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How to Quote Less and Close More Business

I learned a client had been following up on a number of proposals he had submitted to companies in the hopes of making a sale and getting their business and having a successful day. When he followed up on the proposal he was told, “We don’t have a Budget for the project.”

As I examined the situation I asked myself why anyone would go through the effort to

  • Create a request for proposals

  • Send the request for proposals to a group of selected companies

  • Accept the bids and the follow up calls from the bidders

  • Say they did not have any budget to invest in the project that had been quoted on?

It seemed illogical someone would go through all that effort. There had to be a reason.

  • To discover the reason for the request to quote and the response we first should

  • Identify what could potentially motivate a company to request quotes

Understand why they say no “there isn’t any budget for the project.”

There are a limited number of motivational variables that would cause someone to behave this way and when discovered will drive the questions which would help

  • Better qualify or disqualify the opportunity

  • Make a decision to quote or not quote

  • To quote at some future time.

Variable #1- The Company requesting the quote is putting a bigger quote together and needs your numbers to complete their quote. They may or may not get the business. You need to know who they are competing with and how many times they won over the competition.

Variable #2- The company requesting your quote sees a need for your services and is considering doing the work themselves and doesn’t know the costs involved or how to do the job so they need your number and your expertise. Your quote is teaching “the needs to be done and the how to do it.”

Variable # 3- The Company requesting the quote has the job and is comparing your price against someone else’s quote. To make sure they have the best way to do the job and the related fees.

Variable # 4- The Company requesting the quote won the job, has your competitor ready to do the work and they are using you to get the incumbent to drop their price.

Variable #5- They are requesting your quote because they need a life and have nothing better to do but to spend time, money on resources on work they don’t do, don’t have and have no interest in doing but need some excitement in their lives. (NOT A LIKELY VARIABLE BUT IT MAKES THE POINT THERE IS ALWAYS A REASON WHY PEOPLE DO WHAT THEY DO AND YOU NEED TO FIND OUT WHAT THAT IS)

If you want to quote less and close more business you will:

  • Have to be very clear about your ideal business opportunity.

  • Make a list of the criteria that would make it ideal. Sort your criteria into sections A- cold, B- Warm, C-Hot

  • Construct a series of questions you would ask the suspect

  • Determine if their opportunity falls into what you are looking for

  • Based on what you learn label your suspect cold, warm or hot Move forward or abort if it is not what you are looking for

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