The value of our services 2

Singapore, 31st March 2011

I am in the middle of doing several fee proposals…something I keep doing mostly myself as this involves more than just quoting for our fees. It also involves business strategy, looking at building long term client relationships and preserving our name and identity in the process. Much in continuation of yesterday’s topic it is about quantifying the value of our services, finding the right balance between what you should quote and what you think you can quote to achieve a successful outcome. When the two are in sync there is no issue, but when there is a serious gap between the two, then the thinking hat has to go on and a decision has to be made. Am I going to stick to what is financially profitable for the company or am I willing to compromise (the profit on) the fees to increase the chances of being appointed?

There are two major unknowns in the whole thought process. First of all the truth is that we generally don’t really know the clients mental assessment process, their appreciation towards quality and the value of our services. Hence it is hard to say how much they are prepared to pay. Often the lack of awareness of the value of our services will create a serious gap between reality and expectations. We therefore need to convince the client we offer value for money. The sting here being that after having successfully convinced them to pay your desired fees you obviously need to deliver as well!…Under promise, over deliver…otherwise there is no comeback.

The second part is (certainly with new clients) that we have no way of really knowing how the project and its demands will develop. Yes we can limit our exposure as much as possible in our contractual terms and conditions plus from experience we know what we will need to deliver, but does the client have the same understanding and expectations. It often hinges much on the professionalism of the team and the competence and management skills of the project manager…I guess that is where experience comes in and that is why I still do most of the fee proposals…  

In Light Watch today I want to honour visionary designers who have that extraordinary creative touch for the new and unexplored. I have no idea if these designers are as visionary with their fees, but my point is that once you have reached such level of recognition, clients are probably prepared to pay your fees regardless.

Light Watch 63: Proposed Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel

31. March 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Education, light watch, lighting and the economy, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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