Couldn’t a counterargument be made that more transparency of component part costs up front should be made so the client can also express its scope accordingly? Aren’t you asking for transparency without first providing it?
I hope we’re not doing that. To employ the overused car analogy, the client is telling us that they want to buy an automobile and then asking us to cost one up for them without telling us their price range. Knowing the price range means knowing what to recommend – even if the most appropriate recommendation is well below budget.
This isn’t a plea for clients to simply give us all of their money. It’s a request for them to give us information that will allow us to tailor solutions (ugh, hate that word) that meet their means as well as their needs.
As far as transparency goes in the other direction, our clients are all aware of our rates, and they’re all offered (though few actually accept the offer) full time and cost accounting. Our third-party fees are passed on to the client at cost with no margin. We’re a very transparent company.
In simple terms, I feel that there’s little to be gained by going through an elaborate fan-dance around budget. Eventually, everyone needs to know the number. Let’s be adults about it and get it out up front.
Thanks for responding.