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Should You Let your Clients Decide How Much to Pay You?

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. | Last updated on

Have you ever had that awkward scenario when, after billing clients, they call you, enraged at how the cost of your professional services?

When you're billing by incremental times, it's easy to rack up a huge bill that can not only pad your pockets but shock your clients.

Well, one attorney thought up a way to avoid these scenarios. He's asking his clients how much they would like to pay him.

Of course, the form does tug a bit at the heartstrings of the client. It asks the client to pay what they believe the service was worth to them, and honestly how many clients would feel good about saying someone's service was worth $0?

If this "let your clientele decide how much to pay you" scheme sounds familiar, it might be due to Radiohead's infamous idea to put their 2008 album, "In Rainbows," up for download, letting downloaders decide how much to pay them.

It's probably rather unsurprising that the vast majority of the downloaders paid a lot lower than the traditional studio price for the album. Estimates of how much customers decided to pay for the music ran from around $5 to $8 per download.

But, letting clients decide how much to pay you may bring a warm fuzzy feeling to your clients' hearts. Depending on your confidence level with your clients, letting them have some ability to decide how much your services are worth can endear you to your clients.

On the other hand, it needs to be delicately balanced with your desire to keep the lights on at your office and pay the bills.

While billing clients may be the least-favorite part of your client's experiences with your legal services, it's also vital for any law firm.

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