Detailed, well-considered quotes win work. Knowing how to write winning quotes is an important part of growing your business. But, getting your quotes right can be a big challenge. You want to win the job with a competitive price but you need to make sure your costs are covered and you make a decent profit.
Quotes showcase your approach to business and declare your costs and terms for providing your services. While estimates ‘guess’ the costs involved in a job and are not binding, quotes offer a fixed price for services that – once your customer accepts – become legally binding contracts.
It seems so simple, doesn’t it? What’s so hard about giving somebody a price quote? The truth is that there’s a lot more to think about than just the number because a price quote is so much more than just the price. It’s a window into you, your business, and what the customer can expect if they do business with you. Savvy customers can find a lot of information in your quote well beyond price.
When a customer asks for a price quote, you might be tempted to just give them the total cost for their services. But a lot more should go into preparing a good price quote. Here’s what you need to know.
Before the Quote
You receive a call or e-mail asking for a price quote. They simply ask for a quote to a service. Before you prepare the quote, get to know your customer.
Do you handle the type of need he has? Do they need it done within a certain time frame? What are his expectations? Is it within your service area? Don’t waste their time or yours if it’s not a job you can do, or if it’s so far outside your area of expertise that you can’t provide top-notch service.
Finally, ask all the questions you need to put together an accurate quote. Ask specific questions because this will help you and will show your customer that your attention to detail is alive and well. It also helps prevent disputes over what was supposed to be done for the price you quoted.
Along the same lines, practice and polish your general sales pitch. Tell your potential customer about you, your company, what makes you better than your competitors, and the basics of how you do the job. If it applies, have some pictures to show them, offer to give them names and numbers of references, and let them know about your portfolio, that you’re licensed and insured.
At the end of the conversation, make sure you have multiple forms of contact in case one doesn’t work. Let them know when to expect your quote and deliver on it. Don’t be late. You don’t want your customer thinking, “if she can’t get me a quote on time, how will the job go?”
The Actual Quote
Each different type of business will have different information but, in general, your quote should have more than just the price. Send along some written information about your company—the same things you talked about in your general sales pitch.
Make the quote official. Don’t write it on a piece of paper or simply send a price in an e-mail. Provide a quote form that looks official and polished. Remember, everything communicates a message about you and your company. The form should have your business name, any licensing numbers, logo if you have one, and all of your contact information.
Itemize your quote. List all the details that were agreed to. Nobody wants to see a number without knowing how you came to it. You don’t have to reveal all of your secrets—like wholesale pricing or anything, but if there are materials, working hours, break those into line items.
If you really want to service your potential customer well, give them multiple options. Maybe what they wanted will be out of their price range. Without asking, quote them at a level that fits their budget. That’s going to take more time but your competitors might not be quick to do that.
Give them a hard and fast start and completion date. If you really want to stand out, let them know if anything goes wrong or if everything will be amazing they get a certain percentage discount.
Consider leaving some room to negotiate. You might quote 5% higher than you normally would in case you have a client who wants to haggle. Along those lines, let them know that if they get a lower quote, you would like a chance to match it.
After the quote
Once you give them the quote, ask them when you should follow up with them. Your customer wants to see that you’re serious about working with them. They might wait for you to contact them just to see if you’re serious. If they don’t give you convenient time to contact them, send a note in 5 to 7 days.
Don’t see a quote as just a quote. Use it as a way to take your potential customer through a model experience they will have with you if they purchase from or contract you. If you see the process just like a transaction, you’ll land more customers. It’s not just about price; it’s about their total experience.
The DriveProfit Advantage
The way in which you interact with your customers and manage their expectations is continually evolving in the wake of developing technologies. These new technologies and marketing techniques are now being integrated to reach prospects and customers through multiple channels, delivering stronger market presence and improved communications for DriveProfit’s chauffeured service and limousine company clients.
Chauffeured service and limousine companies are constantly challenged to keep up, to innovate, to create new and better experiences, and connect with customers in ways that were never possible before.
DriveProfit helps our clients understand how to connect with customers and integrate effective strategies across multiple platforms – online, mobile, video and the more traditional offline channels, including print, event marketing and offline advertising.We will help you engage your customers on the devices they’re already using and show you how our digital and traditional marketing strategies and tactics will increase leads, strengthen your reputation, and capture more market share.
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