Before you, or your team, waste time, effort and energy working on a putting together a proposal or a quotation, there is one question you must be able to answer.

WHY? –  Why are you being asked?

Typically there are 4 reasons why people ask for a quote

  1. They want to buy
  2. They want to buy…but not from you. They need you price and information and to use you as “column fodder” to beat up their preferred supplier.
  3. They want to buy, but are not sure from whom. You are one of 2, 3, 4 or more
  4. They don’t want to buy. They are too polite tell you just yet. It’s going to be a slow NO.

The Trap

The enthusiastic salesperson is focussed on “What?” and “When?” and “Who?” and “How Much?” Intent on positioning themselves to “sell.”  They often do this in the mistaken belief that a request for a quotation is the end of the sales process. It is not. It may only be the start of the “buyer/seller dance”, wasting time and resources.

The professional A-player or trusted advisor, meanwhile, is focussed on positioning himself or herself to uncover the truth. Only then can they determine the appropriate course of action.

What can you do?

  1. STOP quoting and hoping!
  2. Ask yourself not “how good are we at providing quotations”, but “how good are we at uncovering the truth?”
  3. How many opportunities that you decide to pursue, do you win? – If you are being lied to, and falling into the quote trap, it will not be 100%
  4. Stop selling. Start having conversations. Focus on the Truth.
  5. Come to our next 2-hour taster session “Break the Rules and close more deals” to find out some specific tactics and strategies for dealing with requests for quotations, and learn how, with the right mind-set, you can win 100% of the business you choose to pursue, once you know the truth.

Nigel Dunand is the MD of Sandler Training in Birmingham, and the Midlands Regional Chair for the Institute of Sales Management (ISM)