Some seven hours have been spent to date in conversations and proposals for an individual; I should have spotted this a mile off.
Friday saw the arrival of a two-page response to my response to a two-page enquiry about my proposal to charge $500 to begin specification of a multi-site data-mining project.
(You’re not meant to be able to read it; just to get an idea of the task facing me this morning).
A second reading turns up this delightful little nugget:
“I am concerned that the real cost of this project is much more than $500, and I'll be disappointed with what we get with the initial work.”
Absolutely. This is NOT a $500 project; there are at least 5 hours involved in laying out a solid foundation in specifications of the database, parsing requirements, data validity, and a sound overall structure for the rest of the project.
That’s without taking into account the seven hours I’ve spent to date.
The prospect is already prepared to be disappointed; there is an element of “I knew when we started I was going to be disappointed”; but Management Measures, and it’s the $500 that caught my eye.
My solution is time-effective:
I am concerned that the real cost of this project is much more than $500, and I'll be disappointed with what we get with the initial work.
CG> “My experience with this kind of project, if it is to be done properly, on budget and schedule, is that it will cost you more than $500 to achieve. If your budget is $500 or less, I think you are going to be greatly disappointed. I am sorry to have taken up your time in this matter.”
Click “SEND” and we are done.
On to the next task.
The reply comes back within minutes:
AS> We don't have any budget for this really. I would have to decide what is worth it to invest and whether you are the right person with the right personality to get it done. I think witnessing the way you quoted this tells me that while you may have the right talent to do this, I am not sure you understood the scope of the work that had to be done, and was a bit disingenuous in your quote. That's why I was trying to clarify exactly what you were saying.
AS> I appreciate you being upfront about the work and quote. It helps us understand what may be involved in just the spec writing, which is quite a bit of work like I feared.
There is, you will note, no “call to action” here, so I am let off the hook.
On to the next client.