Q & A New business quotes

Q. I’m struggling to prepare new business quotes and I’m worried that it’s putting customers off from using my service – what information should I provide to help them make a decision?

A. It goes without saying that you have to include a carefully considered and competitive pricing structure. But, don’t be fooled into thinking that the only way to obtain business is on price alone. Even at this stage, you need to think about how you can add value to your service in order to secure the work.

The key to effective communication with your client is to be absolutely clear about what it is you’re offering. Tell them exactly what you’re going to do and back this up with a guarantee. The customer has already bought into your business thus far, but it’s your responsibility to offer them full security to get the ball rolling.

For example, a roofer’s been asked to quote for a job by an elderly lady. Obviously, she has no idea of the extent of the problem – she has only seen the symptoms through her dripping ceiling. The elderly lady will also not have the opportunity to see either the work in progress or the end result. This is an ideal opportunity for the builder to offer her both peace of mind and a cast iron guarantee by taking a camera up onto the roof to show exactly what needs to be done and what’s been achieved.

The same theory applies to any business; it’s your responsibility to provide evidence of what you’re going to do, as well as the end results. If the customer can see this then they’re far more likely to offer you the business.

Many companies provide a feedback form when they’ve completed a job. Why don’t you buck the trend and give your customer a feedback form at the beginning to serve as a check list? This way, the customer can see what you’re going to do and how you plan to do it. Right from the outset, the customer will be fully up-to-speed and can keep a check on the levels of service that you’ve promised. This transparent and pro-active approach reassures them and also makes it crystal clear what each party can expect. If you follow this, and deliver on what’s been agreed, then your business success rate will undoubtedly improve.

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