Admit it. At some point in the past, you’ve probably viewed the task of sending sales quotes to customers somewhat of a mundane chore, I know I used to. After all, it’s just about putting your best price on a piece of paper and then crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, right?
Here’s the final three of Nine Mistakes people make when sending sales quotes, that if avoided, will get you winning more business.
7. You Share Your Price for the First Time
Hold on… Isn’t that the point of sending sales quotes? To give the customer a price?
Correct, but notice the headline says “for the first time”.
Obviously, we want to give our price, but you want the buyer to receive it as a ‘confirmation’ of what’s already been discussed and not a surprise or worse than that, a shock!
Why would you waste your valuable time sending a quotation if you felt they were going to be surprised and probably object to your price? If that’s going to happen, wouldn’t you rather be in front of them to understand their concern, justify your fee and find some common-ground to move forward?
Tip: Think back to mistake no. 1 for a moment. The time to talk about the cash is at the start when you meet, not the end with your quote. Take a minute right now and ask yourself this…
Will your product tangibly deliver your customer considerably more value than the investment you’re asking them to make?
If so, don’t just be willing to talk money at the start, insist on it!
8. They only send sales quotes by email
Of course I send my proposals via email, BUT, it’s not my only method for delivery and certainly not my preferred choice.
Nothing beats being face to face with a buyer in the same room so you can go through the individual clauses, benefits and terms of your proposal and address any issues on the spot. If logistically this is a challenge, Skype becomes the next best thing, followed by the phone.
If I’m requested by the client to “email it over”, I also post a hard copy designed to arrive the same day, including a hand-signed letter to ‘announce’ the proposal. Call me old-fashioned but I still believe that the act of taking the effort to write a letter and deliver a printed document says a lot in today’s culture of email-overdose and internet noise.
Most letters get opened, can we say the same about email?
9. There’s no follow up
It’s a commonly accepted belief that most sales outcomes happen between the fifth and the twelfth contact – I’ve heard it started as “seven touch points, eleven hours of consumption”. Net result, we can predict when a buyer will buy if we count the steps – sales is a science not an art.
So, if you met at the networking event (1) had the meeting (2) responded to a call to clarify some points (3) and sent the proposal (4), we can expect a need for at least one more contact before a decision even gets close to being made.
Knowing this in advance, allows us to set the follow-up in advance too.
Most people send the quotation or proposal by email and then wait…
And they wait…
And wait some more…
And wait just a bit longer… which is useful because it provides time for you to think of some way to tell the boss that the ‘dead-cert’ you landed hasn’t actually landed yet!
Tip: My advice is to never send the quotation until you’ve called ahead (5) and confirmed a date and time when you can meet (6) to discuss their feedback. Send it without this piece of reciprocal commitment and you not only devalue your offer, but you may never get a reply.
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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.