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I am often asked to help people write better quotes. They tell me that they are getting loads of good leads, they have good sales meeting with these leads.

During the meeting, the customer sounds very positive, and asks all about their systems, technology, and products. At the end of the sales meetings, they are often asked to send a quote with the promise that they will get back to them.

So, they spend several hours preparing their quote, send it off, and sit back and wait, and wait, and wait, and then chase, and then wait, ………..They then come to the conclusion that their quote was not prepared well enough and hence ask me to help them write a better quote.

When I ask them how many they close, they tell me it varies, and people generally tell me between one in four and one in ten. If it takes four hours to prepare a quote, which is not unusual, then they are spending anything between 12 and 36 hours on activity that leads to no results – i.e. wasted time.

Of course, we have to write quotes, we have to have confirmation of what we have agreed. However, my advice to you is to spend more time qualifying your prospect before putting pen to paper, or brain to keyboard.

When you are asked to prepare a quote, here are a few tips:

  • Reply with words such as, “yes I would be delighted to, but let's suppose you like our quote, what would happen next”. Their reaction to this question, both in words and body language, can be very telling
  • Use third party stories to test the price and delivery options, along the lines of “when we carried out this work at similar companies to yours, the prices has been in the range of xxxxx to yyyy
  • Make sure you have discussed the price, and that they are comfortable with it
  • Consider whether you are talking to all the decision makers involved, and if not, should you do so before preparing your quote (if possible)
  • Consider whether you can charge for the quote on a refundable basis

Avoid being the free consultant!







Handing over a business proposal

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