Let’s state the obvious: Not all clients have the success of their project as their first priority.**
There are many good reasons for clients not caring about the actual outcome of a project.
– they think the problem is overblown,
– they secretly think it has to fail whatever they do
– they are burned out
– they are pushed into doing it and resent having to deal with it so they hope it fails and spares them from future assignments like this
Such a client will be completely confident that the only smart course of action is to pay the very bare minimum the situation calls for. As long as the experts seem capable enough, engaging them will keep appearances until the project gets forgotten or the chosen expert is blamed for its failure.
It’s important to realize that the goal of such a person is not the optimal solution to the stated problem, even if they say otherwise.**
Be wary of clients who put on a big show or loudly repeat just how important the success of this project is for them or the company, but then seem shocked you want to be well paid for it. You are rarely the intended audience of this show, it’s meant to create witnesses within the company that they did all they could, even if the project ends badly.
So, if some client insists on rock bottom prices, and somebody else gets the job, you are probably the one who actually won the prize.