Professional services firms are feeling significant pressure in these challenging economic times. Many clients are freezing or reducing budgets for external spend with consultants, law firms, and other professional service providers. For those engagements that stay on the books, the pressure to demonstrate value is higher than ever, and there are increasing demands for novel fee structures.
Clients are now much more likely to challenge invoices and the amount of time spent on engagements. And with Procurement teams increasingly getting involved in negotiating services arrangements, a category of spend they traditionally haven’t focused on, more requests for bigger discounts are coming up. Demands for fixed fee engagements are also up, and more companies are threatening to put work out to bid. In a world where most professional services providers have always felt the pain of a high cost of sales and lengthy sales cycles, these challenges combine to make for some difficult negotiations with clients. They also mean that deepening and strengthening your best client relationships is even more critical.
Vantage Partners helps professional services firms negotiate and manage client relationships in such a way that they see you as a “trusted advisor,” rather than a commodity service provider. We work with firms and their customers to minimize the costly friction that can result from poor working relationships and damaged trust that eats away at margins.
Some ways we work with professional services firms include:
Defining their account management strategies, maximizing the value of key client relationships
Reducing write offs due to scope creep through more effective scope management capability
Improving skills, processes, policies, and incentives for negotiating fees
For more information, please contact Mark Gordon