The marketing process starts with an introduction. Here we discuss / explore your request and see whether there is a "click" to enter into the cooperation with confidence.
We plan half an hour, preferably face-to-face with a cup of tea (or coffee of course), otherwise over the phone. In this consultation we discuss the inquiry. Who is the client, owner, stakeholders? Is there an expected time limit? What is the area of expertise? Last but not least: am I the best option for you? Do you want me to make a proposal?
After the conversation I have the frame to make a proposal. It is also clear what is expected of each other. When we both have a positive feeling, I will start working on a concrete proposal.