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5 Costly Quoting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Most salespeople are quick to write a quote and most prospects have learned to take full advantage of this situation. No matter how competitive our price we still hear Thanks, I'll get back to you and off they go in search of an even lower quote. And why shouldn't they; we all seem to be selling the same promotional products. Fortunately there is a simple solution to this dilemma; in fact you can consistently land the account even when yours is the highest quote once you've learned how to win at the quote game.

Here are 5 costly quoting mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Quoting your prospect's specs
When you quote your prospect's exact specs you are forcing the prospect to compare apples to apples, because the only distinguishing feature between you and the competition will be the price. But, the moment that you change the specs, your prospect can no longer compare identical quotes and price becomes a secondary issue. So whenever possible get permission to change the spec; but keep in mind that any changes you make must be in the prospect's best interest.

2. Pausing after mentioning the price
Here's how most of us tell our prospect the price. At the end of the presentation we'll say Your total investment in these coffee mugs is only $1,200 and then we'll pause and wait for his prospect to say I'll take it. But, when you pausing after stating the price, your pause is in fact a question. You are asking the prospect for his opinion; What do you think about my price? And chances are that the prospect will respond with a price objection. So never pause after stating the price, instead ask a closing question or immediately continue with your presentation. Make this small, but all important change and you will eliminate common price objections.

3. Failing to make the job seem affordable
When up selling or justifying a higher price always focus on the unit price difference. For example, the prospect is willing to invest $2,500 but the promotional product that you recommend costs $3,000. Instead of trying to justify the $3,000 investment, divide the price difference ($500) by the quantity (500 units) and now show the prospect the benefits of investing an additional $1. Although the total dollars spent is the same, investing extra $1 is much easier to accept and therefore much easier to sell.

4. Being the first to submit a quote
Even if the prospect is ready to buy, don't try to impress him with the speed and efficiency with which you can deliver a quote because in most cases your efficiency will cost you the sales. Here's why. The first quote often becomes the yardstick that all other quotes are measured against; in other words every distributor that sees your quote will try to beat your price. Furthermore, the first salesperson to present a quote can't close the sale because the prospect will say I'm still waiting for a few more quotes, and submitting a quote too early could eliminate your competitive edge. If time permits the prospect will re-tender the job using your new ideas, in which case the only difference between you and the competition will once again be the price. So whenever possible try to be the last to submit a quote.

5. Trying to land a job by submitting the lowest price
If you're trying to grow your sales by beating the competition on price, you will lose more often than win. Here's why competing on price is the wrong strategy.

  • No matter how low your price, there is always someone willing to supply the same product for less.
  • Prospects are reluctant to endure the risk and inconvenience of changing supplier just to save a few dollars, so to get their attention you need to offer a large discount and that results in sales with minimal margins.
  • Even if you manage to submit the lowest quote, in most cases you still won't land the job. The prospect will show your low price to his present supplier so that he can match it.

Sales success has little to do with price
You can consistently land the account even when yours is the highest quote if you implement the quoting techniques and strategies that eliminate price competition.