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25-07-2015

Converting prospect into customers - the story starts with a quote

If you worked hard to get leads and prospects, it is a shame to lose them because of an unprofessional-looking quotation. Review of good practices.

What is the format of a proper quotation?

Lately, one of my friends came to me asking why his prospects seemed so interested during the initial phone call but never followed up after receiving his quotation.

After investigation I found out he was sending his potential customers a so-called "quotation" that wouldn't convert anyone: a simple plain text email without any branding or company information. Would you trust a company sending you that? Probably not.

JulienRio.com - Converting prospect into customers - the story starts with a quote

So what should be a proper quotation like?

Put yourself in your prospect's shoes: how will he use this information?

He will certainly use it to compare price and details with other suppliers. He might also use it to present the content to his supervisor. He could also simply store it for future reference.

In all cases, he will need a document that can be saved and printed. The best way is to send either a pdf (very professional but requires specific software license and knowledge and not necessarily easy to update) or an excel file (easier to handle and to make calculations).

 

What should a good quotation contain?

Let's start with the obvious: the quote!

JulienRio.com - Converting prospect into customers - the story starts with a quote

A detailed table showing the basic information is essential: item number, name, details, unit price, quantity and total.

Beside this, your quotation should contain sufficient branding to look professional: logo, company name, phone number and website.

It should also contain a unique quotation number: besides making it look professional, it will help you and your customer to refer to this pricelist in the future.

A good quote always contains basic terms and conditions as well as a date of validity (this offer is valid for 30 days after being sent) and consequently a date of creation.

Finally, a good quotation should offer some space at the bottom for the customer to sign. While this little detail might seem optional, it has a strong psychological effect on its reader and encourages him to sign right away.

 

How to create my own quotation?

All roads lead to Rome! 

JulienRio.com - Converting prospect into customers - the story starts with a quote

You could download a template from internet: hundreds of website offer free templates you can download and customize right away. The problem is that it requires quite some work to prepare your very own template and you will have to keep it updated and spend some time for each new quotation. It could also become difficult if you need to send quotations from your phone.

You could also use some software that helps you generating very professional quotations to send to your customers. The problem with this solution is usually the price.

There are also some nice apps out there that offer you such service. The problem is usually a limited number of features or a premium version that requires payment.

Personally, I prefer Quote-Easy.com. First of all, it is completely free. It enables you to send a quotation within a few seconds from your computer or phone and offer a few nice features that make entrepreneurs' life easier. 

The system offers to store your data and sends the quotation on your behalf. It also informs you when your customer has read your quote and let him reply you directly. Finally, he enables you to store all your quotations in one place to easily refer to it later on.

While it might not be adapted to more complicated corporates, Quote-Easy solved my friend's problem and gave his quotation the professional looked he cruelly lacked.

 

Once you have solved the quotation problem, you might want to improve the way to reply difficult customers emails.

 

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