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Consultant Value May 30, 2009

Posted by Jason in Daily PM.
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Buyers will always be looking for the “good deal”.  In fact, I recently had a conversation during which it was stated (not by me) that, “Each party has to think they are ‘winning’.  The buyer has to believe that he is getting something worth more than he is paying, and the seller needs to feel that the buyer is somehow getting less than he is paying for.”  First off, while it may be true that we need a psychological motivation to justify a transaction, I don’t think it can be distilled down to that kind of emotion.  Sometimes, though, a different perspective is all that is needed to see how silly some of our attitudes can be.

I discovered the following video on Alan Weiss’ blog here, but you can watch directly below.  It highlights the absurdity of some of the “logic” that clients will attempt to use to rationalize a reduction in price.  It is perfectly acceptable to negotiate a fair price for the provided services, but the client should be prepared for the consultant to eliminate some scope items if the final budget dictates that course of action.

Look for some of the cliched excuses that are trotted out as soon as the client sees your project cost.  Then, think back to when you may have experienced similar “push back” on your own jobs.  It is important to see these coming, because they always will.  It will always be necessary to educate your clients as to your value to their project and organizational goals.  If you do it poorly, your own livelihood will be in danger.  Don’t let others’ problems become your own, especially when you don’t need to accept their risks.  By the way, if you are not in the business of offering professional services, this will seem odd, and potentially un-funny.  But incredibly, this is really what we hear.

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