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6a6db855
Member

"Submit Proposal" just to open discussion and get information?

Am I right in thinking there's no way to respond to a invitation other than "Submit Proposal" or "Decline"? So if you get a really brief or vague invitation and you want to contact the client to get more details, there's no way to do that other than using the "Submit Proposal" function?

 

This doesn't seem like very good design, because if you get the relevant information from the client and then decide you don't want the job based on that, you have to "withdraw proposal", which is a bigger deal than just declining an invitation, and you have to give a reason like "inappropriate client behavior" or "applied by mistake". Some of the more benign-sounding reasons that you can select for declining an invitation, like "not interested in work described", "job is not a fit for my skills" or "too busy with other jobs", are not available for withdrawing a proposal.

 

So:

1) Is there a way I've missed for communicating with a prospective client without using the Submit Proposal function?

2) If not, I suggest that Upwork either add one, or make the interface recognise that "Submit Proposal" is often just used as a way to open a discussion and get more information, and therefore allow less serious-sounding options among the reasons for withdrawing a proposal.

7 REPLIES 7
petra_r
Member


Rachael C wrote:

Am I right in thinking there's no way to respond to a invitation other than "Submit Proposal" or "Decline"? So if you get a really brief or vague invitation and you want to contact the client to get more details, there's no way to do that other than using the "Submit Proposal" function?

 

This doesn't seem like very good design, because if you get the relevant information from the client and then decide you don't want the job based on that, you have to "withdraw proposal", which is a bigger deal than just declining an invitation, and you have to give a reason like "inappropriate client behavior" or "applied by mistake". Some of the more benign-sounding reasons that you can select for declining an invitation, like "not interested in work described", "job is not a fit for my skills" or "too busy with other jobs", are not available for withdrawing a proposal.

 

So:

1) Is there a way I've missed for communicating with a prospective client without using the Submit Proposal function?

2) If not, I suggest that Upwork either add one, or make the interface recognise that "Submit Proposal" is often just used as a way to open a discussion and get more information, and therefore allow less serious-sounding options among the reasons for withdrawing a proposal.

3) Am I right in thinking there's no way to respond to a invitation other than "Submit Proposal" or "Decline"? So if you get a really brief or vague invitation and you want to contact the client to get more details, there's no way to do that other than using the "Submit Proposal" function?

4) This doesn't seem like very good design, because if you get the relevant information from the client and then decide you don't want the job based on that, you have to "withdraw proposal", which is a bigger deal than just declining an invitation,


1) No

2) What would the benefit be and why does it matter?

3) Correct. I don't generally write full blown proposal, just quickly thank them for the invite and that I look forward to discussing it further.

4) Not really. What's the big deal?  Or the "bigger deal?" I've withdrawn 100s of proposals over the years and never given either the withdrawal nor the reason any thought at all. Out of sight, out of mind, onwards to the next one.  You don't think clients care, do you? They're not adopting a child, they're hiring a freelancer ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

OK, I guess I'll just withdraw proposals and pick whatever reason.

 

"You don't think clients care, do you?"

In my experience some of them seem to think I'm morally obligated to work for them because I submitted a proposal, and that I'm letting them down or effectively breaking a contract if I don't; and the wording of the interface options supports that misunderstanding.


Rachael C wrote:

 

In my experience some of them seem to think I'm morally obligated to work for them because I submitted a proposal, and that I'm letting them down or effectively breaking a contract if I don't; and the wording of the interface options supports that misunderstanding.


Good grief, really?

Shake head, smile, move on.

 

Now you say it, I think I had one like that who could not afford me and kept whining for a while.

I am sure he got over it in the end.

 

Noureldin, any reason for that irrelevant nonsense? You missed Rachael's point completely.

 


Noureldin Y wrote:


You missed Rachael's point completely.


Just agreeing on that should be a way to discuss the details if the client didn't write it.


She is talking about invites, not proposals.

Something you can not get because you set your profile to private which means no client can invite you.

 


Rachael C wrote:

OK, I guess I'll just withdraw proposals and pick whatever reason.

 

"You don't think clients care, do you?"

In my experience some of them seem to think I'm morally obligated to work for them because I submitted a proposal, and that I'm letting them down or effectively breaking a contract if I don't; and the wording of the interface options supports that misunderstanding.


Yeah, I've had a few like that. One guy actually flew into a rage with me for "wasting his time" after I asked for further clarifications. But now that connects aren't a renewable resource, if an RFP doesn't have sufficient information to allow me to bid, I simply don't bid. In my experience, the more details and consideration a client puts into their description, the more likely they are to hire somebody, so I don't think that I'm missing out on much.


Christine A wrote:

. But now that connects aren't a renewable resource, if an RFP doesn't have sufficient information to allow me to bid, I simply don't bid. In my experience, the more details and consideration a client puts into their description, the more likely they are to hire somebody, so I don't think that I'm missing out on much.

I think that's broadly true, although I was talking about replying to invitations, which doesn't cost any connects.

 

The particular case that prompted this post wasn't the usual vague invitation where the entire text is "i need a proofreader", but an invitation that made reference to a previous invitation I had rejected. Reading between the lines of the client's message, I think I must have thought from the original invitation that it was a writing job and thought the per-word rate was too low in that case, and he was trying to explain that it was actually copy-editing text that was already written. But I couldn't find the original invitation in my archive history, so I was missing some information and wanted to contact the client to fill in the gaps.


Rachael C wrote:

Christine A wrote:

. But now that connects aren't a renewable resource, if an RFP doesn't have sufficient information to allow me to bid, I simply don't bid. In my experience, the more details and consideration a client puts into their description, the more likely they are to hire somebody, so I don't think that I'm missing out on much.

I think that's broadly true, although I was talking about replying to invitations, which doesn't cost any connects.

 

The particular case that prompted this post wasn't the usual vague invitation where the entire text is "i need a proofreader", but an invitation that made reference to a previous invitation I had rejected. Reading between the lines of the client's message, I think I must have thought from the original invitation that it was a writing job and thought the per-word rate was too low in that case, and he was trying to explain that it was actually copy-editing text that was already written. But I couldn't find the original invitation in my archive history, so I was missing some information and wanted to contact the client to fill in the gaps.


Ah, sorry for missing that crucial bit of information! If it's an invitation, in my experience the client is already interested in hiring you and doesn't mind if you submit a proposal just to open a discussion. They only get to have three free invitations now, so if you have any doubts or need further information before bidding, I think that it's better to respond than to just decline.