learn on September 17th, click here to review the Practice Xcelerator curriculum that will take your firm to that next level. Enroll now so you can book flights and secure a room at our discounted rate at the relaxing South Seas Resort on Captiva Island where it will all take place.