6. Be confident
Charging explicit fees will be different and challenging for many firms and it is understandable you might give in to pressure from clients. But once you agree to discount or reduce your fees, your clients will expect that from you forever. That is a slippery slope to mediocrity.
When it comes to being firm about your fees, it is essential to be confident. Believe in yourself and the difference you make. Your experience and expertise is valuable. If you do not recognise that, you will struggle to convince clients of it.
A true sign of confidence is being willing to walk away from clients who are price sensitive or who constantly haggle about the fees you charge. Clients might only be asking for a discount because they feel they should. Everyone likes to think they are getting a bargain.
The most powerful response to clients who challenge fees is to say: ‘If price is your number one criterion, we probably aren’t the right firm for you to work with.’ In our experience, around 90% of new clients will back off and accept those terms. Those who do not are probably not ideal clients.
With existing clients, it can be trickier, particularly if they generate high levels of recurring income. Use a modified version of the above response, such as: ‘We would be sorry to lose you as a client.’ This will, more often than not, result in your clients accepting what you say.
Steve Billingham is owner and director of Steve Billingham Consulting.