Quoting, the Neglected Part of Sales?

As a professional sales person, you have made the appointments, followed up all the enquiries from the numerous marketing strategies your company employs and then booked sales appointments with ideal prospective clients. In these sales appointments you have built rapport with the prospects, asked the questions and found out all their needs and concerns and finally offered them a solution that meets all the needs and solves all their concerns. Now all you are left to do is write-up a quote on the work to complete another successful sale.

Well maybe not!

After over 20 years in sales, my experience has shown that it is often at the quoting stage that deals are lost. The most common reason why deals are lost at the quote stage is because the sales person leaves out all the key information uncovered in the sales meeting and just defines the product, delivery and price.

Just stop and ask yourself, how often do you include all the concerns and worries that the prospect told you about in the sales meeting in your quotation? If you are like the majority of sales people or companies doing quotes, you have a standard template used for all quotes, one size fits all.

I am amazed at how often a very professional sales person and process is undermined by a quote that does not treat the prospect as an individual.

It is well known that all purchasing decisions are made for predominantly emotional reasons, in fact 80% of any purchasing decision is emotion, so if you leave out all the emotive reasons you uncovered in the sales meeting from your quotation, all your prospect is left with to make their decision is the logic reasons, price, delivery and specification.

Effective quotations take the prospect through the key points uncovered in the sales meeting all over again, highlighting their concerns and what the purchase will allow them to do or save once purchased. Make sure that all the key points they brought up are covered so that they are able to remember the professional manner in which the sales meeting was conducted and as a company you stand out from your competitors.

In short, write the quote for the prospect, not for the company you are working for. Rebuild all the key emotional points in the beginning of the quote so that the prospect relives the emotions and then place all the logical parts of the quote at the end, such as the terms and conditions and the background information about your business.

Now look at your quote, how easy is it to read? Your prospects and clients have enough difficult challenges to deal with in their business life; do not make your quotation another challenge for them to overcome.

A simple way to make your quote easy to read, is to space it out and leave lots of open spaces, keep paragraphs short and to the point. Use bullet points, but not too many. Have clear headlines which clearly define each key area of the quote. Send any product or service related information separate to the quote, if they want to read it, they will, but do not clutter up the quote with the information.

Make sure that the quotation is proof read by someone else so that any spelling errors are picked up and corrected. The last thing any professional sales person wants’ is for all their professional work to be undone by one spelling mistake!

If there is more than one decision maker who will decide on the purchase, make sure they all get their own copy of the quotation.

Lastly, make sure that all the key information such as the emotional overview, price and delivery are on the first page if possible, but never later than page 2, as many people will not read much further than this.

If you want to improve your sales conversion rate, make sure that how you quote, is in line with the professionalism shown in your initial sales meeting. Make sure you review your quotations regularly with prospects and customers so that you get their feedback on how easy to use and relevant your quotations are to them.

Above all, remember, it’s their quotation, not yours.

 

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