The art of declining…

Singapore 17h May 2013

As much as proposing is an art (yesterday’s blog), declining is possibly an even greater art. Saying no is not as easy as it may seem. There are so many factors that can influence a decision, certainly when it involves saying no to potential income! When we negotiate our fees we negotiate a package that has to be sustainable for the company. We have bills to pay, we have salaries to take care off and at the same we wish to make some profit to allow the company to grow…

There are clients that have a knack of squeezing every last drop out of you. They come out with an RFP that asks the world with at times excruciating terms and conditions. Of course you don’t have to blindly follow all that; you know what works for you and what not. So the art of proposing is also the art of declining diplomatically and with sensible reasons those terms and conditions (including fee discounts!)that will make your life miserable during the life of a project.

Typical “decliners” in the terms and conditions are issues such as speculative design (where they will only appoint and pay you if they like your concept); no appointment fees; ridiculous payment terms; making you absorb all the cost of travelling and all taxes, indefinite time schedules and the list goes on…

It was not so long ago that I declined a project even though the client was fine with my fees as a total. It broke down on the payment terms. No appointment fees and a first payment sometimes after concept. And if that was not enough, the payment terms they wanted me to sign was a 10 day certification process for the invoice (no problem) followed by a 90 days payment schedule…no way! I argued that once the payment was certified 30 days should be the maximum, but to no avail…

With all projects you need petrol in the tank, so managing the cash-flow for the company is crucial. We cannot be financing the clients project…that’s not fair. But they try and despite the fact that you are in need for new projects there are tims you need to say no…artfully…

Light Watch 4-87 Some more arty lighting installation, things you can do with a wall…have a great weekend

 

17. May 2013 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting design practice, lighting standards | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *


Get Adobe Flash player