Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Is there a way to ask questions before submitting the proposal?

Active Member
Brian K Member Since: Feb 14, 2020
1 of 9

I see only a way to submit a proposal.  But I have questions before I submit it.  The details are simply too vague in the job description.

Active Member
Husain P Member Since: Mar 8, 2018
2 of 9
Hi Brian,

No, you cannot ask questions before submitting proposal. If you have any questions you can discuss it once that client accept your proposal. If Upwork would allow asking questions beofre submitting proposals then there will be no point to submit proposals. I hope it make sense.
Community Guru
Robin H Member Since: May 28, 2019
3 of 9

Husain P wrote:
Hi Brian,

No, you cannot ask questions before submitting proposal. If you have any questions you can discuss it once that client accept your proposal. If Upwork would allow asking questions beofre submitting proposals then there will be no point to submit proposals. I hope it make sense.

Don't be afraid to ask questions within your proposal.  I do it all the time and many times the client responds with answers.  

Active Member
Brian K Member Since: Feb 14, 2020
4 of 9

What do you put for the payment compensation?  Just the amount they ask for?

My issue are posts that explain the job in vague details and say they can provide a demo for people to hear but did not attach any samples.  So I don't even know if I can take the job yet.

Community Guru
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
5 of 9

In those cases, I either use the client's budget or my best guess and add a line near the top that the bid is a placeholder, and I need more details to give a firm price.

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
6 of 9

Brian K wrote:

What do you put for the payment compensation?  Just the amount they ask for?


I agree with Wes, use a placeholder and tell them it's a placeholder. It's often done that way when posts don't contain enough information.

 

 

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
7 of 9

Ditto what Robin and Wes said. Another option is to use a realistic budget and use the proposal to indicate the assumptions underlying the bid, e.g. number of hours, how many rounds of revisions, what the deliverables will be. Then, note where the client might choose alternatives such as an extra round of revisions or a full narrative report of findings instead of a topline summary.

 

Sometimes a job post is so vague and/or jumbled that your spidey-sense tells you it's gonna take massive effort just to drag out of the client what they need and want, with high potential for them to change their mind mid-project. That's a sign you shouldn't bother. Other times, they just need help re how to think about their project and how it fits into their overall mission. Then, a proposal that asks smart questions can position you at the top of their short list.

Community Guru
John B Member Since: Aug 20, 2015
8 of 9

Robin is a richly experienced Upworker.  **Edited for Community Guidelines** When she makes recommendations, it is good to listen

Community Guru
John B Member Since: Aug 20, 2015
9 of 9

Brian, there is a distinct granularity to this question.  What basis for bid is requested?

- Rate x hours:  quote your standard rate.   Indicate in your proposal, you have several questions to ask that would add value to further project understanding.   And ask to schedule a meeting to discuss them.

 

- Fixed fee.  This is where it gets sticky.  On many occassions, I have faced a "fixed fee" request, yet with not enough information to provide a relative response of merit -- sans guessing at project scope.

Here is the technique I use.  As usual, it is couched in adding competitive zip and zing to my response.  I have been trained to be a competitor.  So deeply, it is DNA now.

What I do is this:  I respond with a $10 or $50 response to whatever fixed fee job is at hand.  I mark the milestone as "Placeholder".

Then, and pardon, again for the somewhat assertive response.  But I use this tactic to put my competitors who have quoted a full price in a tough spot.

"My bid response is a placeholder so that I may open up dialog regarding this work.  The information you have provided is valuable, but not extensive enough for me to provide a project estimate back that is based upon something more than guessing.   You will perhaps get fixed fee estimates back. Those contractors are guessing, and guessing is a bad way to start a project".

Now, with this entry point paragraph, you have
(1) delayed the need to provide a full quote
(2) established communication
(3) and pointed out, the lack of business wisdom of quoting a full price with insufficient information.

On multiple occassions across the past seven years on this platform, I was immediately contacted back with this response stated in one way or another,

"Your response was the only one with business common sense attached".

Tactic, thus provided.

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS