Monday, 21 June 2010

The one that got away...

Occasionally you get a chance to quote for a project that you would really love to work on. You meet the client - who seems impressed with your knowledge and insight, and you know you have the right credentials and experience. So you put together a quote and send it to the client (who turn down your offer to meet to go through it).. and you hear nothing. You follow the quote up with a phone call and leave a message on voicemail - you send a follow up e-mail - still nothing - then you call again and leave another message - this time with a real person. Eventually three weeks after sending the quote, you phone again and get to speak to your contact and they say 'oh I've not really had a chance to look at the quote.'. You then ask a few further questions and it turns out that they have looked at your quote but seemed to have dismissed it out of hand because it was too expensive.

I know that we offer really good value to our clients and I always ask if they have a budget in mind. Having an idea of how much money a client is hoping to spend really helps - not because we will 'fit the costs to the budget' but that we will put together the best possible solution within the budget. Sometimes, just sometimes we can't deliver what the client needs within the budget we have - and if this the case we are upfront enough to tell them this and often make alternative recommendations to make the most of the budget that is available.

I would love to have worked with this client, I know we could have done a fantastic job.

If you are a client - do be clear about how you are going to judge the quotes you request - is it all about price? Account management? Flexibility? Turnaround times?. Perhaps even provide a written brief (just a few lines) - so all of us can put forward our thoughts with a clear understanding of your priorities.

I am not going to give up on this particular client.. not yet. I'll update you all if anything changes.

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