Should I advertise prices for my fixed price legal services?

Picture this.

It’s Saturday evening. It’s been a busy week and you’ve finally decided to organise some of that outsourcing. You can’t do everything. It’s time to hire a cleaner.

You browse a few websites until you come across someone who looks trustworthy. You like their style. They’re eco-friendly and have great reviews. The only problem? There’s no price on their website. You want to tick this off your list. If you don’t organise it now another month will pass and you’ll be back at square one.

You umm and ahh for far too long and eventually settle on your second choice. Not quite as impressive as the first, but at least you know what it will cost – they have their prices on their website. You fill in their booking form and arrange a fortnightly clean starting Monday. Done.

Now, think back to your website.

Are you hiding your prices too?

The purpose of your website is to convince visitors that they should become your customers. Are you giving your visitors all the information they need to make a decision to buy from you?

If you charge a fixed price for your legal services you should advertise the price you charge.

Lawyers are reluctant to publish prices, but most other businesses do it. Would you buy a jacket, book a flight or hire a car without knowing the price? If not, why expect people to buy your legal services without knowing what they’ll cost?

Why you should advertise your fixed prices

1. Create transparency

Lawyers and transparent pricing don’t typically go hand-in-hand. When most people think lawyer and price, they think “hourly rate”, “expensive”, “overcharging” and “unknown”.

Create transparency around your service offering by publishing your prices. Customers want to know what they’re going to pay.

2. Differentiate your services

I’ve been selling fixed priced legal services for years. We created our first productised legal service in 2010 and were selling some services at fixed prices even before then. I surround myself with progressive lawyers.

Almost all of them charge on a fixed or value basis, so it’s easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking everyone does things this way. But not everyone does things this way. In fact, it’s probably still more common for lawyers to charge on a timed basis that on a fixed price.

So even though you might not see fixed pricing as something that differentiates your service, it does.

Don’t just tell people that you charge fixed fees, show them. Go that extra step and publish your prices on your website.

3. Attract the right clients

Ideally, you’ve priced your services at an amount that‘s right for your target market. You know who you want to serve and what those people are willing to pay. Are you the low-cost leader? Or are you the market-leading expert who clients pay a premium to access?

By advertising your prices you help your clients self-select. If you’re way out of their price range, or even too low, they’ll know to move on and find someone else.

4. Test your market’s price point

If you haven’t worked out the right price for your target market, what better way to test it out than by telling people what you charge?

If you’re concerned that publishing your prices will mean that they’re set in stone, don’t be. The price is just a number on a website. If you want to change it, log on and change it. Simple.

5. Save time on sales

People who can’t afford your services won’t waste your time or theirs. Do you really want to spend time convincing people to buy your service when they can’t see the value you’re offering? That’s the job of your website. Sure, a short phone call to build rapport is a good thing, but long sales calls, not so much.

Give prospective clients everything they need to make a buying decision. They’re busy. They want to make the decision when it suits them. Tell them everything they need to know. Not just your price, but what you’ll do, how you’ll deliver, when you’ll do it and why they should choose you.

This way, when a prospective client does call you, they’ve been pre-sold by the information on your website. I find one of two things happens. Either they’re ready to buy and want to get started (in which case they’ll probably book through your website). Alternitavely, they want to suss you out and make sure you’re legit. Often they’ll ask you questions like “It says on your website that … is that right?” They want to make sure there’s a human on the other side and once they’ve made sure of that, they’re in.

Either way, you’ll save time on answering questions about price.

Should I price everything?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned with fixed pricing is to keep it simple. Don’t go overboard trying to assign prices for every service and every possible ‘extra’. We tried this when we started and it just left clients overwhelmed, confused and concerned that we were out to get them by tacking on a load of extras once they’d signed up. That wasn’t the case, but that’s how they perceived it.

We see the best results when we use a combination of fixed and value pricing. Each practice area has a few marquee products that have advertised, fixed prices. We then quote based on value for services that are bespoke and don’t fit within the scope of the standard service.

Show me the money

Want to see what advertising prices looks like in real life? Here are some examples:

  • At Birman & Ride, we publish fixed prices for all our marquee services. People who visit our website know exactly what we offer, what’s in and what’s out. They can book your appointment online at any time of day or night.
  • Twine Business Law publish a price menu, much like one you’d find at a restaurant. Their services are ordered into Appetizer, Entrée, Main and Dessert. If you don’t fancy anything on the menu, ask the chef for a custom dish and they’ll give you a fixed price.
  • Brightside Family Law don’t want you to stay awake at night worrying about your legal fees. If you’re going through a separation, you’ve got enough on your plate. They advertise fixed-prices for a series of packages so you can work out where you sit on the full service vs DIY spectrum and choose the package that suits you.
  • The Remote Expert offers retainer packages and document templates, all for upfront, fixed prices that you can find on their website. They explain exactly what’s in and what’s out and how to order any extras.

It comes down to this…

The reluctance to advertise prices usually comes down to one of two things.

The first is the concern about losing prospective clients who will gawp at your price before you’ve had a chance to demonstrate your value. If you’re worried about this then it’s time to take another look at your website. Perhaps it isn’t doing a good job of demonstrating your value. Can you add testimonials, share results you’ve helped your clients achieve, explain the features of your service, explain why you’re unique or value-add by providing helpful information.

The other concern is that people will take your price and shop around. Clearly showing the value of your offer is one way to prevent this. But also ask yourself whether the price-shoppers are really the people you’re targeting anyway?

If you’re clear about the market you serve and the value you provide, putting your prices on your website is a good thing.

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