How the right SRA pricing transparency strategy can save your firm time and win you business
December 13, 2018A recent SRA survey found that many lawyers have concerns about the introduction of the new transparency regime, but here at One Search Direct we think the new rules might be a good thing for conveyancing solicitors. Read on to find out why.
Why are firms worried about the SRA’s new transparency rules?
A recent SRA survey found that many lawyers were worried about the new regime:
74% of respondents felt that matters they dealt with were too complex and varied to advertise pricing reliably.
67% said that advertising pricing would not take into account the differences in clients’ needs.
59% expressed concerns about the impact of ‘price baiting’ – advertising prices at an artificially low level when the actual price of services is likely to be much higher – on their competitiveness.
It’s natural to worry when a change this significant occurs, but here are some of the reasons we think you should be approaching the new regime as a positive.
Consumers don’t choose conveyancers based on price
An SRA survey of residential consumers has found that only 6% of respondents chose their provider because it was the cheapest. Moreover, when participants were asked to select a fictitious conveyancing solicitor based on six differently priced versions of the same website only 25% chose a conveyancer because they were the cheapest.
Consumers who do make contact are more likely to become clients
You know the process: a potential client contacts you and you then spend time and energy assessing that client’s needs and creating a personalised quote for them only to find you’ve lost out to a cheaper firm. Frustrating, and a huge waste of your firm’s resources. Under the new system, those who find your services too expensive will self-select out far earlier rather than after you have already invested time and effort in providing a personalised quote.
Clients will have a more realistic view of costs
Another recent SRA survey found that small businesses don’t use lawyers because they think the cost will be much higher than it is, and price publishing can counteract this perception. There’s no reason the same logic won’t apply to residential consumers, giving them a more realistic understanding of the price range at play.
We’ll now look at some important things to keep in mind when publishing prices. The new rules are pretty flexible, so these tips will help you stand out from the crowd even when you’re all following the same rulebook.
Make information easy to find
Firms unenthusiastic about the changes might be tempted to squirrel pricing information away in a difficult-to-reach part of their website, but placing this information in a place which requires minimum searching by prospective clients will only endear you to those likely to instruct you.
The new SRA rules also require that lawyers explain what is and isn’t included in their pricing, give an overview of how a typical matter would progress, and give details of who is handling matters and their expertise. Being upfront with this information and avoiding complicated terminology will show clients you’re transparent and trustworthy.
Show value for money
Contextualising your pricing could prevent you from being undercut. Maybe you’re ranked where competitors aren’t, have excellent reviews, or even just have superb local knowledge and client care skills. All these things make consumers willing to pay extra.
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