Business Basics – How To Get Quoting Right
Almost any business––from start-ups, large corporations, and contractors or freelancers––use price quotation. For some businesses, the quote for their product or service remains the same for all customers or clients. Others, such as civil engineers, have to adjust their quotations based on the specific project or service that the customer wants.
What’s a business quotation?
Every sale starts with a quote, so a quotation is often a company or firm’s first real touchpoint with a customer or client. That being the case, quoting mistakes can be detrimental for a business.
Unsure how to go about quoting as a contractor? Here are some tips on how you can get it right:
Pick a good quote template
The world is increasingly becoming digital. But despite the rapid digitization, many contractors still rely on pen and paper for documenting their services’ pricing. Not only can handwritten quotations be lost and ripped easily, but they may also appear illegible. Another trouble with this method is that it makes a contractor appear less professional to clients.
Why not do quoting digitally and pick a quote template that contains all the necessary entries instead? Many of the quote templates available online are created for different niches––from building contractors estimate template to website developer’s quote template. Some of them can be downloaded for free, while others require a one-time or subscription fee.
Whether you’re getting a free template or a paid one, the highly customizable and professional-looking templates online can save you time and present a clean quote solution for your business.
Understand your clients
A professional-looking quote template isn’t enough. Getting quotations right also means understanding your clients’ needs. Find out what they exactly want or looking for and try to figure out how you can reach a common ground. Do these before quoting your service.
A better understanding of your clients’ needs and requirements allows you to customize quotes with profit in mind while ensuring that you’re meeting client expectations. Customizing your quote to meet client needs can mean including extra services, providing discounts, or changing the pricing completely, depending on what you and the client have agreed on. Reaching common ground with the client also means that the information you’ll put into the quote will be easier for them to understand, enabling them to make the best possible decision faster.
Preparing a quotation without understanding the client’s needs may result in client dissatisfaction, causing the project to slip away.
Be realistic when calculating the price
Some contractors lower the price of their service to secure a project. It can be tempting to commit the same mistake, especially when you’re closely competing with other service providers for the same client. Unfortunately, doing so means taking on extra costs yourself. One thing is for sure: it wouldn’t do your profits a favour.
Again, keep profit in mind when creating a quote since that’s how you can price your service correctly. To achieve that, be realistic about the costs a project involves. As a contractor, some things to consider when calculating the final price are the materials needed, equipment rental, and the extra fees for taxes, permits, and subcontracting (when there’s a need to bring in a third-party provider for a specific part of the project).
Also, it’s essential to monitor costs regularly. That way, you’ll be sure that you’re quoting your service accurately. Remember that your materials’ costs can go up over time. It all adds up, no matter how small amount the increase. Thus, talk to your client about anything that you think could impact the final quote at the quoting stage.
Make your quote straight to the point but impactful
Even if you’re using a quote template, don’t forget to ensure that your quote is brief but to the point. Many people don’t like lengthy quotes, and some of them back out when receiving one. That’s the last thing you’d want to happen for sure. For that reason, keep your quotes short and crispy. Clients will view your quotation’s content positively that way.
Making a quotation straight to the point also means avoiding cutting and copying the same information on every quote you provide to clients. Personalization is crucial. In fact, 84% of consumers say that the most important factor for winning their business is treating them like a person instead of just another number in a company’s sales pipeline.
In addition to personalizing a quote, it’s also essential to ensure that it reflects your brand. The goal is for your client to feel that the business relationship has begun immediately after viewing your quotation. It can be achieved by having your logo in the background. Don’t forget your digital signature, too!
Give clients options
It’s pretty normal to have some clients who are unsure about what they want for a project. That’s why you have to be prepared to deal with such cases by using an interactive quote. An interactive quoting basically provides options to your client.
With an interactive quote, prices adjust automatically based on the client’s choices. Not only does it help with your personalization efforts, but it also prevents your clients from contacting your competitors when looking for alternatives to meet their needs best.
Use a quoting software
An interactive quote would only be possible with a quoting software or system. After all, modern businesses are all about employing new, innovative ways to enhance operations. One of the in-demand software solutions is a quoting tool.
So, what’s the problem with creating quotes manually? For one, it can be time-consuming and inconsistent in the sense that you won’t be able to track documents easily or move from one version of the document to another. Storage and accessibility can also be an issue. The most significant disadvantage, however, is the lack of integration. There’s no way to integrate your quoting process with the other business applications you or your staff uses. A good example of these business tools would be your CRM (customer relationship management) software.
Writing a quotation for your service might seem like a small part of your business. But the truth is that it’s an essential process as you seek and try to retain clients.
Pick a good quote template, understand your clients’ needs, be realistic about costs, and make your quote to the point to win the deal. Giving clients options through a quoting software system can also be of great help.