[thelist] Paying for proposals?

Casey Crookston casey.crookston at imibevcore.com
Wed May 1 15:24:01 CDT 2002

>>Do any of you charge for proposals?  Is this a bad idea?  What are
your results in doing so?  What I was _thinking_ about implementing is
something along the lines of a nonrefundable deposit of a couple


Doing free legwork for proposals is part of the business.  Some you get
and some you don't.

I do believe, however, that in your initial interviews before you even
begin the legwork you need to do a darn good job of qualifying your
prospects.  As you meet with them for the first time and start to get an
idea of what they are after, you will already start to form a very rough
ball park of what this project will cost.

Look around.  Are they affluent?  Do they look, talk, and walk like a
company who can afford what they are asking for?  After you have meet
perhaps once our twice, and you have a more solid feel for how much this
will cost, it is 100% acceptable to ask them what they are considering
for a ball park figure.  Sometimes they will tell you, other times they
will shrug their shoulders.  It's the latter you need to be wary of.

You can say something like, "I'm going to sit down and come up with an
exact figure, but based on what you have told me so far, I think we will
be looking at between $x and $y.  Is this going to fit into your budget

If they wince, you are in trouble.  If they don't even bat an eye, then
you are fine.

It's my experience that the true professionals know they need to pay up
for good services, and they won't quibble over a high bid.

It's the cheap scats out there who think you should work for free that
gobble up your time. If, after gathering an idea of the prospects
ability to pay for your services, you feel that they simply can't afford
it, then keep your legwork to a minimum.  And when you do come up with a
number, double it before giving it to them.

But charging for quotes?  Bad idea.  I personally would not even give
you a second look.  There are WAY to many competitors out there who do
it for free.

My $00.02


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