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Tuesday, 12 July 2016 08:10
Published in Sales insights

The 7 most common mistakes in the quotation process

And how to ensure you successfully win the assignment

Sending quotes is a tense and time-consuming process for any company. After all, the quote largely determines whether or not you win the work. That’s why it is essential for the quotation process to run as smoothly as possible. But how do you optimise your quotation process?
You just need to avoid these 7 common mistakes:

1. The quotation process takes too long

Sending a quote takes time. How quickly you respond to a quotation request can greatly influence how customers perceive your business. If the process is lengthy, the customer might wonder if the work will also take a long time.

2. The quote contains too much or too little information

It’s a question of balance. You want to generate interest and highlight your best points. However, you don’t want to ‘oversell’. Nor is it prudent to give everything away at once. The perfect quote is concise and easy to read and contains just enough information to convince clients to do business with you.

3. Sending the quote too soon

Clients often receive the quote much too quickly. Sending a quote – often sales-driven – regularly happens when the client is still in the orientation process. Clients will be researching your company or your products with a view to potential costs. First, qualify your client and make sure they are interested in receiving an actual quote.

4. The quote isn’t tailored to the demand

Do you understand what the client is looking for? If you send a quote that doesn’t fit the demands of a client, you obviously won’t succeed.

5. Copy / Paste from old quotes

Of course it’s easy to copy-paste a paragraph from an old quote. Just make sure you don’t accidentally include the name of a different company in the new quote. The client will expect a customised offer and will not appreciate it if it seems you haven’t spent any time or effort on their quote.

6. Spelling mistakes

Your quote is often one of the first impressions of your company that you give to clients. Spelling and grammatical errors look highly unprofessional and will affect your business image. If in doubt about your spelling or grammar, have your quote reviewed by a professional proofreader.

7. Misspelled names

How can you sell a product or provide a service if you don’t even know the company name or the name of your contact person? Mistakes like these can prove costly and present huge opportunities to any potential competition.

It’s a good idea to work through a specific set of steps in your quotation process to avoid making the mistakes mentioned above. We use the following steps:
• Meeting minutes
• Indicative budget
• Quote
• Draft agreement

We believe that the best quote is a white paper. Identify the client’s question or problem. Then, translate it into creative solutions your company can provide. In the first instance, avoid any mention of costs. Spark an interest and let the client decide whether or not he can afford the product or service. Smart companies offer several alternatives: ‘more than the client requires’ and ‘less than the client requires’. The choice of ‘more’ becomes a must have and the client will be prepared to pay more than initially thought.

Last but not least: determine the status quo. If your quote is polished, is delivered quickly and error-free and provides fresh creative solutions you’ll exceed any potential competition.

Would you like to know more? Download our white paper "Winning Quotations" here

Good luck!

Direct contact?

bert     Bert de Vries
    Sales Executive
    +31 (0)6 53 64 45 66
    b.devries@sofon.com
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