A couple months ago, Creo Quality met with a community in Central Indiana to discuss their interests in pursuing life sciences opportunities. The people we met with quickly acknowledged “life sciences” sounds good but they had little to knowledge of this industry or the opportunities available. This community wanted to explore life sciences because of recent economic pain and stagnation of their economy.
We talked about what Creo Quality could do to help them. Heads nodded and the people sitting across from us said “Yes, this is EXACTLY what we need to do.” We also told them how long this would take and exactly how much this would cost. Again, positive affirmations: “Your fee sounds very reasonable. This shouldn’t be an issue.”
Creo Quality provided a proposal, detailing exactly what our approach would be, along with specific deliverables. Follow-up after delivering the proposal was positive still. A couple weeks later, crickets. After playing phone and email tag, I finally talked to a live person. “Yes, we’re still interested. It’s been a busy few weeks, but we should be ready to move forward very soon.”
A few more weeks pass. More phone and email tag. And then, finally, a response:
“Jon – After careful consideration and review of your proposal, we would like to move forward with part of this now. The outcome of this will allow us to carefully consider the next steps we should take. We are willing to pay you less than 1/3 of the original proposal.”
What this potential customer fails to understand (or maybe understands very clearly), the work effort required to give them what they want is way more than 1/3 of the total effort. So we told them no.
Just when I think I’m beginning to understand the Creo Quality sales process, we get this curve ball. From the first conversations with this potential customer, we had every indication to believe the only thing holding this project up was signing on the bottom line. Maybe that should have been a real clue. The other real clue is very obvious now: this community has no idea what “life sciences” really means nor what their place should be in this industry.