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Do you think she’ll be back?

February 7th, 2007 · 5 Comments · What I'm Doing

I sort of went off on a potential client yesterday.

Generally, I’m very sympathetic to my clients plights. They are usually nice people who have had one or two bad breaks that have caused them to be in their particular financial situation.

But this one kind of pissed me off.

This woman made an appointment a week or two ago and met with me. I spent probably two hours meeting with her, giving her the required notices and going over the petitions, schedules and statement of financial affairs. I told her what her bankruptcy would cost, what I believed were the possible pitfalls and how they would be handled. She signed a Consultation Fee Agreement whereby she and I agree that the initial meeting was free but that I would perform no further services for her. She seemed impressed. She left her documents with me. She told me she intended to file her income tax returns and would be back to hire me.

Yesterday she called and said, “I’ve been calling around and your fees are higher than anyone else.” I told her I didn’t know who she’d talked to but that I thought my fees were in line with most of the other lawyers in town. She named some names. Some I didn’t know. Some I did know aren’t very good. They have staff who meet with the client and all they do is appear at the first meeting of creditors with the client; often they appear to have just met the client that day. No one that she mentioned was anyone who particularly impressed me and one, though I didn’t share this with her, made me shudder he does such a shoddy job.

It kind of irked me. So, when she said, well “why should I pay $250 more for you?” I told her.

Because I am the best. Because I know what are the problems with my clients cases and I resolve them before the client even realizes there is a problem. Because I have been asked by the AUST* to teach at the Basic Bankruptcy Seminar they have every year. And I was asked because they know I’m good and they think other lawyers can learn from me. Because my clients tell me after the 341 meeting, “wow, I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me, it doesn’t look like some of those lawyers did as good a job as you or prepared their clients as well as you prepared me.” Because you deal with me the lawyer. Because I return all my phone calls and e-mails. And because you get what you pay for.

And at the end of our conversation. Do you know what she said? “I’m going to come by this week and drop off some more of those documents you asked to look at.”

I don’t know if I impressed her or just cowed her.

*Assistant U.S. Trustee

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 daysgoby // Feb 7, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Well, you impressed me….

  • 2 gawdessness // Feb 7, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Daysgoby stole my comment but I think you were totally cool.

  • 3 missmamamoon // Feb 8, 2007 at 9:34 am

    You GO girl!

  • 4 Donna // Feb 8, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    It doesn’t sound to me like you went off on her. You HELPED her from making a mistake over $250 (which is probably a pittance compared with what a botched proceeding would be). Like the other commenters, I think you done good.

  • 5 monkey // Feb 8, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    You return calls to clients?

    You should raise your rate WAY beyond $250 higher than competition.

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