Nothing new here: things are slowing down (except bankruptcy and litigation, naturally.) If you’re not asking for discounts, you’re not doing your job.
We went to our top 5 firms (by billings last year), and said, “Hi. We need at least a 15% discount.” No one balked. They had to be expecting it and were only too glad to oblige. Especially when we opened with, “We’ve only got a short time — we’ve got meetings with [insert names of other major firms who work with us].” By the way, we are not a Fortune-anything sized company. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
We also softened them up for more concessions down the road. “Our new ERP system is great at figuring out exactly what we spend on a per-transaction basis, and our executives are insisting on tighter budgets all around.”
Even the firms with commodity practices like labor and employment are willing to give across the board discounts. The competition is heating up, the economy is slowing, and keeping clients is important. If you’re in private practice, what are you doing to keep my business?
Are you at least staying in touch?