In my previous post, What’s in a Rate?, I tried to get into the various dimensions of the value you either offer or look for in people, to do a certain job. In addition to the “traditional” dimensions of education, skills and experience, I looked at professionalism and mindset. I also made a point that the expectations need to be CLEAR!!! …on BOTH SIDES!!!! That is, at the time the rate is “negotiated”.
After chatting about this with a very good friend of mine, Gordana Stok (check out her very interesting blog at contentbridge.ca), she looked at the other side of the coin… the result of what was done for that rate:
What about the quality of the deliverable… Was it completed on-spec, on-time and on-budget? Did it achieve the end-goal? Was more done than expected? Was it easy, agreeable to work with this person, was he/she a team-player? Was he/she difficult to deal with? Did he/she create problems? Etc.
Basically, the question is Was it worth it? Was it a good “deal”? This of course needs to be looked at from both the seller and the buyer’s sides.
Obviously, we all aim for perfect balance, like my first illustration at the top: perfect balance between services rendered and the price that was paid for it. Though nothing is perfect, you can balance it out by making sure that (1) ALL expectations are clearly defined at the START, and (2) reviewed at the END.
Sadly the reality is that ALL expectations are not clearly or completely defined, or the review is not done properly, if at all. It may likely be discussed internally in the organization of the buyer, but is it conveyed to him or her? Most often then not… no. Either nothing is said, or very little: “Good job” or “There were a few things we should discuss, but we’ll chat about them when we start the next project…”
When it’s time to review, first ask the following questions to both sides:
- Was the job clear?
- Were the expectations clear?
- What was the result?
- Was it under delivered or over delivered?
Once answers are aligned, you can ask:
- Was the rate too low?
- Or was it too high?
Clarity benefits everyone, and contributes to building great working relationships.