When running a service company, quoting work proposals to your customers is a daily job. Creating quotes can be time consuming, and there is the constant temptation to quote low to win the customers’ business. The conventional wisdom supports this logic, saying that if you offer lower quotes, you will make more sales. The thought is that since customers are very price conscious these days, you will have to be cheap if you want to compete.
However, submitting lowball quotes has many drawbacks. Quoting the bare minimum leaves you with nowhere to go if the customer raises any sort of price objection. It also leaves money on the table for the customers you encounter who are willing to pay more to get high quality work and to have it all done in one visit. With each initial quote your customer accepts, there is the feeling in the pit of your stomach that you may have quoted too low. Finally, quoting low means you are probably only offering your customers solutions to their immediate problems. You are able to offer them so much more, but not if you will not provide a quote that offers a more comprehensive solution.
Instead of quoting the minimum amount, quote the price that will solve all your customer’s problems. Quote for the primary work that the customer needs as well as additional repairs that will save him money over time. That is a good business practice, both for your company (you make a bigger sale) and for your customer (he is happier with your work).
Ideally, the customer will accept your recommendations, making for a bigger sale, but if he declines the extras, you still have a basis for doing business. This is where technicians that are good at performing the work as well as communicating the long-term benefit of their work are so valuable.
Your customers want options. If you quote the absolute minimum, the only options you give is “yes” or “no.” Rather than a basic dichotomy, by quoting more than the bare minimum you give your customers a menu of choices from which to select. Options also provide a point of negotiation your technicians can work with beyond a simple “yes” or “no.”
So, when working with quotes for your customers remember to:
- Quote above the minimum require to solve your customer’s problem
- Give your customer a menu of options to choose from
- Use the extras as negotiation tools
To take advantage of quoting above the minimum, and frequently adjusting quotes to maximize your relationships with your customers, it is helpful for your technicians in the field to have the mobile tools they need to quickly create, edit, and email quotes to your customers.