E-Commerce

Don't miss these client-relations and pricing tips

Columnist Rick Freedman offers up his advice on managing client relationships and choosing pricing scenarios to present to potential clients.


It’s never an easy task to establish a rapport with a new client. Even when personalities “gel” perfectly, important issues like pricing and knowing who the decision-maker is on the client’s side will certainly keep you on your toes.

Consultant Master Class columnist Rick Freedman has tackled such topics in his recent offerings. Freedman—author of The IT Consultant: A Commonsense Framework for Managing the Client Relationship and the upcoming The Internet Consultant, both published by Jossey Bass—speaks from experience when it comes to tough consulting issues.

In “The IT consultant's eternal question: ‘Who is the client?’" Freedman explores the subject of finding a point person on the client side. He notes that it’s important to investigate the complete client base in initial meetings and allow all client communities to participate in the post-project evaluation.

“The price is right… (right?)” addresses the process involved in choosing a pricing scheme to present to a potential client. It’s important to be absolutely explicit when you present prices to clients, Freedman warns. “Clients hear and remember prices ‘through a glass darkly,’ hearing the cost but never the contingencies or variables. “If what you're presenting is an estimate that could change based on what you learn during the engagement, say so.”

Freedman further delves into the pricing discussion with “Fixed pricing comes with risks and benefits.” He recommends that with any fixed pricing scenario, it’s a must to create an estimate of the time and materials required to deliver the project and add a risk premium to insure against the undiscovered "gotchas" that inevitably arise in every project.

In the last of his analyses on pricing, “Set your price to fit the project,” Freedman rounds out the pricing schemes and recommends the most practical for both the client and the consultant.
Got a specific question about dealing with clients? Send a note and Rick Freedman may consider yours for a future column.
It’s never an easy task to establish a rapport with a new client. Even when personalities “gel” perfectly, important issues like pricing and knowing who the decision-maker is on the client’s side will certainly keep you on your toes.

Consultant Master Class columnist Rick Freedman has tackled such topics in his recent offerings. Freedman—author of The IT Consultant: A Commonsense Framework for Managing the Client Relationship and the upcoming The Internet Consultant, both published by Jossey Bass—speaks from experience when it comes to tough consulting issues.

In “The IT consultant's eternal question: ‘Who is the client?’" Freedman explores the subject of finding a point person on the client side. He notes that it’s important to investigate the complete client base in initial meetings and allow all client communities to participate in the post-project evaluation.

“The price is right… (right?)” addresses the process involved in choosing a pricing scheme to present to a potential client. It’s important to be absolutely explicit when you present prices to clients, Freedman warns. “Clients hear and remember prices ‘through a glass darkly,’ hearing the cost but never the contingencies or variables. “If what you're presenting is an estimate that could change based on what you learn during the engagement, say so.”

Freedman further delves into the pricing discussion with “Fixed pricing comes with risks and benefits.” He recommends that with any fixed pricing scenario, it’s a must to create an estimate of the time and materials required to deliver the project and add a risk premium to insure against the undiscovered "gotchas" that inevitably arise in every project.

In the last of his analyses on pricing, “Set your price to fit the project,” Freedman rounds out the pricing schemes and recommends the most practical for both the client and the consultant.
Got a specific question about dealing with clients? Send a note and Rick Freedman may consider yours for a future column.

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