I had a nice conversation with a doctor who had referred me to one of her partners for a simple construction problem. It was the classic situation where the builder had effectively left the job with a bullet list of things that had yet to be accomplished. I did the project out on a flat fee and preformed all the tasks defined in the initial proposal. We achieved the goal for the client and got the matters taken care of quickly. When the client got the bill he went and spoke to this other doctor about whether it was ethical for him to pay me more than the bill reflected. He and his wife believed they got far more value out of my services than I was billing them for.
I explained to my friend that I was very satisfied with the value of the bill compared to the value of the services rendered and explained that my hourly rate basically varies depending on the project. On this particular project it was something closer to $100 dollars an hour. But, I told her it was more important for people to think of me whenever they have a legal problem. I explained to her that I want to be the airport where every legal problem takes off from. It it is within my area of expertise I will handle it. If it is not within my area of expertise, I will send the matter to the appropriate attorney who operates consistently with my value billing model thereby strengthening my relationship with other attorneys in town.
We had an opportunity to really discuss in detail the differences between the way I do business and the way most law firms do business. It was fun listening to myself evangelize about changing the way law is practiced.
I realize even more each day how easy it is for me to distinguish myself and my practice from the other practices in town. I have said it before and I will say it again. Our firm has no competition in the local market. It is all a matter of getting the word out and watching the clients come in. Today alone, I am meeting with and likely signing up three new substantial matters based purely on word of mouth.