How can clients expect quotes without giving me any information?

Subject: How can clients expect quotes without giving me any information?
From: "Bonnie Granat" <bgranat -at- editors-writers -dot- info>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 14:50:35 -0500

Another prospect wants a quote. I have only this to go on:

To give you an idea, the application have maybe 100 programs and process, is
a Front Desk System for Hospitality Industries.

The above was the prospect's response to my writing this:

The costs and time depend entirely on the size and complexity of the
I would love to be able to give you a price quote right now, but I need to
know more about the application itself. Can you compare its size and
complexity to a popular software program?

My basic rate is $50 per hour. I can give you a ballpark figure when you
give me an idea of the size.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.


What do you recommend doing when people ask for quotes and you have
virtually nothing to go on? I have answered him in this way:

Do you mean 100 *features* or functions?

It's quite difficult to estimate the amount of work at such a distance
without seeing the program, but I could give you a ballpark of about 40
hours or so.

I know the prospect wants to hear positive things, but how can one not
request more information before making a quote? I feel that 40 hours might
be a bit low, if it's got 100 features, but I don't know what else to say
that won't scare him away.


Bonnie Granat
bgranat -at- editors-writers -dot- info

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