The argument against free

Background:  This is part of an exchange between a software developer and me about the pros & cons of offering "free for life" law office management software.  Do not read farther into it than in this context.  There is still a valid argument to be made for free samples which is perfectly consistent with the position I express below:

Hi Paul,

It's perfectly OK if your comparison results in
"Exactly the same".  There is a
HUGE market that's not yet in the clouds. 
So the challenge isn't to lure them away from any other cloud based
service.  Just to lure them away from
non-cloud, to cloud and be able to stand toe-to-toe with the cloud-based
competition. 

I respectfully could not disagree with you more about the
issue of money.  Money cuts through the
bullshit to get & keep people focused on being productive.  I have tried to help many people for free in
the past.  I found I am generally doing them and
myself both a disservice. 

As soon as I
tell a lawyer he or she must pay to join my coaching program it forces them to
make a decision.  For some it's a tough
decision.  Maybe even an embarrassing
one.  But the decision serves their lives
because it forces the person to commit to achieve their goal or admit that
they're not committed to the goal so they can then move on with their lives and
focus on some other goal(s) in their life that they are more desirous of.  Remember everything I do comes with 100% guarantee so the investment I ask a lawyer to make in him/herself is financially risk-free.

You offer me a free law firm management software program and
you're going to have to work pretty hard to convince me that I should take
it. 

Why? 

Because "free" is not the deciding factor for the program I'm
depending on to run my whole life. 
Reliable, responsive, rock-solid, bullet-proof, safe & convenient are
the deciding factors.  I'm sure there are
plenty of lawyers who will take "free". 

But for the most part I doubt those will be
the kinds of people I want to be doing business with.  Because if free (or even "cheap")
is their deciding factor when it comes to something as important as their law
office management software then I know from ten years experience they're going
to be making questionable decisions in other parts of their practice too.

There are MUCH better ways to address value than free
when it comes to law office management software.  Better for you, better for the lawyers who
you're asking them to depend on you and of course better for me too if I'm the
one being asked to make the introduction regardless of if I get a penny out of
it.

I hope you'll give serious consideration to what I've
said here.  I'll look forward to speaking
with you soon,

RJON

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