Last week, I was working with a brand new client on sales strategy. They had an opportunity to pursue a significant opportunity and were being asked to price their services. They asked me how to handle it.
The problem was that there was nothing clear whatsoever about what was expected or what issues needed to be addressed. The prospect, "wanted to get a feel for what to expect." While I certainly understand that, there was probably no dumber question to ask than, "what's the price?"
While my client agreed with my observation, we both understood that in today's world, procurement exerts an awful lot of control and even when their requests don't make sense, if you don't play by their game, there isn't much you can do. You can't, after all, tell procurement that they are being dumb.
Flying to Winnipeg this morning for a series of speeches, I had the rare chance to read an actual newspaper and look at the comics. In it was a Dilbert cartoon that tells the story.
Now you're armed. The next time a buyer asks you for a price prematurely send them this cartoon, with a recommendations that they first diagnose their situation to apply the appropriate action.