Sales Quotes: you did everything by the book. You asked all of the right questions; established that they were the primary decision-maker, they had budget available and together, you found a good fit between their purchasing process and your t&c’s.
You built rapport, created an environment of trust which was based on professional credibility, demonstrated an understanding of their need to receive value over and above your fee and that their problem could be solved with your solution.
You sent in your proposal as they requested.
They didn’t buy.
Here’s three more of nine mistakes people make when sending sales quotes and proposals (you can read about the first three mistakes here).
4. There’s only one option in your sales quotes.
If, during a moment of weakness, you’ve ever found yourself gazing up at the menu in McDonalds; while you were certain walking in that you were having a Quarter Pounder, it’s the Big Mac that now takes your fancy – either way, we love having choice.
Whilst these gastronomic options might not do much for the waste-line, they do provide an insight into how having a choice can really help people buy and promote the opportunity to up-sell, ethically.
Tip: In your next sales quotes, consider providing three options of your solution (e.g. ‘value, standard and premium). Not only does this show the buyer that you’ve really considered their needs and worked hard to find more than one solution, there’s a ton of psychological evidence out there to suggest that when a choice of three exists, the ‘value’ option gets picked least.
5. There’s no guarantee.
The problem is you know your product or service works but they don’t – how can they, they’ve never bought anything from you before? Their finger is literally hovering over the “Buy Now” button as they look at your proposal, but their dominant thought is “I’m still not sure…, what happens if it doesn’t work?”
By providing a guarantee in your sales quotes or proposals, you remove any doubt the buyer may have by taking their risk away and putting it where it should reside – on you. Trust me, nothing helps an undecided buyer make a purchase more than a risk-reversal clause.
Tip: If you believe in your product and know it delivers the solution your buyer craves, then why wouldn’t you guarantee it? Make a conscious effort to look around you and see just how many successful organisations offer a guarantee; take a look at this great example…
HUIT Denim Co. “FREE REPAIRS FOR LIFE – We stand by what we make. And keep standing by it even when things go wrong. That’s why we offer a free repairs policy for life on our jeans”.
The large amount of perceived goodwill far outweighs the limited occasions when the guarantee actually kicks in. The trust that this concession generates however, will not only convert into sales quotes conversions and sales revenue, it will also set you apart from your competitors and become a marketable USP.
6. There’s no referral clause.
There’s no better feeling in sales than when someone calls you up having been referred by one of your customers. No qualifying, no pitching and a receptive buyer who wants to buy what you’ve got – perfect.
Yet according to HubSpot, while 83% of customers who had a positive sales experience would be happy to provide a referral, only 29% are ever asked to give one! Why?
Well, most people would find asking for a referral a bit, well, awkward. But the reality is, it’s very simple and incredibly effective when you know how, when and what to say. Whilst you do need to invest time in the process (get in touch), that single act of asking satisfied customers what they think of their experience will bring you more sales revenue than almost any other piece of advice I offer.
Tip: Consider adding a clause to your proposal that states that when the value of their investment in your product or service is recovered by your solution (be it cash in or cost out), that they agree to provide you with a referral or at the very least, a video testimonial for your website.
Just think how a ‘Referral Clause’ reads when a buyer is considering accepting your proposal – “Wow, these guys must be really confident of themselves.” That can only help them feel more confident about buying from you too.
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About the author: Matt Sykes is founder of Sales Training company Salescadence and author of the book Sales Glue – the vital ingredient that makes Sales Success Stick. He works with Growing Businesses to help them ethically convert more of their leads into customers.