The key element in decisions made within client level is trust in the professional reputation and reliability of the consulting firm.
Pricing of projects and billing rates are surprisingly variable. In consulting at this level, it is easier to be priced too low than too high. Clients and potential clients expect to pay substantial fees for the best quality professional advice. The nature of the billing, however, is sensitive.
Clients rarely compare consultants directly, looking for two, or more, possible providers of a proposed project or job. Usually they follow word-of-mouth recommendations and either go for the job or not, rather than selecting from a menu of possible providers.
The most important element of general competition, by far, is what it takes to keep clients for repeat business. It is worth making huge concessions in any single project to maintain a client relationship that brings the client back for the future projects.