When you look and sound exactly like everyone else who provides the same services you provide, acquiring clients becomes a game of pure numbers. That is a game that you don’t want to play because both you and your clients will lose. Potential clients who use lawyer comparison shopping websites choose an attorney from the equivalent of a fast food dollar menu.
Even if the client chooses you, you won’t be able to command appropriately high fees and you likely will have to offer steeply discounted services or accept a payment plan. Otherwise, they will simply move on to the next attorney on the list. This results in you working for less money, being forced into taking on a higher workload, and providing lower quality services.
What is the Solution to Commoditization?
The solution to the commoditization of legal services is authority. You must become the most authoritative attorney in your practice area. What does an authoritative attorney look like from the point of view of a client?
David, our hypothetical potential client, has been arrested for DUI in California. He is a mid-level manager for a Fortune 100 company. If he is convicted of DUI, he will lose his job. His wife might divorce him and he might not get to live with his children anymore. His upstanding family and community will probably all but disown him. His friends and colleagues will no longer respect him. Everything is on the line for David at this point in time.
If you found yourself in David’s shoes, which of the attorneys below would you choose to save your marriage, your relationship with your children, your reputation, and your career? The first attorney on the list? The third one? What would it take to convince you that one of these attorneys is the right one to trust to keep you from losing all that you hold dear?
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