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  1. #1
    Always learning kigoobe's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    What is the best way to make a quote?

    Hi guys

    Say a potential client contacts you and you get primary documents from him (for a proposed website) after the initial contact, following which you need to send a formal quote.

    I was wondering how you guys do it? Is there a specific formal way doing that or ppl just do as they feel. Also, is there a way more effective than others? I have heard that ppl makes 30 pages of quote, whereas others do only 3 pages ...

    What's the right way? Tips please.

  2. #2
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    Denver, Phang-Nga, Thailand
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    Sometimes you can just send an e-mail. It depends on the client. Does the client want, need, or expect a formal proposal?
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Oct 2004
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    People who send 30 pages proposals to potential clients simply have too much time on their hands, IMO

    For your typical small business web site, any form of proposal is rarely required to 'seal the deal' in my experience. Most clients don't expect such a thing and in many cases it's simply offered up by a web designer who doesn't know how to close a deal.

    At the end of a successful pitch, I simply ask for the job. If the client says 'I'll need this all written up in a proposal first', I'll ask exactly what they mean by a 'proposal'. In most cases they just mean 'a simple quote' which is just a quick half page A4 confirming the kind of costs involved - no problem.

    But if they ask for a detailed technical proposal, I refuse. I expalin that this will take many hours, even days to create and that creation of such a document is part of the initial project process - a process I get paid for. If they simply must have such a document, I charge for it, in advance.

    I really cannot see why I should be expected to spend all that time working on a document for free, on the slim hope that I may get the job at the end of it. The kicker is that they;ve probably asked several other companies to do the same - only one company can get the job.

    Your typical sole freelancer simply doesn't have the resources to create detailed proposals for every client that contacts them - you'd end up spending all your time creating free proposals and no time actually working. Success rates of proposals are also very low, maybe 10%. For a typical small business web site, the possible income doesn't justify the time and resources you will spend trying to get the job.

    It's also rare that I cannot verbalise a proposal during a sales meeting. I also ensure that all decision makers are present at that meeting so there is no need for me to create documentation for decision makers who were not present. I also ask questions in advance to discover just what the expectations are from me, what exactly do the company expect at the end of our meeting? This way, there is no surprise - if they've indicated a detailed proposal is required, I simply inform them that I do not do busines this way, and ask if this will be a problem. It rarely is, in fact most seem to respect this stance.

    SO in a nutshell, my advice is ask the client in advance as to what they require at the end of the meeting, e.g.

    'At the end of our meeting, if I present a solution that meets all your needs, what will you do next?'

    The answer to this question is always very revealing. I always repeat their answer to this question at the start of our face-to-face meeting, i.e.

    'Over the phone, you indicated that if I were to present a suitable solution that meets your needs, you'd be happy to sign a preliminary agreement today - is this still the case?'


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