Shall I take this client?

Clients ask me questions and, from time to time, I’ll post the question and my response. Here is one:

Question: Should I take a prospective client who wants me to discount my price by 25%?

Response: You must first be sure that your price is competitive (is within the market for your service, your geography and your type of practice). If you are, you might want to be a few dollars lower if you’re new to the practice of law … but not much.

Once you’ve established your price, that’s it. Never discount your price. Once you do that, you are known to be a soft touch and whether you discount your price again, or your client merely doesn’t pay it, you will be stuck with unpaid billings in the future.

Set your policy now and stay with it, moving your price up only when market conditions are appropriate. (You can see my article in my archives at on “when to raise fees.”

If you want to lower the price you charge, take something “off the table.” In other words, for X dollars, you will do thus and thus and for “Y” dollars you will do thus and thus less “abc”. While “abc” may not be important, the client gets the message that you are not changing your price, you are charging a different price for a different group of functions.

That way, you may get the client without compromising your fee structure. If your prospect is truly a bargain hunter, without being realistic or reasonable in his/her request, you’re better off not having this client. You will never satisfy the client. Your time will be better spent prospecting for other and better clients who will appreciate your service and value … and pay your full fee.

A contrary view is that you should take the matter at the lower fee requested by the prospect, so long as you still will make a profit, though not so much. My concern with this approach is my fear that when the issue of discount is not properly handled, the client will never be satisfied with the result, no matter what it turns out to be.

Just my $.02 worth.


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