Why write a blog that focuses on quotations? Surely these are not that hard to create? We have asked ourselves the same questions. But after a short brainstorm session, creating successful quotations did seem like an interesting topic, as poor quotations could affect your story. Why is it that many organizations send quotations that – unlike their websites – do not reflect their corporate story? Quotations form a crucial part of your sales process. Think of what it would be like to receive your quotation. Is it inspiring and enjoyable or clean and business like? Or worse, a huge turn-off?
A solid quotation should feel familiar
A solid quotation is based on what you have previously discussed with a potential client. Apart from the conditions of your agreement, it should not contain any new information. Your quotation should feel familiar, it should reflect you as an organization. You are as good as your last quotation, right?
Contents: Your quotation is a story
What is important in a great quotation? We know from experience that the following elements should seal the deal:
1. Your Quotation Tells a Story
Replace your standard Excel sheets. The person receiving your quotation has specifically asked you to put what you have previously discussed on paper. It might be a challenge to summarize it all, but it is worth the effort. A solid quotation expresses your mutual understanding. Often, your contact person needs to discuss your quotation within the organization. Therefore, a quotation should be coherent; a summary of the elements you have previously discussed and the perfect tool to help sell you story.
2. Your Quotation Should Reflect Who You Are
What image does your potential client have of you? Your quotation should reflect this, so the receiving party immediately recognizes you. At Make Marketing Magic, we are continuously rediscovering this element. Trying to answer the following question seems an ongoing quest: How do I tell my story, so everyone understands it?
3. Your Quotation Needs to Be Crystal Clear
Naturally, your quotation should tick all the legal boxes. But also try turning it into an inspirational story. Do not cram it with jargon; next to the ‘official’ elements, people also need to understand what you have to offer. Potential clients can only reply with a ‘yes!’ when they understand the full contents of your quote.
Form: Present Images
The look of your quotation is just as important as its contents. Try using images at any time. Make Marketing Magic has created an animation for example, to send as an attachment with the contract. The animation tells our story, the contract contains the facts.
Would you like to get a head start on creating great quotations? Here are some practical tips:
Start with a smart summary of who you are, what you do and why you do what you do. A potential client should know what you stand for and what you believe in.
Describe what you have previously discussed, what you have to offer and what it will cost.
Does your quotation consist of several parts? Describe the importance of each part separately.
Find an appropriate image for your quotation; showing your product for example, or your employees.
A quotation is meant to help your client make a decision. Preferably resulting in saying ‘yes!’ to your quotation. If you want your client to make the right decision, it is important to understand what he or she needs. Therefore, you should create a clear quotation that is attractive and inspiring.
There are many ways to tell a story. Try adapting the contents and style of your quotation to your target group, product and/or client. Ask yourself the following question, at least: who is my potential client and what does he or she need to respond with a ‘yes!’?