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How do you make your quotation better?

By: Maarten de Winter | 1 September 2016

Quotation, beginning of a partnership!

The sales process within the customer organisation often only starts with the quotation. The quotation is forwarded to decision-makers and co-decision-makers in the organisation. It is a document that travels through the company. A quotation offers the opportunity to clearly bring out your organization's USPs. And to use them as argumentation and persuasion to help the customer across the line. Because with a short, tailor-made text and a distinctive design, clear added value can be created by giving the customer the feeling that your organisation understands their needs and demands and is the right partner for the requested service. So that the quotation turns into an offer. With the experience and added value of your organisation. Plenty of reason to pay extra attention to the quotation.

A few tips:

  • Always end your offer with action! 'I hope that this has provided you with sufficient information and I await your response' is far too wait-and-see. Be pro-active! Better: I will contact you next Wednesday to discuss the details of the proposal with you. If you have any questions before then, feel free to contact me. I will be happy to help!
  • Provide a clear outline of the customer's 'problem'. Naming the customer's problem explicitly gives the customer the feeling that a solution is needed.
    This way, the solution offered in the quotation is more likely to 'hit home' to the customer.
  • People read by 'scanning'. It wil therefore be hard for a quotation to get their attention. Take this into account in the structure. It is fairly easy to increase readability by using a number of punctuation marks and techniques.
  • The main purpose of a quotation is to draw the customer in. Adjust the tone and language accordingly. Then the customer is left with the feeling that they would like to work with you!
  • Consider the quotation as your organisation's business card. Is it sufficiently distinctive? Why should the customer choose your organisation (and not your competitors)?

Price is not the only important factorunnamed (1)

The decision to award the contract to a service provider is not always related to price, despite the fact that this is what people often think. Almost 90% of business decision-makers weigh up quality and price.

Many clients are even prepared to pay more for a service provider if they provides a good, clear quotation. It is important to realise that more than half of the buyers no longer request quotations from service providers who send vague quotations.

Quotation as a predictor of the quality of a service provider

"Businesses miss out on millions due to vague quotations"

This was shown in a survey by research bureau Inzicht, conducted amongst more than 500 business decision-makers in various organisations: directors, buyers and other employees responsible for purchasing materials and hiring external parties.

All the more reason to make sure that the offer matches the wishes and needs of the recipient, because they will judge it on the following:

  • Is the request or problem understood?
  • Is the offer or the way to deal with the problem described clearly and unambiguously (and without errors)?
  • Is the quotation clear (no ambiguities, reasons for misunderstanding, etc.)?
  • Is the provider knowledgeable? Are they mature and able to help you?