Are the proposal and the surrounding conditions cast in concrete or is there an opportunity to vary the terms to come to an agreement? This could often be disallowed by tender conditions.
The variations can be regarding the price and the approach to pricing. Should the client be more interested in technical quality than price, specific changes may address their concerns? Should moving the due date affect price or convenience, this can be renegotiated.
Roles and responsibilities can be changed to decrease or increase consultant or client risk. An example is where the consultant uses a fixed amount of effort to coordinate client activities, such as information gathering, thus decreasing external costs.
Reports can be costly. Should the reporting requirements be relaxed, this could have a beneficial effect on cost.
Is there an opportunity to negotiate?
- Fixed or variable proposal?
- Technical vs. pricing decision?
Negotiating changes after the original proposal
Things may have changed.
- Due date – missed deadlines.
- Participants on project – no longer available.
- Client support for project – scope creep.
- Working space for project team.
- Reporting arrangements for projects.
Ask for the Business!
- Ask directly.
- Gain informal approval.
- Proceed to contract negotiation.
If you do not ask for the business, you may never close the deal!
In many cases, an informal decision by a key decision maker is all it takes to get an assignment. It is then a mere formality to proceed to contract negotiation. Contract negotiation focuses the mind. Remember, you may do everything else right and never close a deal.
Follow Up Activities
- Revise the scope/work plan and fee structures, as necessary.
- Quantify the impact of potential fee revisions on the assignment.
- Distribute final copies if required.
- Maintain ongoing contact with the prospective client decision makers – build relationships. Maintain a “top of mind” position or you could lose the job to a competitor who does.
- Anticipate final objections and concerns and develop appropriate sales strategies.
- Plan next call.
Keeping In Touch (after the proposal/ presentation)
- Show interest.
- Show commitment.
- Keep the client informed.
Ensure that you do not become a nuisance or look hungry!
- Use regular personal contact.
Securing follow on work:
- Quality of approach to current and past projects.
- Quality of work products and management.
- Level of adherence to agreed performance levels.
- Quality of interaction and relationships with client management and staff.
- Commitment to client satisfaction and service excellence
Follow on business is the cheapest business to close and can be up to 12 times more cost-effective!