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Raiders of the Lost Quote: Hot Tips for Winning Bids

Have you ever lost a bid because you accidentally submitted an estimate and missed changing the customer’s name? Or have you made an outrageous spelling error or an unintended offensive grammar mistake? What about sending a quote to a client where you’ve accidentally left on their competitor’s address?

You’re not alone. Others have been there too. Creating estimates using spread sheets, word documents and manual processes can lead to a number of unintended mistakes.

We know from experience that you’re often working on tight deadlines to get your quote in on time, and competing for multiple jobs at once. Don’t beat yourself up: that level of stress impairs your memory and decision making power, and can cause you to miss crucial details. But even if the error is minor, mistakes at the beginning of a project could make or break your chances as they suggest future mistakes could take place. The biggest mistakes are those that affect your time and money.

Your quote letter is your first chance to show off what makes you unique, and to set expectations of the quality of work you stand behind. Your bid should not only be clear and consistent, it should be memorable, too. If it’s addressed to a first time customer, give some information about your company, and show off your brand. Use a customer testimonial to explain how the services you provide help to solve problems and make their lives easier. It also helps if the testimonial speaks to the kind of customer care they received from you.

We’ve been designing quote letters for nearly 10 years and have developed hundreds of quote letter variations.  One of the best practices we’ve observed includes ensuring your quote number AND version are on each page. Why is this important?  What if your customer signs and sends back only the last page of your quote?  What information on that last page ties in the rest of the quote?  Your quote becomes the contact between you and your customer.  You need to make sure there are no misunderstandings on scope, exclusions or price.  Having that quote number and version on the last page ensures you and your customer you’re “on the same page.”

Using industry-specific software to generate your quote can help to organize your information in a way that’s logical and standard for your line of business. Templates can save you from duplicating incorrect information. The software can even show you work processes you hadn’t considered, and give your team a shared platform to input information. Goodbye Google spreadsheets!

If you’re looking for software to organize all your millwright, rigging, machine moving, crane and custom fabrication needs, contact WrightPlan today.

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