Thursday, 9 September 2004

Five Card Stud

Fun and games with a potential client at the moment. Went to meet them - I quite liked them and I got the impression that I blew them away in the interview. It really is a pleasure to talk to people when things go that well. However, as far as I was aware, before they even saw my cv they knew what I proposed charging them, so they knew what the fees would be before they even met me.

So, this morning, an offer of work comes in, but at a substantially lower rate than I'd quoted for. Now, when I go to Tesco's I don't attempt to barter down the price of a pint of milk, so I immediately said "No".

So one of two things is happening. Ostensibly, the client is simply trying to squeeze me in the hope that I'll jump for the lower rate. Or it could be that the agency (there's always an agency!) actually put me forward at a lower rate in the first place, just to get me through the client's door at all. And then they'd hope that I'd take the lower rate for the same reason.

One never knows in this business. I've known this happen a lot to other consultants (many scare stories) but I've always been quite fortunate in this respect. The beauty about working in the financial services sector is that the clients generally play it dead straight about fees - if you quote a rate and it is accepted, then that's what it is and there's no messing about. So normally the fees side of things is agreed with minimal fuss. Obviously things don't work the same way in other sectors, although in fairness it could be the agent trying to pull a fast one.

Obviously, even if things fall through, it is very encouraging to have positive feedback, and to know that you have skills that are attractive to clients. We'll wait and see.

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