(said one of our clients recently. Here is their story.)
“I gathered my 7 associates to tell them our firm was going to adopt IMPACT Based Pricing and stop charging by the hour.
There would be major changes in everything which I was confident we could integrate into our firm over the three months Susan was guiding us.
The biggest change was in the team’s mindset and our culture.
No longer would we talk about hours.
- Worry about hours.
- Write off hours.
- Work ridiculous hours to increase billings.
We’d all learn to ask clients about the life changing differences they were seeking and then deliver those to them for a predetermined and proportional fee.
Everyone was excited until I told them we’d offer unlimited access to us during normal business hours.
That freaked them out.
People will be calling all the time.
We’ll never get any work done.
Some people won’t even try to figure things out themselves
We will lose money!
I gave everyone time to talk and express their worries. There were plenty of them.
I asked them to give this new way of working a chance to actually work for us.
In fact, Susan would give us the same unlimited access to her she urged us to give to our clients. So we were not on our own.
If they opened their minds a bit and didn’t feel the need to gather evidence for their fears, we could see if it worked.
We began meeting with our best clients. People who valued us and told us so.
We described the philosophy of IMPACT Based Pricing, that we believe they should pay us for delivering life changing differences, not for time spent.
Part of this, we told them, was that we wanted them, in fact we urged them, to call or email with any questions or concerns as they came up. The sooner we knew what was on their mind the sooner we could address it.
The clock would not be running during those calls or emails!
That’s right, no longer would they get an invoice for the time we spent talking with them as things came up.
They could call us for “free”
Every single client beamed at this concept: they could call us for “free.”
During the first few weeks we got some calls. Most were easy questions about things we were already working on. Or worries that came up and they thought we could help.
Occasionally someone called with a more significant problem or need. If it was covered by the working agreement we already had, we did what was needed to help. No extra cost, no invoice, no clock watching.
I had asked my team to keep track of these calls for information purposes only. To test our theory that the offer of unlimited access would not be abused or overused.
Near the end of the third month, we gathered to see what had happened.
Had they called and called and called?
Had our clients called and emailed to the point that we couldn’t get any work done? To the point that we were losing money?
Not at all!
Every associate had one or two clients who called a few times in the first couple of weeks. Nothing big, they were sort of testing us. Then the calls tapered off.
There were only one or two about actual issues that needed to be addressed. These were taken care of and after being reassured, the client thanked us and stopped calling.
By end of the first three months, we could see from our very own data that not one single client “took advantage of” the unlimited access by phone or email.
We handled some urgent questions quickly and prevented them from growing into big problems.
Mostly though, it was business as usual, in terms of the number of calls and emails.
A big “nothingburger”
The one aspect of IMPACT Based Pricing that we were most worried about turned out to be a big “nothingburger” as they say.
Clients ran their businesses as usual. They called us when they needed something but not to waste our time.
We had more time for uninterrupted work on client projects.
We didn’t have to spend any time at all on timesheets!
Monthly payments came in as required and cash flow was steady.
Then a surprising thing happened.
A CEO called and said a business friend of his (who was our client) recommended us because we offered unlimited access and didn’t bill for time.
It was the first time someone called and said they’d like to see if we could be their provider because of our pricing strategy. He knew we do great work, but so do other firms.
It was his friend telling him in amazement that our firm was not billing for time that prompted him to call us.
So now I tell everyone to do the thing that scares them the most—stop billing by the hour!
The changes are uniformly positive.
We will never again charge for time.”
How about YOU?
Are you thinking about the time wasted on time sheets?
The write offs, the billing in arrears, the clients who want you to lower your rate because someone else charges less.
This is one of dozens of stories from our clients about how IMPACT Based Pricing scared them at first and then became the very thing that led to more success as they define it.
Curious to see how IMPACT Based Pricing could work for you firm?
Email or text IBP to 703-801-0345 and we’ll schedule a Virtual Coffee.