Sunday 3 September 2017

Make Your Own Lane: Nuances of Bidding and Quoting For A Project

People attend interviews for their dream jobs. They speak at length about what they are capable of, what skills they have, what they have done in the past, how they can bring value to the table – In two words -  Verbal selling

However when people have to bid for a job and share their quote in writing to a prospect, many have a very different approach – The response is often abrupt, to the point, short and at times not even customized.

Is selling not important here, in this case?

The rationale behind this approach is probably because these are just contractual assignments – short term, temporary and one time job.

Result: No Deal

Here is a scenario to explain how a random response impacts your chances.

Project Brief

I need someone to type a manuscript for my novella which is handwritten - roughly 200 pages. Some sections are scribbled in a hurry. I want this in the next 7 days. This has to be made ready for kindle publishing. So proofreading, editing, grammar check and formatting should be professionally done. 

Could you please share your quote?



7 days not possible, as you said because of some sections are scribbled. Work will be complete within 10 days. No Revision

Quote - $ 100


Observations (On technical aspect)

Thought Pattern: The seller team has addressed only their concern – Time frame (7 Days to 10 Days) because they know they cannot deliver within 7 days.

Passing the buck on client’s shoulders: To justify the delay from 7 to 10 days, it is stated “scribbling” as a reason.

Where is the “value add” then?

What is the “extra mile” that the seller is going more than the other bidders that the project should come to them?

The length of response is shorter than the project brief which reflects seller is not very keen to execute. The mail hints as if seller team is too busy and do not want to work.

Frame of reference: Every time you respond, you will have to think keeping yourself in client’s shoes. You completely ignored addressing his concerns about the following:

o   Kindle publishing
o   Formatting
o   Proofreading
o   Grammar check
o   Professionalism

1.   Just to safeguard your own interest – you specify “No revision” without addressing client’s primary concerns, which means once the typed manuscript is submitted, the client should not ask you for formatting, proofreading or grammar check as you have completed typing (Core function)

2.   When they receive the final cut that is not proofread and not ready for kindle publishing, they will refuse to pay. Do not leave anything for chance or guess.

3.   In situation like these, client is likely to take it for granted – the quote includes everything – typing, proofreading, formatting etc.

4.   The seller is tempted to take the project because it is simple skill “typing” and a big one (200 pages) however deliberately avoids answering those points that they are not comfortable with (Ideally the seller should do a quick online check to see what these means and if they can deliver)

Explain the quote:  Why 100? 

It is 200 pages (handwritten) – If the handwriting is small, there is a lot of typing to do

Explain the quote inclusions – what does the quote include?

Here is a sample to show quote inclusions:

Write to how you would respond to this project brief and we will publish the most apt answer here.

BBC Studies tell us the attention span of people today is less than that of a gold fish. Keeping that in view, let us make this a little more challenging. Your response should not exceed 120 words. Use your words judiciously because we do not want to claim client's patience too much.

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