It’s OK for customers to ask for a quote but please don’t make it part of your language and don’t complete a ‘Quotation Form’ for a prospective customer.
Because Australia is the land of 3 quotes (it’s probably similar in other countries too). If someone gets a ‘quote’ from you, they almost feel obliged to go out and get two more before making a decision.
Instead, use the ‘Assumed Close’ when putting in your price. What’s an assumed close? It is a closing question such as, ‘Would you like that wrapped?’ or ‘Would you like us to arrange delivery/installation/an extended warranty for you?’ The assumption behind the question is that the customer is going to buy the product or service that is being discussed.
In the same way, assume that when you give or send a written price that you are going to get the business. What normally happens when tradespeople, technicians and others submit a ‘Quotation Form’ is that they assume the prospective customer will need to think about it. Instead, assume that they will say ‘Yes’ and ask for their commitment.
I was asked by a kitchen installation client, “What would you say instead, Estimate?”
‘Estimate’ may not be the correct word to replace your Quotation Form. An estimate is usually viewed as an approximate price. For a fixed price there are a number of options you can choose from. For example:
- Acceptance Form
- Offer & Acceptance
- Improvement Plan
- Development Plan
Then in the content of your pricing document, wherever you have used the word ‘quotation’ replace it with ‘proposal’ or ‘improvement plan’.
If you have other suggestions or would like to debate or ask for advice on replacing ‘Quotation Forms’ I’d be delighted to hear from you.
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