Keep business quotes focused on outcomes

Jack Welch and Steve Jobs may help you with business quotes you can put in a poster or on a coffee mug, but iQuoteXpress (IQX) helps you with quotes that drive revenue.

So how are you building quotes and business proposals?

If you’re focused on how it “comes out,” great! Pay attention to those details, make sure fonts and color schemes support your brand while engaging your prospects, and ensure you’re delivering a quote that’s organized, easy-to-read, and error-free.

But if you’re focused on outcomes, ever better. Because while brand consistency is important and your custom proposals should reflect your business, your prospect is far more interested in results. They want to know less about what you do and more about how they’ll benefit.

Here’s @@how outcome-focused, customer-centered proposals help close more business.@@

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The power of “before” and “after”

Before you begin building a quote for any business, get as much information as possible about the problem your prospect is trying solve. Too often, sales people are tempted to cut to the chase: “Here’s what we do! Here’s how much it is! Want it?”

But when you focus on the customer’s problem, you 1) gain their confidence because you demonstrate you understand them; 2) come up with a better solution (because, as point 1 stated, you better understand the problem); and 3) get the data you need for a convincing “before and after” comparison.

In the preceding paragraph, point 1 is about the customer, point 2 is about your product, and point 3 is about the outcome when the two meet.  Helping a prospect see how much better things will be—reduced overhead, greater returns, etc.—after is one of the best business cases you can make.

The problem with ranges

In your product catalog, do you price products and services with a range? “This widget costs $100 - $250.” Of course not. So why would you do that in a proposal?

No matter what you’re selling, be specific about how much it costs. People prefer predictable, simple pricing for business solutions. Period. Go ahead and give them options (package A costs $X, package B costs $Y), but if you lead with a range, you’re basically saying, “We don’t know exactly what this is worth: what’s it worth to you?” Also, your prospect will be looking at the high-end of any range you present as their cost anyway, so just be direct.

Quote building tips

Go ahead: close them there and then

Technically, in sales, there are two Job #1’s. Let’s call being focused on your prospect’s outcomes Job 1-a. Job 1-b? Being focused on YOUR outcomes.

Try this with your next proposal—add a place for them to sign, and make your business quote into a business contract.

Granted, this may not make sense if what you sell is complicated (such as a cloud-based CRM system for 36,000 users requiring 18 localizations), but if you have made an effective pitch, and there’s a clear and easy fit without too many variables, and you have presented a plan you can execute and an outcome you feel you can guarantee… why waste time? Close right within the proposal.

If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.