In this episode of The Solution Point, we meet with our marketing mentor, Richard James. We take a deep dive into what it takes to mold your mind to be profitable and how it really comes down to having a mindset for proper pricing. During the day (and night, we are sure) Richard James focuses his time in taking small law firms from chaos to thriving; and helps arm attorneys with the tools they need to run any kind of business. To find out more about Richard James and his world, you can visit his website https://therichardjames.com/ or email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Here is a short excerpt of our conversation:
JMD Oh, yeah, definitely. And I like what you’re saying about “you’ve got to get it in your mind”, because I know a lot of a lot of my colleagues, both in the Richard James world and just out everywhere, you’ve got to be able to say what your price is. And believe it or not, you can’t just say, “Well, today it’s going to be this.” You’ve got to know what you’re worth and you’ve got to be able to say it solidly and confidently and you can’t waver from it. So, knowing your worth, you know, it starts in your mind.
Richard James Yeah. And so, Mike, I’m glad you said that. I mean, when you’re sitting across that table and in your gut, whether it be virtual now or a physical table, you’ve got to have the confidence to be able to say that number. And in the early days, here’s what would happen, because I know because it happened to me and it happens to everybody else. You know, you say that price and you’re so tempted to retract it and want to justify it somehow. And you just have to have the nerves of steel to say the price and then shut up and let them answer. And it’s amazing what happens when they say, “Oh yeah, no big deal” or worse, they’ll say, “Oh, I thought it was going to be a lot more than that!” Oh, my goodness. That’s like the worst thing anybody can ever say to me. As a matter of fact, that’s happened. Michael (his son) and I are launching a business now and in the early days when we were doing the beta pricing, one of the first one or two clients says, “I thought it was going to be a heck of a lot more than that.” I said, “Well, Michael, you know, that means prices have to go up.” You know, so that’s a telltale sign. But, you know, I think it comes out of three things. After we get our mindset right, we have to pay attention to a couple of other things. Let’s focus on at least two. And so, one of them is, all right, how do we justify our price besides the fact that we do a good job and we’re good at what we do? How do we create this environment where we justify the price? OK, so we’ve gotten over our mental hiccup. We’re getting to the point where we will allow ourselves to increase the price incrementally, not all at once, but incrementally. Do we feel comfortable where we get it, where we want it, and then we have to now justify it? So, I think there’s the justification that we do a good job, and we get the result or the desired result. And then there’s the justification of the of what the appearance of the justification is. So, this is where we come into what’s called micromanaging the client experience. The way in which we create a value in the mind of the of the prospect is by ensuring that not only are we good at what we do, and we have a unique competitive advantage over our competitors, but that we stand out in all the ways that we communicate with them from the very first contact forward. So, Mike, you and Cat do an excellent job of this, right? You have created a white glove level service and you charge the right price for your services. You don’t sell swamp juice in a perfume bottle, is what I always like to say. You give real value for the dollar, but you also give real perceived value for the dollar. So, when somebody calls you or they email you, they’re going to be communicated with rapidly, they’re not going to have to wait for a response. Is that an accurate statement?
JMD Correct. I’ll tell you a quick anecdote. I had a client come in and I always ask how they came to us and who can we thank for the referral? And he said, well, you can thank your receptionist because she answered the phone because I called a bunch of other attorneys and nobody even answered the phone. She’s the first one to answer the phone. I mean, it was as simple as that.
Richard James You know, my wife is turning an age that I’m not allowed to mention that I’m having a party for her at the house. I wanted to hire a private chef to come out and cook them a nice meal at the house. And so, I don’t know anybody here. So, I just started Googling and I called three people and two didn’t get back to me. One did but he sent nothing. I find another one. This time, I’ll just fill out the form. I filled out the form on their website. Son of a gun! They call me back the next day. She asks, “Would you mind if I ask why, you chose us?” I said, “Yeah, because you returned a call!”
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