One of the reasons why I’m sharing Pricing Tips like this is that I have been seeing too many talented copywriters losing too many ideal projects due to simple mistakes in the pricing process.
For example, a few months ago, I received a call from Mike W. (not his real name) asking for my advice. “Steve, could you help me? I’ve received a request for a quotation from a travel company here in town. They want a price on writing a new brochure.”
“Glad to help, Mike,” I said. “But isn’t it five o’clock in your time zone right now? What time did you say you’d get back to them?”
“Ah,” Mike began, sounding sheepish. “Well, the request came in last week. I’m just getting around to quoting them now.”
Good luck, I thought. Unfortunately, the chances of Mike getting the job were very slim. At this point, the client had probably assumed he was not interested in doing the work and had likely found another writer. The opportunity was gone.
When should you send a price quotation after you’ve received a request to do so from a potential client?
I strongly suggest you prepare and send the quotation the SAME DAY. You want to take advantage of the momentum and the client’s desire to get the job done.
But what if you’re crazy busy with other projects and can’t get the quotation done that day?
I recommend you do it anyway. Get that quotation to the client the same day — even if it’s already late in the afternoon — even if the client says it’s okay to send it to him tomorrow — even if your computer crashes and you have to write the darn thing out by hand — send the client your quote the same day. Your chances of getting the job go up dramatically when you do.
Of course, sending the quotation is only half the battle. You still have to get the job.
Assuming the client doesn’t contact you right away, how long should you wait before you pick up the phone to follow-up on the quotation you sent? The next day? Later in the week? Never?
My answer may surprise you.
You should follow-up on a quotation in about an hour.
That’s right. You want to take full advantage of the momentum. Your potential new client is already in motion to hire a freelance writer, otherwise he wouldn’t have discussed the project with you in the first place. So make sure you keep the ball rolling — rolling toward the client saying yes to your quotation.
When quoting and following-up, timing is everything. The next day is usually a day too late.