When we’re preparing a proposal there are so many situations, circumstances, clarifications and assumptions that need to be made, contemplated, accessed, assumed, and acted upon.
There are 3 main concerns I have at the beginning of any proposal process. Especially if it’s our first time submitting a proposal to our “new” prospective customer. We do want them to be a “real” customer from the experience they receive from our handling of this proposal.
- What’s the time line constraints of this RFQ?
- What are the expectations of our customer?
- What are the expectations of their customers?
These are 3 questions we have to answer before we begin preparing a proposal. Then we need to determine what’s our next step.
- Do we call them from a “sales” perspective?
You know, thank you for the opportunity. Confirm due date of our proposal. Are there any special circumstances that we should be aware of? Are you aggressively going after this project? Do we need to submit our proposal with over time in it, or not? Does this project require expedited time frame? Is this a customer you’ve already worked with? How are they to work for? Will you have an inspector on our site for the duration of the project? Or will your customers representative be here? For the sake of brevity, you get the point.
The answer to some of these questions impacts our cost to do this job. Answers to some of these questions may not have an impact on our cost, but do have an impact on our delivery. Some answers just give us a better understanding of how our customer works with his customers so we can give him everything he needs along the way once the proposal turns into a job for both of us.
Putting together an RFQ isn’t easy, fast and definitely isn’t free to us. Each proposal costs our company from $1,500 to $5,000 or more depending on what kind of project it is. (Not counting the straining of relationships of our material suppliers. Guys we understand you don’t like jumping through hoops to get us price and delivery fast on every project.) So the answer to these and other questions is important and can impact a project from the start.
We appreciate our customers working with us on every level of the proposal phase. If we can communicate well during this phase, once the real project begins we should know each other well enough to work with one another successfully and with ease and confidence.
All this is said for a very basic, but much overlooked reason. Our business is to make sure you deliver a successful project to your customer. One your customer has positive thoughts about and is more than willing to award you their next project.
When we say we want to “partner” with you, this is part of what we mean.
Let General Fabricators, Inc – New Iberia, La. – 337-685-2585 be a partner in success with you.