Moving Beyond Hourly Billing

Moving Beyond Hourly Billing

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  • Clients are often paralyzed when there’s no definitive price point for them to consider. So what are some alternative fee structures you can adopt to help move away from hourly billing? 

    In this video, we explain 6 alternative fee structures, how to use them for maximum impact, and the role they play in customer satisfaction.

    Join us to learn more about:

    • Retainers vs payment schedules
    • How to capitalize on efficient project scoping with fixed bids
    • The tremendous amount of upside in performance-based contracts
    • Additional opportunities to charge you might not think of
    • Alternative fee structures and the customer experience

Episode  127 – Alternative Fee Structures: How and Why to Move Away from Hourly Billing – Member Case by Sonia Miller-Van Oort

Moving away from hourly billing leads to better margins, higher client satisfaction, and happier employees. Yet, many boutique founders are afraid to do it, and do not know how. In this session, member Sonia Miller-Van Oort shares how she built her 12-person law firm using alternative fee structures.


Greg Alexander [00:00:15] Welcome to the Pro Serv podcast, a podcast for leaders of thriving boutique professional services firms. For those that are not familiar with us, Collective 54 is the first mastermind community focused entirely on the unique needs of boutique professional services firms. My name is Greg Alexander. I’m the founder and I’ll be your host today. On this episode, we’re going to discuss moving away from the billable hour. This is a hotly contested issue. Some might even say religious battle in certain sectors. And it’s important for us to have a point-counterpoint discussion around this, because sometimes making this move can increase profitability and client satisfaction quite a bit. And we’ve got a great role model with us today. Her name is Sonia Miller Van-Oort, and she is in the legal sector, which is rather married to the billable hour, and she’s got quite a story to share with us. So we’re very lucky to have her. Sonia, if you wouldn’t mind, please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your firm.

Sonia Miller-Van Oort [00:01:25] Sure. My name is Sonia Miller Van-Oort. I am the President and Principal Founder of a law firm called Sapientia Law Group. We’re located in Minneapolis, and we are a 12-attorney law firm that does a variety of work, mostly litigation, about 70% litigation and about 30% transactional work.

Greg Alexander [00:01:45] Okay. And where are you based?

Sonia Miller-Van Oort [00:01:47] In Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Greg Alexander [00:01:48] Okay, very good. So tell us a little bit about how you’ve moved away from the billable hour.

Sonia Miller-Van Oort [00:01:55] Yeah. So we started our firm 12 years ago, and prior to that I was a partner at another firm and this topic of billable hours. This is 2009, 2010 timeframe, clients, really not happy with ever-increasing billable hour rates. At that point, I was a more junior partner and there are a couple of things that I was seeing. One, clients weren’t happy with that system of billing they really wanted more budget certainty. And as a practicing litigator, what I what I observed as well was that the cost and the uncertainty of the cost to the clients became an impediment to them getting to the merits of their case. And as a litigator and advocate, that was a frustrating thing for me, trying to get the best result for them. So it was kind of a combination of those things. I participated in this about with my law school, which was kind of a big think tank about the traditional law firm model. And this issue came up and I started I heard about alternative fees, and it wasn’t so much that it was a new concept at that point people had been talking about for decades. But really very few law firms had really adopted it and were able to be successful in it. And kind of what I perceived was law firms would sometimes reluctantly do an alternative fee structure if the clients came and approached them about it, but they kind of did it kicking and screaming. And so when I was creating a new law firm model to start Sapientia Law Group, that was central to the concept of how could we deliver services differently to our clients, and trying to think how we could, instead of it being a reactionary and reluctant response, how could we lead with that as a something proactively always offered to clients, always giving them the option whether they wanted to do hourly or an alternative fee structure, but presenting it without clients having to kind of ask the question but to be upfront and say, here’s another way we can do this, which works best for your business. So that’s how it got there and how we really focused on that as a key core concept of Sapientia Law Group.

Greg Alexander [00:04:37] Okay, very good. You’ve mentioned alternative fee structure a few times, so if not the hourly or billable hour excuse me, what is the alternative?

Sonia Miller-Van Oort [00:04:47] Yeah, well, I always say the alternative is only limited by your own creativity. So we’ve developed quite a list of options. And so those can range from you can do, and I’ll just, to be clear, I’m a litigator, so that’s the world I live in. And people for years have said, well, you might be able to do alternative fees in law, but really you can’t do them in litigation. Is that way possible because there are just too many unknown factors? And I don’t believe that to be true. And so what we’ve developed are different flat fees, four phases of litigation. We’ve developed subscription fees, which would be more of a kind of that model I always liken it to your cell phone plan and paying for so many minutes a month and you can have rollovers. We do risk collars, which is another way to create some budget certainty that has a collar of risk around the price that you’re studying. And it allows some extra payment if you go beyond it, but it’s reduced and a greater payment if you come below the budget. We’ve done pullbacks, which is another way of saying we’re going to agree upfront. What are the key, key performance factors? And we’re going to hold so much back from what you’re paying us until we reach those milestones. And then one that I often use in complex litigation is the combination of a hybrid of flat fees for certain pieces of the work with success bonuses, again, around milestones or what the client defines as success at the beginning of the engagement. 

Greg Alexander [00:06:28] Hmm. Very creative. Thank you for walking us through those alternatives. And when we have our member Q&A on Friday, they’re going to ask a lot of questions about those, particularly the risk collar. That’s one of great interest to me. So if this is better for the client, better for the law firm, and maybe a way for a smaller firm to differentiate, why are founders of firms reluctant to go off of the billable hour?

Sonia Miller-Van Oort [00:06:58] Yeah, I think there’s a couple of reasons. I think the biggest impediment is the traditional law firm mindset, which is how we do business is billable hours and we’re going to, those are our metrics and that’s how we’re going to value our people and we’re going to set goals around how many hours people build. And when you get into that mindset, I will say that it is potentially contrary or conflicting with an alternative fee structure model. And the reason why is because the way I approach alternative fee structures is it’s a shared risk and a shared reward. And what we want to do is the professional services team is to be efficient in getting the results desired. That means you hopefully are using less time and working smarter to get the results. But if you’re in a firm that is going to measure and reward employees by how many hours they put in instead of the results they’re obtaining for clients, those two things get heads. And I think that is just the traditional way of law firms. And so I’ll tell you, when we first started our firm, I wondered, you know, people wanted to talk about the firm. And I was concerned about, do I really want to talk about alternative fees? You know, isn’t that the competitive advantage I’m trying to have and do I really want to be talking about so somebody else can do that. And what I finally came to is I can talk about it all day because as long as law firms won’t change their core structure and the metrics that they value people, how they value them, they can never effectively do alternative fees. And that’s effectively why I want to start a new firm, because I think it’s the whole infrastructure of how you run your business that can make alternative fees work really well. But if you got to look at what you’re compensating, how are you rewarding, how are you value your people, what are they being motivated by, all of those things. And if you don’t have that culture and model, alternative is not going to work. 

Greg Alexander [00:09:09] Yeah. And I agree with you. I mean. Talking about it and doing it. A very true two very different things for sure. So I think that’s a good explanation as to why law firms might do it. When you approach clients with this, I’m assuming maybe incorrectly, it requires quite a bit of education. Is that accurate? And if so, how do you handle that?

Sonia Miller-Van Oort [00:09:32] Yes, it does require some. So, you know, as I said, we are potentially going to be retained. We explain to our client there’s two ways we can do this. And for me to come up with an alternative fee structure, I want to talk about what’s going to be success to you. And I want to talk about what my strategy might be and how I see that playing out. The other challenge, going back to your last question, I think that attorneys and many other professional service organizations have answered the question, how much is something going to cost really when you get my bill, you’ll know approach as opposed to on the front side giving that client budget certainty. And so when you explain to the client what it is you’re trying to do, but you’re also saying but it’s up to you, you know, you decide what’s best for your business right now. Clients really appreciate that. And where I find that they’re more likely to try the alternative fee because there’s some skepticism at times if they’ve not done one before as well what’s the catch? What are they trying to do? Are they trying to get more money out of me? That kind of thing. So where it really works the best is where you have a trusting relationship. You’ve done work with the client before. You explain. Here’s how you’re still going to see. You’re going to get my bills. You’re going to see everyone who’s doing the work. You’re going to see what the work, what’s being done. So I want you to have that data. I want us to both have the data so that at the end of the day, you can look at it and decide, did you get value for it? And I can look at it and make the same determination. So there definitely is an educational process. But I will tell you that, you know, I’m not going to say ten times out of ten that might be too strong, but nine times out of ten, if a client has tried the alternative fee structure, they will do it again because they can see the real value of it.

Greg Alexander [00:11:30] And how about when you’re recruiting attorneys to your law firm, especially those that might have worked in other law firms where this is, you know, completely unconventional, do you have to sell them on why this is good for them or how does that go?

Sonia Miller-Van Oort [00:11:46] I don’t know, but I have to sell them on it necessarily. It’s always a point of interest for them when they want to understand how that works. And as I kind of alluded to before. I only think alternative fee structures work for our firm because of how we’ve built the firm. And so let me just give you an example. I’ve not practiced. I practiced in two other firms. I met a partner and other one before creating this firm, but not working environment that was as collaborative as our firm is. And the reason that is, is because that’s how you get alternative views to work. You’re able to identify your team. You can figure out where people’s strengths and you maximize where people strengths are. So on traditional firms, you might have, you know, a partner and an associate, and the clients don’t want to see more than two people on the bill because they’re afraid they’re going to be getting charged too much. But when I explain to them, what you get is a whole team and this is what it’s going to cost you. It doesn’t matter if there’s two or there’s five people. Okay. So your question is, so when I explain that to people about how we really work together, like we do a lot of roundtable brainstorms on the whiteboard, we’re coming up with our ideas and our strategy and how are we doing this? And you got this and I got this. And it’s a much different way to practice law than I’ve seen with other law firms. And so actually, when we’re trying to recruit people and we talk about that, I think they get excited about that.

Greg Alexander [00:13:11] And to a member who is inspired by your story and wants to give it a shot. What would be the first couple of steps you would recommend?

Sonia Miller-Van Oort [00:13:21] So I think, you know, it’s hugely important that you have data that you understand. What your costs are for what you’re going to provide and what the scope of work is. I mean, really for any potential representation, the question is what’s the scope of work? And in some ways, it’s not any different than a contractor who’s building a house for somebody. What is it we’re trying to do here? Yeah, and that’s the first piece that we always start with. What is it that’s going to need to happen? So when I talked about that strategy on the front side, that really is super important in communicating with the client. All right, here’s what I, this is what I see. These are the people who I can envision as witnesses in the case they’re going to get to close. Seems like this is the case with hundreds of thousands of documents or this seems like a case of like, you know, probably less than 500. You’ve got to kind of be able to know how you’re going to approach it. But listen, if you’re an experienced person in whatever industry it is, you do know that.

Greg Alexander [00:14:22] Right.

Sonia Miller-Van Oort [00:14:23] And if you have data, like if you have past matters that you’ve worked on, for me, it’s cases. But, you know, past deals, you’ve done whatever your industry, you glean from that. And that’s, I think, what should take away the fear of the unknown. Because you’re not just you’re just throwing it out like willy nilly and let’s see what happens. It should be based on data one and two, I think a really important thing and I think this really addresses fear, too, is defining the scope of work. And so attorneys are. That’s what they’re afraid of. But here’s the deal. These are my assumptions. So when I present the alternative to the client, I tell them what my material assumptions are. And if we go outside those material assumptions, that’s extra. Yeah, right. So I can take a package of what I can reasonably figure out my costs, what I want, who’s going to work on this, what I want my margins to be, and come up with that. I don’t have to feel like I’m going to dive off a cliff if all of a sudden we end up with twice as much because I provided for that in the agreement. 

Greg Alexander [00:15:32] Great advice. You know, I might add that when we look at our benchmarking data and you cross-reference firm profitability and client satisfaction, our power members that use alternative fee structures as opposed to billable hours tend to be more profitable and they have higher clients. And so that might be something to help people get over their fear as well. Yeah, well, listen, we’re at our time window here. We try to keep these podcasts short, but I’m so excited about the upcoming Friday session. We’re talking about this for an hour and our members will have the opportunity to ask you questions directly. So on behalf of the membership, thanks for coming today and sharing your wisdom with us.

Sonia Miller-Van Oort [00:16:11] Thanks so much. It was fun.

Greg Alexander [00:16:12] All right.  And for those that want to learn a little bit more about this, I’d give you a few calls to action. You can pick up our book called The Boutique: How to Start, Scale, and Sell a professional services firm. You can find that on Amazon. If reading is not your thing, consider joining Collective 54 Insights. And there you’ll get podcasts and videos and charts and things of that nature. You can find that also at the website. And if you want to join and meet fantastic people like our guest today, go to the Contact Us section on our website and fill out that information and then a representative will get back to you. But thanks for listening today and until next time. Best of luck as you try to grow, scale, and exit your firm.

Pricing Strategy: How Much Should You Charge?

Pricing Strategy: How Much Should You Charge?

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How much should you charge for professional services? It’s not always as clear as you’d think, but you need to have a pricing strategy to scale your business. And coming up with a price is just the beginning. You also need to understand what your clients are willing to pay and how to explain why you charge the rate you do.

This video provides tips for identifying how much you should charge and demonstrates how to explain your rate to a client. 

In this video, you’ll learn:

    • How to use surveys to determine a clients willingness to pay
    • The benefits of experimenting with a variety of pricing strategies
    • How to navigate reference pricing in your pricing strategy
    • How to effectively differentiate your rate vs your competitors
    • Negotiation strategies within your pricing strategy
    • 3 strategic decisions to consider when determining how much you should charge

The 9 Revenue Sources for Pro Serve Firms: How Many Are You Using?

The 9 Revenue Sources for Pro Serve Firms: How Many Are You Using?

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The 9 Revenue Sources for Pro Serve Firms: How Many Are You Using?

Discover the 9 common revenue sources for a successful professional services firm. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each and how you may be able to realize more revenue this year by diversifying or strengthening how your firm makes money.   

In this week’s video, Greg shares:

    • The 9 Sources of revenue in the professional services business model
    • Pros and cons of each, plus additional things to think about
    • How to identify which revenue sources are best for your pro serve firm

Episode 63 – Pricing: The Quickest Way to Scale – Member Case with Chris Neumann

Changing your pricing strategy is the quickest way to scale. On this episode, we interview Chris Neumann, CEO at Cro Metrics to discuss how evolving his pricing strategy has allowed him to scale. 


Sean Magennis [00:00:15] Welcome to the Boutique with Collective 54, a podcast for founders and leaders of boutique professional services firms. I’ll go with this show is to help you grow, scale and exit your firm bigger and faster. I’m Sean Magennis Collective 54 Advisory Board member and your host. On this episode, I will make the case a change to your pricing strategy is the quickest way to scale. I’ll try to prove this theory by interviewing Chris Neumann, CEO at CroMetrics. Crowe Metrics drives revenue growth through strategic, data driven experimentation. They optimize your website for conversion, boosting key metrics such as revenue and engagement while you learn more about your customers. You can find Chris at CRO metrics that Chris, great to see you and welcome. 

Chris Neumann [00:01:19] Thanks for having me on the show. 

Sean Magennis [00:01:20] It’s such a pleasure. So, Chris, let’s start with an overview. Can you briefly share with the audience an example of how changing a pricing strategy can impact scale? 

Chris Neumann [00:01:32] Sure, actually, this is a core strategic advantage for us a year or two ago, I set up a biweekly meeting that anyone in the company could attend called the pricing console. Culturally, we’ve created a safe pay, safe place for people to bring up pricing issues and people from all levels do. So the issues surface of this meeting have led to some pretty big competitive advantage for us and we’re always looking to it’s coming from a place of always trying to deliver more value to the customer through pricing changes, and it’s even actually led to a wholesale change in how we price our our services. 

Sean Magennis [00:02:05] I love to hear that, and let’s go a little deeper on that because you know your concept of creating a pricing console I love because in my experience, tackling pricing is a very loaded and can be a difficult conversation. Is that what you find? Is that why you started the pricing council concept? 

Chris Neumann [00:02:26] Absolutely. I think that actually the right strategy is to always be playing with pricing. So the accountants are one group that are not so enthusiastic about that, but everyone else, including most importantly, the customers, is. So I think another part of this is, you know, we’ve you talked about in the intro, we run revenue optimization and do a bunch of experimentation and some of the most impactful experiments we’ve ever run have been pricing experiments. So why not do that for ourselves? 

Sean Magennis [00:02:56] Exactly. It makes complete sense. And so, Chris, what I’d like to do is get your thoughts and some of the best practices that we recommend in this area. You know, I understand from you what you think about them. I’ll go through five specific things. I’ll walk through each, get your thoughts and feel free, you know, to share whatever your experience is in these regards and add to them. So the first one is a pricing change does not require an investment to implement. There’s no staff to add or service offering to develop, and the benefits can be immediate. So charge more today than you did yesterday. What are your thoughts about this concept? 

Chris Neumann [00:03:37] Yeah, I mean, people’s time is always an investment, so there’s maybe a little bit of cost there, but it’s not a hard cost. And so conceptually, I totally agree. I think some of the biggest impacts have been empowering the team to contribute to pricing. Yeah. So with my pricing council bringing it just helps us understand more what the customer actually wants. And so we’re always examining this and trying to just deliver more value to those so totally agree that you can just make a whole bunch of small and incrementally changes with almost no direct cost. 

Sean Magennis [00:04:06] Excellent. The second one that we find as boutiques often do not know what their services are actually worth to their clients, and they’re often unaware of what clients are willing to pay for those services. Many firms cannot even logically explain to prospects why they charge what they charge. And worse, they cannot quantify the amount of value a prospect receives from an engagement. What are your opinions about this, Chris? 

Chris Neumann [00:04:34] Well, I guess there’s a bunch of hard won experience that I don’t ever speak to. One thing we always do is calculate the ROI in our services, and we do that in conjunction with the client. So it’s not just our calculation, it’s the one that they agree with you. Mm-Hmm. Ideally involving their CFO and those sorts of folks. Yes. And we do that and we present it to the the staff at the customer in a quarterly business reviews. So we make sure we’re all on the same page. Before we were doing that, we’re often, you know, why was I calculate it was much easier for them to and our engagements. The other thing we’ve done is we’ve looked at a number of different pricing models because of that. You know, the value thing you talked about a second ago, we ultimately landed on hourly because in our industry, performance doesn’t really work, and the unit of value is an experiment for us. And so the cost to deliver an experiment varies watch to wildly to warrant a fixed price, which is what we are doing. And that was a very painful lesson to learn since the sort of scope creep on the bigger ones just sort of ate us alive on margin. 

Sean Magennis [00:05:34] You know, that’s such an important thing, and we have had several episodes. And then in our book, we talk about that. But making sure that you clearly manage the scope that you’ve priced well and that you don’t go into the red on on a particular project and only pricing is a way that you have fun to get there. I love your point about the ROI calculation that the client agrees with and involving the CFO. Brilliant. The third recommendation that we would make is to develop a pricing strategy that matches your business strategy. What I mean by that, for example, is if a firm sells to small businesses, the high volume, low price model makes sense. If you sell complex solutions to larger companies, a higher cost, lower volume approach is best. What do you think about that, Chris? 

Chris Neumann [00:06:27] Yeah, I think it ties to your business model in general. Right, so we actually sell to a wide range of customers, but our engagement model really isn’t that different. So larger complex organizations just require more hours because there’s different departments and, you know, bigger meetings you have to have. But the core engagement model and pricing really isn’t that different. So I think there’s like a maybe a yellow flag you might see if you’re starting to like, try to go for a low volume price or start to get out of your lane. It might cause a problem, right? Like a law practice that does patent litigation will be high cost regardless of client size, whereas an IT offshoring will probably all have low cost, high volume engagements. 

Sean Magennis [00:07:08] Yeah. 

Chris Neumann [00:07:09] Is that about your experience? 

Sean Magennis [00:07:11] Absolutely. Maps to my experience and really good points. So another recommendation is to focus on price positioning as it affects perception and in this context. Perception is reality, so the price you charge sends a signal to the client. If you price too low, your work will be considered, which can be considered low quality if you price too high. You may be perceived as being difficult to engage. So if you price the same as your competitors, you may be perceived as undifferentiated to maybe unpack some of those concepts with me Chris. 

Chris Neumann [00:07:48] Sure, so we’ve definitely struggle with this as well. I think the big temptation is to try to sort of win on price, and I would recommend that you not do that unless your core you have a know you have a core cost advantage over your competition, and that’s like your main value proposition. Yep. Instead, what we do is we try to price the value. So I talked about that ROI calculation. Yeah, we do the ROI assessment in the sales process. We’re trying to I don’t want to take people’s money unless I know I’m going to give them a really good return. Yeah, I tell them that at the very beginning. And so we priced towards value because at that point, the conversation is about the parameters of value of the customer versus like how much as a unit of work cost an hour or whatever. A of value pricing is key. 

Sean Magennis [00:08:32] I love that. And then going back again and reinforcing do the ROI in the sales process, which justifies your price to value? I love that. The fifth one. So one more, you know, there may be an understanding of what the client’s value at the attribute level is. So a mistake often owners of processor firms make is they think in the aggregate. When it comes to pricing, we advocate being Sure to understand what attributes of your offering are valued most and influence the perception of your performance in the specific area. This will result in the ability to charge more because there’s more perceived value. Do you do you agree with that? What are your thoughts on that? 

Chris Neumann [00:09:17] Sure. Yeah, I totally do. And you know, as we’ve grown, we’re about 75 people now, so I find myself increasingly sort of almost in an ivory tower. And that’s where the pricing council’s incredibly valuable right. We we talk of the people doing the work and talking with the customer, and they get a real sense of what the client cares about. So like one example specific for us is we were doing this thing. We were selling at a lower rate after a number of hours, using a month to be sort of a bulk discount and, you know, procurement and maybe the people we were working with on the sales process like that. But it turned out there was no behavior change in our clients. They didn’t value it. No one there was no behavior change whatsoever. So we moved away from it because it was basically a sales gimmick. Yes, I mean, this could be fine, but I really want to drive customer value. 

Sean Magennis [00:10:04] Ultimately, that’s a fantastic example. And you know, you said something, you know, it’s 75 employees. You’re feeling that you’re potentially or you you are. You feel sometimes that you’re an ivory tower and you’ve used your pricing counsel to help you stay connected to your client, I think is phenomenal to share with me why it’s important that you really have your finger on the pulse of what the client is doing, thinking, feeling. 

Chris Neumann [00:10:32] I just think that that’s the way you get value, right, understanding the customer ultimately through all of our experimentation we do for them when you get to understand those customers better. So while I might be talking to a more senior person, the engagement, the actual people doing the work or talking to my people. And often there’s a weird power dynamic where if I come to a meeting, it’s causing things to be different. So I need the folks on the ground to be talking to me. So I know what’s going on. It’s just almost impossible for me to, you know, there’s too much observation by us. If I show up to I on tactical meeting, 

Sean Magennis [00:11:06] I think that it’s well said Chris. And you know, our listeners, please take take that to mind, particularly if you’re the founder of your business and avoid that ivory tower mentality by by getting in and really listening. And also this bias that could creep in when you’re the maybe the highest paid person in the room, you’re the founder of the owner or you’ve got the lead intellect. Is give yourself an opportunity to really get to that real insight. Fantastic, Chris. Thank you. These are great Real-Life examples that you’ve shared, and this takes us to the end of this episode. And as is customary, we end each show with a tool. We do so because this allows the listener to apply the lessons to his or her firm. Our preferred tool is a checklist, and our style of checklist is a yes no questionnaire. We aim to keep it simple by asking only 10 questions in this instance. If you answer yes to eight or more of these questions, your pricing strategy is working for you. If you answer no too many times, pricing is more than likely getting in the way of your attempts to scale. Chris has graciously agreed to be our peer example today, and Chris, I’ll ask you the the yes, no question so we can all learn from your example. So let’s begin. 

Sean Magennis [00:12:27] Number one, do you know what your offering is worth to clients? 

Chris Neumann [00:12:33] Yes. 

Sean Magennis [00:12:35] Number two, can you quantify the value of your work in hard dollars? 

Chris Neumann [00:12:42] Yes, that’s the ROI calculation. Yep. 

Sean Magennis [00:12:44] Number three, do you know what clients are willing to pay for your services? 

Chris Neumann [00:12:51] Yes, we do. 

Sean Magennis [00:12:52] Number four, can you explain the logic of your pricing in a way that makes sense to your clients? 

Chris Neumann [00:13:00] We can now if we didn’t use you. But so yes, we turned that from a no to a yes. 

Sean Magennis [00:13:05] Excellent. Number five, does your price illustrate to the client the link between price and value? 

Chris Neumann [00:13:14] Absolutely. That’s the ROI. 

Sean Magennis [00:13:16] And I loved your point about involving the client in that and where possible, the CFO. So they they own it. They’re invested together with you. I love that. Number six, do you charge the most for the service features that your clients want the most? 

Chris Neumann [00:13:31] I think so. I don’t know for sure, but I’ll go with you. Go and check off to really know. Yeah, definitely. 

Sean Magennis [00:13:38] Number seven, do you charge the least for the service features that your clients don’t care about? Similar thing, right? 

Chris Neumann [00:13:45] Yeah, I think so. But it’s hard to hard to know for sure, but definitely a good thing to bring back to the pricing console. Yup. 

Sean Magennis [00:13:51] Number eight, do you allow for clients to choose their price by presenting options? 

Chris Neumann [00:13:57] Absolutely. We learned that lesson very early on. Correct. You want to choose between multiple options versus just yes, no. 

Sean Magennis [00:14:04] Like that. Number nine, is your sales team skilled at overcoming price objections? 

Chris Neumann [00:14:11] Absolutely. You have to be. 

Sean Magennis [00:14:14] And number ten, have you built into your system an annual price increase? 

Chris Neumann [00:14:20] Just yes, only recently, though, so it’s good we’ve got that coming up. 

Sean Magennis [00:14:24] And have you found it? Have you had enough time, you know, to run? 

Chris Neumann [00:14:28] So yeah, it becomes really easy, you know, a couple percent increase for some engagements and then another others we reevaluated. 

Sean Magennis [00:14:35] Yeah, outstanding. So in summary, taking what Chris has shared with us, our listeners really, please understand your worth. Don’t undervalue yourselves. What each of you do is exceptional. Price accordingly and scale quickly. Chris, a huge thank you for sharing your expertize today. If you enjoyed the show and want to learn more. Pick up a copy of the book The Boutique How to Start, Scale and Sell the professional services firm written by Collective 54 founder Greg Alexander. And for more expert support, check out Collective 54, the first expert community. For founders and leaders of boutique professional services firms, Collective 54 will help you grow, scale and exit your firm bigger and faster. Go to to learn more. Thank you for listening.