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How to write quotes that sells


I sat and waited on the telephone for computer support and had used every trick I can to fight boredom:

1. I thought about what I would do if I woke up one morning and was all alone in the world (What would you do?)
2. I thought about what motorcycle I want to buy next spring.
3. I started counting the alphabet backwards:

Z ... Y... X... V... U ... “You are number 7 in line ... We will respond as soon as we can”.

That's when I started thinking about what really defines a good marketer. If you look closer most of us have just plowed a furrow that we go back and forth in every week.

Just look at all the quotes that start with ”Thank you for your inquiry. We are pleased to offer you the following advantageous offer”– and that's what we'll talk about today:

Before you even start writing the quotation, you should have the answers to these questions:

* What's the kind of problem your customer wants to solve?

* What questions do they have when they asked for the quotation?

* Have you listened properly or do you need to know more?

* What kind of company directs you to your quote?

* What kind of person reads and decides who will get the job? This is important for you to know because it gives you an idea of ​​what tone to use in the offer, formal or personal.

And then it's time to get started:

1. What problem does your customer need to get solved?
Before you start writing the quotation, you should have the answers to three questions:
a) What is the kind of problem your customer wants to be solved?
b) What questions did they ask you when they asked for the quote?
c) Have you been listening properly?

Be sure to have all the necessary information available when it comes to these issues. If you can show that you have understood the problem and that you can actually answer the questions customers asked when they requested the quotation, then half the battle is won. Many quotes are extremely self-centered, just as many sales letters are. Your job is to show people clearly that you understand the customer's problem and situation.

2. Are you talking to perky Penny or acidic Bob? (Sorry Bob)
Ask yourself two questions:
• What kind of company are your quotes aimed at?
• What kind of person reads and decides who will get the job?
This is important for you to know because it gives you an idea of ​​what tone to use in the quotation. Will they prefer a formal or a personal tone? Use the customer's own language. You already know my perception of this. I prefer a personal touch above anything else. As long as you are professional, a personal tone is always good. Personal doesn't mean sloppy.

3. Prove that you are the right choice for the job
What evidence have you included in the quotation to prove that your company is the best suited to get the job done? Always enclose a few well-chosen examples and references.

4. Why does the customer want your product?
What is the client trying to accomplish for their clients? What would be great if you enclosed in a quote that would make your customer's customer like your customer even more? Ask as much as possible about what they do and what they want to accomplish. You may discover things that you can enclose information about in the quotation that will help your customer to reach their goals faster.

5. Don't get tangled up in technical terms

What does your customer know about your line of business? Describe the contents of the quotation with a language that suits the recipient. Explain words and concepts and make it easy for the customer to understand what your quote includes. We often neglect to realize that people who aren't involved in our line of business may not understand all the technical terms that we use and take for granted. Never talk about ”integrated communications” if you mean a switchboard. Always make the quotation open for more questions. Prove that you are available to discuss the contents.

6. What can you teach the client?
What else does the customer want to know about your business? Are there things that the customer can benefit from by learning more?
They might be totally confident that product A is the best for them, but that's just because they don't know about product B. Tell them about Product B if you think it better suits the customer's needs.

7. Tell them what's important
What's important for your customer to know? Show clearly the special conditions that apply to the offer or product. Are there rules or laws that impose restrictions that customers should know about? If the industry usually turns its back on certain things, you can be professional and bring attention to it. There are other important things as well, such as the extended service you offer the customer for free, to get the job.

8. Stop boasting
It may not be important that the customer knows that your switchboard has 38 000 multiple knot rings (whatever that may be). It's not important for the customer to know that you are doing something with a huge effort even though you usually don't deliver this kind of thing.
Your hardship is of no interest to the customer. Telling the customer that you believe that you are the best in the industry is not important for them to know either.

9. Help the client to sort out your competitors
What can you say indirectly about a competitor's product that places you in a better light than the competitor? If you suspect that your competitor (who always delivers cheaper and with lower quality) is in the game, take action. Tell the customer in the quotation that you could have sent a quote for product quality C, but choose not to, because it has less durability. It can make your customer opt out your competitor's product with quality C. Always consider new ways to make it easier for your customers to choose your business before anyone else.

10. Dress your quotation for a party!
Send your quote neatly printed, spell checked, easy to understand in its own folder with a small bag of candy attached to it (If you don't think that'll pay off, I can tell you it does!) Show the customer that you will do this job with a smile. Show that you are glad that you have been asked. Show what good quality your customer will get if they order from you by sending out the quotation in a smart and attractive package.

 


About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
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