Mike: Alan, I’d like to talk about consulting proposals for a minute. Should consultants always offer their clients options and packages in their proposals versus giving them just one package or one solution?
Alan: You need to offer options on everything. Even when somebody says we need to speak again, I would say, “Fine, I can do it tomorrow in person here, or we could do it outside if you prefer to have lunch or breakfast, or if you can give me an hour uninterrupted on the phone we could do it that way in the next week.” If you give people options you shift them from “Should I do this?” to “How should I do this?” and psychologically that’s huge.
Mike: Do you use any guidelines for what types of options consultants should provide their clients with?
If you give people options you shift them from “Should I do this?” to “How should I do this?”
Alan: It depends on the situation. It depends on the client. Otherwise, if you go in with predetermined gold, silver, platinum, or diamond or whatever, what you’re saying is I’ve got an off the shelf response here and I’m going to try to fit you into one of them. I’m talking about consulting here. Consulting should always be around what the clients’ needs are.
Mike: You might use a framework of three different offers but each one would be tailored to that specific client and project?
Alan: That’s right. Each proposal is different.
Mike: Why should a consultant never quote a fee before establishing value?
Alan: What is it based on? How would you quote a fee if you don’t have the value? You don’t even know what the fee is based on then.
Mike: Let’s look at an example. A consultant goes into a meeting with a client. The client says to them, “I want you to put on a seminar for us next week on sales for our sales force, how much will that cost?” That’s a tough position for a consultant to be in…when they feel they need to respond right away. What would you suggest they do? Continue Reading