With Validatum Pricing Espresso® we aim to bring you your regular pricing 'shot' - the best, most interesting, thought provoking and informative material we can find globally which will be of interest, relevance and help to you in your legal services pricing challenges. [Note: we don't always agree with the content of others that we post but the philosophy of Validatum Pricing Espresso® is shared perspectives, not a personal 'soap-box']
Pricing: Hit ‘Send’ and Hope for The Best
A face-to-face request is 34 times more successful than an email, which begs the question, why do we persist in conducting our primary price negotiations by email instead of face-to-face or at the very least, on the end of the phone?
There are at least two possible explanations, one charitable, one not so. Many will argue that the principal explanation is that we are all time starved and under pressure and it is much more efficient and cost-effective to belt out an email with a pricing proposal and await a response. This assertion has legitimacy.
A more brutal perspective might put it down to a less flattering dynamic - we're just ‘chicken’. We will do anything to avoid that visceral conversation, something we have written about recently in ‘We’ll Have a Chat at the End: A $20 Billion Black Hole’. Read more...
Legal Pricing Academy
Very proud of our latest fantastic student looking to rocket her firm into the future on pricing - Janna Beattie at Lewis Rice in St Louis, Missouri. Take a look at this 2-minute interview with Janna Beattie, Revenue Cycle Manager, Lewis Rice, LLC, St. Louis, Missouri...
When did you get started in the legal profession?
I joined Lewis Rice 11 years ago. I started as a biller and within a few years began assisting with new business intake and conflicts. I have been provided with great opportunities to evolve and develop professionally, including working on the migration of our practice management system to Elite 3E. Read more...
Big Law’s Worst-Kept Secret: Discounts
Reductions to the sticker price of legal services—whether taken off at the outset of an engagement or as write-downs when it comes time to collect the bill—end up costing Am Law 100 firms some $4.4 billion per year.
In this week’s episode of Legal Speak, we’re focused on a facet of Big Law business that few firms want to acknowledge: discounts and write-downs.
Those reductions to the sticker price of legal services—whether taken off at the outset of an engagement or when it comes time for lawyers to collect the bill—end up costing Am Law 100 firms some $4.4 billion per year. Read more...
How to make less money
I can’t tell you how many times a law firm leader has said to me recently, “Jordan, we’re simply making too much money. We’ve got a profit epidemic on our hands, and frankly, it’s causing some serious damage to the fabric of our firm. Something has to be done about it.”
Just the other day, in fact, there I was in my local fair-trade coffee shop, sipping organically roasted java with the powerful leaders of three immensely profitable BigLaw firms. They clutched their artisanal ceramic mugs tensely, lines of worry creasing their brows. Read more...
Prioritize Proficiency in Real-Time, Contemporaneous Timekeeping
Four ideas for improving timekeeping habits — and your firm's bottom line.
In a perfect world, lawyers could always track billable time as soon as their work is done, whether sitting at a desk or in an airport, riding in a taxi or waiting for an appointment to start. But the reality is … this is not the reality of lawyer timekeeping. Many lawyers don’t track their time contemporaneously (in real time, as they go). Instead they try to re-create their workday hours, days or even weeks later, piecing together bits of time spent and disparate communications from throughout the day.
The invoice drafting, or prebill, process at law firms suffers greatly from this lack of timekeeping rigor. In January, the Orion Prebill Survey found that 84.4 percent of law firm respondents reported the No. 1 cause of delay in prebill generation was “lack of contemporaneous timekeeping habits.” That is, time isn’t entered as the work is done. Read more...
Price Management Strategies: World Class Pricing Teams Generate 10X Industry Profits
Many CEOs say they haven’t really considered building a dedicated pricing team to drive their price management strategies because they’ve already got a finance team managing their money and a sales team bringing in sales revenue. Maybe they should.
A whole raft of new pricing reports from leading consultancy firms, representing thousands of publicly listed companies in Australia and around the world, find that businesses with a dedicated pricing team and infrastructure not only generated 3 times the return on investment in year 1-2, and 7 – 10 times return on investment in year 5, but also sustained a long-term price advantage of roughly 15 to 25 percent of a typical company’s total profits.
This could be millions of pure profit dollars for your company. Read more...
LEGAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Legal Project Management, Part 3: Your Most Important Tasks
A simple way to organize your day.
In my first post about legal project management, we talked about the big-picture goals of this series:
- Managing all the firm’s projects/matters.
- Managing each project/matter.
- Managing your tasks within each project/matter.
We also distinguished workflows (ongoing projects) from “regular” projects or matters (projects with an end goal). In the second post, we worked on managing individual projects and set up basic project and workflow boards and check-ins. Read more...
The RFP Process: When to Respond and When to Bow Out
Love them or hate them, requests for proposals, or RFPs as they’re known in our circles, are part of our lives.
I hate them.
They take tons of time, there’s no guarantee of a return on that time and energy, and a huge number of them are really badly written.
And yet…they persist. Read more...