Clients Getting their Money’s Worth

Author: Katlyn Cotton
May 09, 2008

I’m not cheap.

And I only have a daily rate (you can’t buy an hour or a half day or a speech…you can only buy a day). But none of my clients — nearly all public sector or non-profit sector entities — have an excess of money to toss around. So I try to resolve that conflict in two ways: 1) Unlike most consultants I don’t charge for preparation time or travel time. I figure the client is paying for having me on-site, prepared for the assignment, not for me sitting on an airplane or in an airport or writing the presentation I’m going to be giving. 2) Since they’ve been stuck paying for the whole day, I always tell potential clients they are welcome to use as much of my time during that day (or days) as they think is productive.Some of them do; some don’t.

But Norm Tyler in Ann Arbor is doing it right. Norm is the Director of the Eastern Michigan University Urban and Regional Planning Program. But for us in preservation he’s probably even better known as the author of Historic Preservation: An Introduction to Its Historic, Principles, and Practice probably the best, practioner oriented introduction to American preservation in print.

Norm is using this one day visit to Ann Arbor, Michigan on June 11th to hold a number of sessions at a number of venues to a number of different audiences. He has arranged newspaper and radio interviews. He has contacted regional preservation groups, university departments, local governments and individuals. He has raised money. And, in a first as far as I know, he’s created a web site specifically for this event. AND he’s using my day in Ann Arbor as a fund raising opportunity for historic preservation.

So potential clients, take note. You can’t get me cheap, but you can fully use the time you’re paying for. And I love every minute of it.

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