An LNC picks up the phone to answer a call from an intimidating client. He is inquiring about her fees for locating an expert witness. After she names her flat fee, he says, “That is way too much money for what is involved. All I need is a well-qualified, imminent neurosurgeon expert witness for my plaintiff. I can’t give you the job unless you lower your fee.”
Concerned that she will lose the work, she takes $200 off her fee. He readily agrees to the price. As she hangs up, she thinks, “Did I do the right thing?”
The LNC’s fears of not getting the work and lack of confidence in her negotiating capabilities result in her not getting her full fee for what may be a tough assignment. In my experience, well-qualified neurosurgeon experts are difficult to find.
Neurosurgeons can make so much money in the operating room that they often do not have a financial incentive to do expert work. They also function in a small world and know many of their colleagues, so they hesitate before taking on a plaintiff case.
Point Out the Benefits
If you are sure your fees are fair and reasonable, deflect a discussion away from fees and emphasize the benefits of using your services. Identify at least 3 benefits:
- Using my services to locate this difficult-to-find expert frees you from the time needed for a search. If you took on the search, and the expert asked you questions about the case, you might not be able to quickly locate the information in the medical record. I can. I know how to decipher medical records and present the case details.
- Medical experts are often more comfortable talking with me than with an attorney, at least for the initial phone call, and more likely to agree to review the case.
- And I know where to look for neurosurgeons who are more likely to review cases as experts.
Conquer Your Fears About an Intimidating Client
Don’t negotiate with an intimidating client over anything that could negatively affect your profit for working on a case. Don’t let fears prevent you from saying “no” to attempts to lower your fees. Aggressive attorneys will try to get the upper hand early in a discussion, achieve a reduced fee, and expect the same fee for any cases he sends you in the future.
Once you’ve lowered your fee for one attorney, you will find it harder to stick to your fees for other attorneys.
Your lack of confidence will end up costing you revenue. The new bad habit of negotiating fees will soon become the norm.
You don’t need a client who will argue with you about fees. Say “no” and conquer your fears.
Gain the skills you need to increase confidence. I’ve got a course on how to gain the courage to be a confident LNC and achieve a better understanding of how you can be successful in your LNC business. Gain valuable insights of a trial attorney.
It isn’t necessarily the smartest LNCs who are successful, it is those who believe in themselves who succeed!
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