On 7/30/07, Alex Beston <alex.beston at gmail.com> wrote: > How can you bond with a worksheet? The worksheet does not remove the possibility of building the relationship. Professional service is, of course, all about relationships. However, if you make the analogy to larger projects, there would be, at minimum, an RFP that outlines the intent of the work. I say 'at minimum', because the RFP actually comes pretty late in the game. In larger projects, a professional services firm often assists the potential future client in developing the RFP (this is typically because the RFP is something monolithic, while the organization releasing the RFP is anything but). So, anyway, the point is that these are two different things. I don't think the worksheet is a bad idea. In fact, I think it is a good idea. Not to weed out bad clients (although you may of course elect not to take certain work for whatever reason), and also not to nail down what needs to get done (because it will change 4 million times after), but rather as a good starting point; a communication that allows both sides to come to the table, after research and due diligence, and discuss the matter. Without this, what is the point at you take your understanding and goes back to research the necessary information and develop its approach? After the initial meeting? How do you set an agenda for this meeting? Possible, but difficult. And how productive will this meeting be when one side knows nearly nothing about what they are to discuss. How about after a telephone conversation, instead? Similar issues, with the small benefit of being more flexible to end the call when it starts being unproductive, go back and research, and regroup at a later date. But, again, in both of these, at one point do you call your understanding solid enough to go back and develop an approach? To be honest, these communications are more about defining phases of the project and managing timelines and scope than much anything else. There is still a need to build the relationship; that is a separate thing. -- Matt Warden Cincinnati, OH, USA http://mattwarden.com This email proudly and graciously contributes to entropy.