This is outdated but still valuable as a starting point.
After receiving an inquiry, request a phone call with the client to get a sense of the project. Even if they have provided good information by email, push for a call because it will give you the opportunity to connect personally with the client and develop a rapport. We very rarely win business without that connection. Trust is the most important factor in sales.
Projects should have a flat rate budget and a well-defined scope that is clear to all parties (our people, their people). In order to not take too much time on leads who are not serious, this scoping process should be iterative.
After the initial call, do your research to come up with a loose sense of budget. Find the high range of what you think the project might cost, and create a loose bullet-point scope:
We have conducted an initial review of the requirements for your project and are anticipating the following scope:
- Create beautiful homepage showcasing 8-12 photos
- Create store section which allows users to do X, Y, and Z
- Implement new email template design for newsletters in mailchimp
Provide a sense of price for the project:
Based on this early understanding of the project, our initial sense is that the project will cost somewhere in the $10,000 range. As we explore further, we will nail down a specific fixed price with a more detailed scope. Thanks again for thinking of us.
TK: How to estimate the project (Spreadsheet method)
Often for smaller projects, scopes can take a bit of time to assemble. It’s quite helpful to check in with your lead frequently to let them know you are reviewing certain specific things at that time and when to expect a quote. The longer they don’t hear from you, the more likely they are to seek and find someone else to do the project (this has happened). Even if you email the lead daily, and even if they receive your quote later that day, no lead ever has complained about getting too many updates. In fact, since you can point to specific things you are reviewing, it helps them understand that our pricing does not come out of a hat but is researched carefully and that we have understood and considered the specific details of their project.
“Hi, Dr. Spaceman!
Thanks so much for your time the other day. I just wanted to see if you’ve had a moment to review our quote and if I could answer any questions.”If the client responds enthusiastically, proceed as planned. If the client differs with your assessment of scope or reacts badly to the budget, adjust accordingly within reason. This is the point where 50-75% of leads die. That’s OK. We are only looking for Cantilever projects, not every project.
If the client is aligned with your vision, you will create a final proposal. This is not a nuts-and-bolts scope yet, but should include the plain-english version of everything you intend to do. Sample proposals can be found in the proposals directory in Drive.Your proposal will contain the final fixed price for the project. Since you smartly quoted the high end of your initial assessment, you will typically end up providing a cheaper quote for the final proposal. This looks good.If your proposal is accepted, you will create a SOW and a Master service Agreement with the client, if they have none. Legal is in charge of this process, but as the sales person, you will outline the scope for them. The scope will contain details like browser support, warrantee, methods of doing work, specific nuts-and-bolts development tasks, payment and schedule details, etc.
If ever a question arises during the project or someone feels they have been unfairly treated, the scope is the document that matters. Don’t rush it. Scopes should be incredibly clear and detailed for everyone’s sake.
Legal will send the paperwork to the client. Once signed, we’re off!