As a consultant, perceived risk is one of the biggest barriers to a sale. Especially when you’re charging on a times and materials basis.
Your clients are worried the project cost will blow out, that the price will keep increasing and they’ll have to keep stumping up extra cash.
And on an emotional level, they’ll feel a measure of buyer’s remorse – why did they choose you.
Not good either way for future business.
So the obvious question is how can you mitigate their risk? And in fact take it on yourself.
And as a consequence, stand apart from your competition who all charge by the hour.
In a recent discussion with a client he told us that his scoping system was so good that 98% of his jobs came in on time and budget.
So what he quoted was what the client paid. Even though it was a time based job.
Given this we said, “Tell your clients the price is fixed.” This eliminates risk for them.
There are benefits to you too.
You have to be really clear on the scope of the job, what’s involved on your part and make sure you stick to it. No scope creep which isn’t paid for – which is a common issue in consulting “client mismanagement”.
You get paid for delivering an outcome your clients’ value. Not the time you spend on the job.
Emphasising outcomes and value prevents your clients’ equating your services on an apples to apples comparison hourly rate. They shouldn’t care how long it takes you. They should only be concerned with getting the job done right, the first time.
And finally, going down this path will force you to have structured processes, defined responsibilities and accountabilities with appropriate scorecards. All of which are essential to running a profitable business without you running yourself ragged.
A win win – for you and your clients as your productivity increases and you have a very clear offer to your market place.