Fees And Client Satisfaction

  • Category: Running Your Business

An advisor recently hired a PR person to execute a strategic media campaign. He hired for execution—not strategy—and chose a consultant who seemed capable.

Unfortunately, their working relationship in their first (trial) month did not go well. He tried giving her constructive feedback to get this back on the rails, but nothing seemed to work. Finally, he pulled the plug, explaining why in a very direct email.

Her response was to cut her fees for the next month by $1,000.

Not to work through the problem or even a heartfelt promise to do better with specific action steps. She went straight to a fee cut.

Of course lower fees don’t solve his problem. The offer just showed she was deaf to his concerns and he declined.

But I keep thinking about her instinct to cut fees when things go south. No attempt to learn and grow from the experience—to become a better consultant (she already has her technical specialty down cold).

The relationship between consultant and client is not about the fees—it’s about the outcomes we produce together and how we make our clients feel about it.

There is no cutting our way to authority.