Consultancies not blame-free on free-pitch issue

The free pitching issue is like malaria, every couple of years it flares up and fur flies in all directions. Your pages of letters on the subject are, I feel, both interesting and instructive.

The free pitching issue is like malaria, every couple of years it flares up and fur flies in all directions. Your pages of letters on the subject are, I feel, both interesting and instructive.

For whatever view or angle of approach to the matter, no mention has been made of the client and how they may feel. And the implication behind most comments is that clients are looking for the cheapest solution and have no understanding of how quality design is produced. With an attitude like this, is it any wonder clients are suspicious and reluctant to believe consultancies’ sob stories on fees?

This is yet another manifestation of a fundamental issue that far too often undermines client/consultancy relationships. Consultancies must look at the world from the client’s point of view. If they don’t empathise with clients’ challenges and problems, why would they not expect to be treated like run-of-the- mill suppliers, pitching for everything? Trust and value are the key words underlying client/consultancy relationships and they are not fostered by attitudes that blame clients for not understanding how consultancies work.

Consultancies need to take a positive attitude toward clients and make their people understand that seeing the world from the clients’ viewpoint is not just interesting but necessary. This needs to be manifested by meetings where consultancy and client co-operate and discuss their relationship openly.

Will this work for everyone? No, nothing does. But it does already for some and it needs to be working for more.

Tony Bond

Head of corporate finance

Results Business Consulting

London W1S

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