In all the years that I have been in the sales consulting business, the one phenomenon that I always find surprising is how many sales reps simply email over quotes & proposals to their customers instead of presenting it to them (via phone or face-to-face).When Should I present my Quote?
I would suggest you always present your quote in the following scenarios:
- New customer
- New product to an existing customer
- New contact at an existing customer
- A complex, custom quote that needs explanation
- A high dollar value quote
If you are quoting the same customer, the same product/service they have bought 10 times before OR it’s a low value, low priority quote, you don’t need to spend the time presenting.
reasons why you should present your quote (face-to-face or phone)
- You can influence their interpretation of your quote: By taking your customer through the quote, you have a unique opportunity to participate in the first impression they get.
- More time with the customer: You can never spend too much time getting to know your customer. Remember, they are buying you, your company and the products/services described in their quote (not just the products/services).
- A live 2-way discussion: A live 2-way discussion enables you to feel and hear the customer’s evaluation of your quote. It enables you to talk through any hurdles, questions or concerns they may have right then and there. It’s also a lot faster than 10 emails back and forth over 3 days.
- Ensure they read it: Ever sent over a quote to a customer that says they needed it “yesterday” and 2 weeks after you sent it, you call them to find out that they haven’t read it yet as it’s buried under a stack of other work they are way behind on? So, if you want to ensure they read it, read it with them.
- Establish the next actions: Sometimes salespeople are not sure what comes next after they email or fax over a quote to the customer. When to follow up? When is the customer going to make a decision? Who else may be involved in evaluating the proposal? What else do they need to learn or see about you in order to make a decision? By presenting the quote, you can determine & get commitment on the next steps with the customer.
- Avoid feeling like a “Sales Rep”: I don’t know about you, but I hate feeling like a “sales rep”. You know what I mean. That feeling you get when you spend days & weeks chasing your customer to find out what’s happening with your quote. That feeling like you need them; more than they need you. Selling does not need to be “us” vs. “them”. One way to feel like a partner or a colleague in the discussion is to present yourself along with the quote.
- Confirm their Commitment Level: When they agree to meet to review your plan that is a clear indication of their level of engagement, commitment and interest.
- Get to Yes or No Faster: By presenting the quote, having live 2-way discussions, establishing next actions and gauging their commitment, you will get a Yes or No faster. That is way better than chasing someone while your quotes sit out there longer.