By Kim Phillipi

When creating a quote for a customer, it’s important to have all the necessary information provided so that customers aren’t left asking additional questions. On top of that, in today’s fast-paced business world customers are seeking convenience and don’t want to wait around to receive a quote. If they do have to wait, they can simply leave and end up choosing a competitor who is able to respond more quickly. This is a scenario that plagues many small businesses, but it doesn’t have to. Let’s take a look at five different elements that go into creating successful quotes.

1. Accuracy

It’s probably pretty easy to understand that having accurate information on a quote is important. If there’s incorrect information listed, this causes customers to have to contact you again to clarify, fish around for the missing information, or simply lose confidence in your professionalism and choose to work with one of your competitors.

Incorrect information is one of the most avoidable ways that businesses end up losing sales. Even if it doesn’t lose the job, no one wants to be exchanging emails or phone calls to explain how the costs didn’t add up correctly or apologize for adding line items that aren’t needed for the job. The bottom line is that it’s important to double and even triple check all quotes to make sure all the information listed is accurate before sending it off to a customer.

2. Time

Creating quotes in a timely manner is a critical element to be effective in making sales. A business should be able to quickly design an accurate, professional looking quote with all the important details a customer needs like product bundles, discount percentages, and service options. Fast quotes can lead to a business decreasing their sales cycles and improved cash flow. No one enjoys waiting around for a quote, especially when there are many other businesses out there to do business with instead of yours.

There are many tools available today that can streamline the creation of quotes so you spend less time making them and get them in your customers hands as soon as possible. A quick quotation process is a win-win situation for both your business and the customer.

3. Important Dates Listed

There are many dates that are crucial to have listed on a quote for a customer. These important dates include:

  • How long the quote is valid until
  • When services would start
  • Payment due date including earlier payment dates that come with a discount
  • The actual date that the quote is created

By providing all these important dates on the quote, customers won’t have any confusion about the quote itself or what to expect once they’ve agreed to go ahead with the work.

4. Necessary Contact Information

This is another seemingly obvious item that many businesses, particularly those doing quotes by hand, have a bad habit of messing up. Having all necessary contact information listed on a customer quote is crucial. This contact information should not only include the contact information of your business, but also the information of the sales representative that is assisting with the sale. It’s better to give the customer more than one way of getting in contact with your business if a concern or question arises. Methods of contact should include a billing address along with an email and contact phone number of the billing contact person and sales representative.

5. Product/Service Information with Calculated Totals

The real meat and potatoes of a quote is the actual list of products and/or services being provided to the customer along with the total costs associated with each. This will provide a clear and informative layout of each individual product or service that the customer wishes to purchase. After all products and/or services have been listed, the most important part is to provide a sub total along with any discounts being given to the customer.

These are just some of the more crucial elements to consider if you want to create a successful quote. However, if you can consistently nail these five elements you’ll greatly increase your chances of making sales while reducing unnecessary headaches that come from subpar quotes. Give these tactics a try and see for yourself!