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August 3, 2008

The Number 1 Method for Lowering productivity

If you want to effectively lower the productivity of your consulting workforce there is no better tool than under quoting for a job!

If you compete on price alone the only thing you can win is, yup, the lowest price! In the battle for the bottom of the barrel the people who end up carrying the burden are the consultants themselves.

Under quoting leads to people manging one or two projects while they are on site, and them another one or two once they get home. This is sustainable in the short term, in fact there are moments when it should be expected. But there is no way a person can remain productive working this way no matter how single minded or positive they are about the profession.

In my dim (and very dark now) past I worked for a company where this was the rule not the exception. I was working absolutely flat out every single moment of the day. From when I woke up at 5 am, through to when I closed my eyes at 10 or 11pm.

In fact I can remember dreading the email now because it always contained emails from clients, colleagues or project managers harrassing me for something or another that I had not had the time to complete.

I recall actually working with a guru salesman, with a strong track record and sales in the 10's of millions of pounds. One of these super guys who was always the first to answer an email sent at 11pm.

And then one day he just stopped. I had never seen anyone go through a breakdown but I never expected it to be like that. He pulled over on the highway. Stoipped driving, and just sat there.

For about a day and a half before someone went out to get him. If you work them to death, they either break or they leave, and on the way there they work themselves steadily into doing less and less with more and more.

Quote on value - not on price!

Do you add more value to the client than you charge? Can you quantify it, prove it, and get the client to buy into the potential benefits that are being touted?

Yes? Then charge for it!

Consulting services is one of those rare investments for clients where they can get a gigantic return for their capital. For example, using the Benefits Quadrant approach, I have been able to generate literally millions of dollars in potential revenue increases for my clients, within weeks, consistently for at least the last 8 to 10 years.

Not a bad return on a few thousand dollars - beats the daylights out of any bank account or real estate flipping enterprise.

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