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May 11, 2020

Why you have to check out today’s podcast: 

  • Discover why should a law firm hire a pricing person, the impact that pricing had on a firm’s  bottom line, the benefits of having those types of roles in place 
  • How to go beyond the hourly rate fees for service professional 
  • Learn the array of ‘in the trenches’ perspective on how service professional firms can price smarter 


Stuart Dodds is a sought after speaker, pricing and project management expert, and author of Smarter Pricing, Smarter Profit, and Pricing On the Front Line, both published by the American Bar Association. 

Stuart was one of the first and longest-serving pricing and legal project management directors in the legal industry, first with Linklaters and most recently with Baker McKenzie. 

In this episode, Stuart addresses the key pricing challenges encountered by services whether within a law firm or a law department. He also shares he helps professional firms in having targeted pricing, negotiation, and project management support resulting in its increase in the bottom line.  


[In terms of giving discount] Don’t negotiate at five and zero.   

Stuart Dodds 


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Topics Covered:  

01:34 — Flipping skills: starting in procurement then shifting to pricing: a backstory of how Stuart Dodds started in pricing. 

03:00 — Why would a law firm hire a pricing person, the impact pricing has on a firm’s  bottom line; “organizations were seeing a benefit from having those types of roles in place”.

04:24 — How to price professional services.

07:46 — The concept of ‘Will I, Which One’: the distinction between ‘is it competitive on price, or is there a competitor for something else?’

09:33 —  Identifying “Why is it them [the law firm]? What's their differentiator? What's our value add?” And incorporating the fee they charge.

11:37  — Digging deep into hourly billing versus project pricing or solution pricing.

12:24  — Big question as a professional: ‘How certain am I that I know the solution to the problem?’ 

15:15  —  Value-based messaging and the personal relationship with clients: Why changing the nature of the conversation is important.

19:59  —  Procurement as a challenge to a customer-provider relationship, types of procurement.

24:55  —  Stuart’s pricing advice: “[In terms of giving discount] Don't negotiate at five and zero.”



Key Takeaways:  

“There's a tendency to still go back to the hourly rate, and not explore different ways of delivering better value to clients, and not actually getting better pricing and better profitability.” — Stuart Dodds

“The challenge is that ultimately they’re typically not listening to the (client’s) answers, or they're not asking the right questions.” — Stuart Dodds

“I think one of the challenges law firms are having at the moment is identifying, ’Why is it them? What's their differentiator? What's their value add? Why can’t they be charging more for certain services? And how should they best support delivery of the other, less differentiated services to their client base?’” — Stuart Dodds


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