Pricing Fuck Ups. Ep07. Always invest in your proposals.
Working on a potential deal that felt interesting. I got excited and ignored the red flags. I was dealing with the decision-makers. Talking about what they wanted (in terms of deliverables) and knowing I could deliver.
Calls go, meetings happen, time is invested. Now I must get that gig. We’ve been through all these conversations and I’ve proved my value by showing my thinking.
Presented the proposal: An all-nighter. 5 pages. Stages specified. Details written. Hours to be put on. Itemized. What’s not to love from that, right?
Didn’t get the gig. I was giving my thinking away for free — and spending time and money into something that was never going to happen.
Got too invested in the sale. Chose to ignore the red flags and wished that once the deal happened, things would work out for the better.
The focus was on the things they wanted delivered, not on the outcome to achieve.
I “proved” my worth by giving my thinking away.
Would’ve done different
Focus on what they were after: the transformation.
be honest with myself and understand that they were tire kickers. They were just shopping around, looking for someone to do the pre-work for them and find someone cheap to execute.
Be ready to walk away.
What didn’t happen
Getting the gig. Not even start a new project from “all the future projects we could work on together”.
What did happen
Gave and built the roadmap for them to understand exactly what they needed. They found somebody else for the execution.
I got ghosted.
Figure out from the start if they’re tire kickers. Don’t over invest in the sale. Understand that a proposal is the written form of a previous agreement. If they need your proposal to “find out”, compare and decide if they move forward, you’ve already lost. Save yourself the trouble and start from scratch with a better prospect. Play your game.
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