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Showing Discounted Fee

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This was to a medical company that produced life-saving devices for surgery. For that reason we really wanted to help. It was a feel-good assignment.  We made several visits to the CEO, resulting in this proposal. Jim Allbaugh was our Vice President of Sales.

Whenever possible, I like to show potential clients a discounted rate so they feel as if they're getting a deal. If they ask for more, I can always say, "I've already given you the biggest discount possible." The "usual fee" is the Mercedes and the discounted fee is the Cadillac. We still make good money.

In this case, that strategy didn't work, and Nick asked us to work by the hour [time and materials] up to a set limit. We agreed, completed this assignment, and several more. This letter shows a discount paragraph, and beneath it, the wording included in the final proposal.

May 9, 20—

Nick Simmering
Aclect Research
2324 Quentin Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11229-2414

Jim Allbaugh and I enjoyed learning about your personal history and about the successes and challenges at Aclect Research. The tour of your facility really brought the concept to life. You have a wonderful company, and we will help accelerate your success. As discussed, here are a few "toe-in-the-water" tactics for getting started with a leadership development program.

Organizational Needs Assessment
I will meet with each member of your leadership team to determine their view of the world, including: 1) their career, 2) the organization's policies and procedures, 3) political barriers to their success, 4) your leadership style, and 5) the view of the future.  The meeting will follow a structured interview that you and I will review and agree upon. We will give the participants absolute CONFIDENTIALITY to insure their openness. The outcome of the organizational needs assessment will be:

  1. A report of the findings and a discussion about recommended next steps.
  2. A tune-up of your existing leadership team.
  3. An up-tick in personal performance and interpersonal effectiveness.
The Birkman Method As A Leadership Tool
I will introduce you to the advanced Birkman assessment, a career development and leadership tool, to give you knowledge and insights about your leadership style and your strengths.  Outcome: stronger self-awareness, familiarity with the tool for executive recruitment, development, retention, and teambuilding.  

Professional Fees:
The usual fee for this project is $12,125. Because of our alignment with your culture and values and our interest in working with Aclet Research, we're reducing that to $9,700, giving you a discount of $2,425 [20%]. The $9,700 fee is payable 50% in advance and 50% in 30 days.

We agree, Nick, that Aclect Research is on a strong growth curve, but now is the time to build the infrastructure to sustain the growth. We can really make a difference immediately. Please sign below to accept this proposal-and let's get started!

Many thanks,

William S. Frank

Read, understood, and agreed to:

Nick Simmering, President | DATE

Professional Fees:
The fee for this project is $300 per hour, not to exceed $8,750. The fee is payable 50% in advance and 50% in 30 days.

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William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.