Following up on my last blog, I think Jerry Maguire said it best! “Help me help you”!!
After my last blog, I gave a lot of thought to this, so here’s the good news: I can “show you the money”. And, no, you won’t need to pay my firm a dime (nor any of those high-price firms with great athlete’s representing them either). Here’s the prescription: just leverage the same “systems” and “processes” we have used for years to hire employees—your brain and your gut. Talk to the potential service partner (notice I say partner, not vendor and many of you are immune to this wording, in fact I just thought of my next blog right here, stay tuned).
» What they would do and why?
» Ask what challenges they have overcome with similar efforts and how they did it.
» Ask about the impact of those challenges to the budget.
» Call references and ask the tough questions.
» Ask references what it is like to really work with them. Not just the attractive and smooth sales people— the actual people that will deliver the services. (This is important, as MOST clients don’t ask for references and ask tough questions)
At the end of this interview process, ask yourself these questions:
1) Do we feel that we can we truly trust them?
2) Are they big enough to meet our needs, but small enough to care DEEPLY about our success?
3) Will they put our interests in front of their interests?
4) Would I hire them if this was a permanent job?
When hiring an employee, typically experience and ability to produce value for the organization drive the compensation packages. Use this same mechanism to weigh service fees. In professional services, like in nearly everywhere else in life, you get what you pay for. Well, at least for the first statement of work. Select the low-price firm, and after a series change orders and the expected costs, you actually might get a lot less than you pay for. If Select Comfort did this, they may be live instead of nothing at all.
By the way, if all clients did this, we would have 100% market share. Even if you don’t look to us a Partner, these simple things will save you millions of dollars!