Marketing your services does not end after the firm wins a commission. There are also unique opportunities to broaden your project role and expand your services as you negotiate your agreement.
Here are five ways to broaden your project scope during the negotiation process. When negotiating fees and services, consider the following:
Review your proposal material. Those in charge of negotiating your agreement are often not familiar with everything learned during the courting process or discussed in your proposal or interview. Did your firm recommend a specific approach or set of services? Did the client express special needs? If so, make sure the people negotiating your scope of services know the details.
Brainstorm ahead of time. Have a work session with your team, including your subconsultants. What new services can you provide? What have you done on similar projects? What else might the client want? Focus on services not normally provided that could make the project more successful.
Find out about the client's needs. Clients are willing to reveal more after a team is selected. Start a negotiation by asking open-ended questions. What are the client's objectives? What internal and external pressures might impact the project? What information is lacking about existing conditions? Broaden your role by showing how your expertise can help achieve your client's objectives, mitigate constraints, or uncover crucial information.
Discuss your full range of expertise. Don't assume those negotiating on behalf of the client know of all your capabilities. Clients often define your expertise based on their limited experience. Enlarge their thinking by conveying your special skills and discussing ways you recently helped other clients. Convince your client that the most complete set of services is sometimes the least expensive long-term solution.
Review the client's responsibilities. Define your expectations of the client. Can you assume these responsibilities more effectively? Where else can your expertise help?
Ever wonder if there really is a way to get the upper hand in negotiations? A way to get the fees (and respect) that you deserve…without losing the client? There is. PSMJ's A/E/C Pricing and Negotiations Workshop is packed with 40+ years of proven strategies and tactics that the most successful architecture and engineering professionals are using to get results.
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