A few weeks ago the Wall St. Journal ran a cover story on The ‘Grand Circle’ aka lawyers in NY, DC and Shanghai who now bill $1100 or more per hour. No, that wasn’t a typo. Eleven Benjamin’s will get you one hour of quality time with a highly trained professional with a sensitive ear and sharp tongue. You don’t even have to dial 976 to reach them.
The thrust of the article was that after the recession hit, many legal Top Gunners dropped their price to $990. Thankfully many of those top shelf lawyers are now charging as much as $1,250 a bottle. Wow, talk about a hangover.
My studio has had the (sincere) pleasure of working with some of the top attorneys in Phoenix. So this post bears no reflection on them. It actually has nothing to do with lawyers at all. Hell, who among us wouldn’t charge $20 a minute if we could get away with it? More on that in a few weeks.
I’m actually poking fun at the clients. Let me get this straight. During the stormiest economic climate anyone on this planet has ever faced, top tier executives at Fortune 500 companies like GE and DuPont were ok with retaining counsel for $990, but heaven forbid, not $1,000? Hmmm, if you move that decimal doesn’t $990 look suspiciously like 99 cents, as in the STORE?
We all know that people allow themselves to be seduced by arbitrary numbers and shiny price tags. Hence the timeless .99 phenomenon that stretches from candy bars and oil changes to big screen TV’s and cars. I don’t know about you, but I have heard many times over the years that “just because you know B-C marketing doesn’t mean you can do B-B.” There is an undeniable hint of condescension attached to that theory as if selling professional services is any harder than clothes, coffee or fitness club memberships. It’s not.
Whoever makes major purchases while wearing a tie or pantyhose has a reputation, salary, bonus, mortgage, family (and ego) to protect. You think only facts drive those career decisions? What salesperson will deny that the personal relationship is central to the sale. That whining and dining still works. How many deals are cut out on golf courses and in strip clubs? That’s why stadium luxury boxes were invented.
People have always bought with their hearts and brains and they always will. Great marketing is about appealing to both organs. A $990 lawyer proves that.Tweet
the rumors are true (@ Neighbor from the 90′s)...
Sorry to see you go. avic-x920bt
First the Space Shuttle program and now this???? OH NO!...
I think it’s really funny that Jason donates money...
Sad to see you go Mr Len… been a great ride
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