John Leary, Sales and Marketing Director, Emplas, explains how to create retail quotes that win you business and take just minutes to complete!
Quoting is part and parcel of retail sales – but no one enjoys it. And with general administration swallowing up a huge chunk of your time, it can be tempting to cut corners when pulling together end- user quotes. But that comes at a cost because how you quote – not just the price you quote – can win or lose you business.
Poorly constructed quotes, can create a very negative impression– and early impressions count. If you spent time sat in someone’s front room or around the kitchen table, then measured up around the house, never mind the time in generating leads, you’ve already committed hours, if not days to new business.
You might as well write-off all of that effort, if you don’t write and present your quotes professionally. It may be a slight exaggeration but ‘back of a fag packet’ quotation is still shockingly common practice in the window industry, and it doesn’t do any business that produces them any favours. Assuming someone can actually read your hand-writing, hand written quotes don’t look professional, leave a very unreliable audit trail and you end up with a library full of files. Quotes on Excel or word may be a little better but can still take a long time to turn around, while installed software can be prohibitively expensive.
And quotes don’t just need to be professional but they also need to be timely. Personally, if I have to chase someone for a quote I tend to, rightly or wrongly, judge that it’s going to set the tone for the rest of the relationship – i.e. I’m going to have to chase for everything.
A short delay is fine but a week or more suggests to me that someone probably doesn’t really want the business, is over-stretched or their business is badly structured. Rushing quotes when you get home or worse still, saving them up for the weekend, doesn’t create a great impression with the person at the other end waiting for it.
Having previously headed up Emplas’ award winning retail business, T&K Home Improvements, I can genuinely empathise with anyone tasked with producing retail quotes on a regular basis. Not only working out the price but pulling together the right background content can take anywhere from 30 –45 minutes per quote.
Our direct experience in retail is what led us to develop our trade customer Quotation Pack. Accessed through EVA*, the Emplas Virtual Assistant, support tool, it creates detailed and professional quotes in a matter of minutes, pulling in relevant certification, accreditations and product specifications from minimal data input.
Having been inputted once, it automatically pulls-in our customers’ logo, and their details as relevant including accreditations and memberships of professional bodies, specific to them. All they then need to do is input the relevant quote details including price, how long it’s valid for and then select the product specification from a tick-box menu.
The system does the rest. It cuts the time taken to create a professional quote from 30 minutes plus to literally a couple minutes.
This includes a tailored Quality Charter; Quality Assurance; BSi Kitemark Licence – enhanced security and Window Energy Ratings guide; Specific energy labels as relevant to the order; and security overview.
It also includes enhanced security Kitemarks as relevant; Secured by Design Certification if relevant; BSi window and door surveying license; guide to Pilkington EnergiKare; independent accreditation certification e.g. BM Trada or other; DGCOS certificate and terms and conditions.
The quotation pack also allows Emplas customers to draw on legally checked and regularly updated, terms and conditions created for T&K Home Improvements, which guarantees that they stay on the right side of trading regulations.
The other great thing about the Quotation Pack is that as a web-based platform – it’s with you wherever you go. If you have an extra 10 minutes between appointments you can access it and upload details, pulling together quotes in time which would otherwise be lost.
Our customers can access professionally presented quotes in minutes and that creates a great impression of their businesses. They don’t have to be the cheapest – they come back first, they inform the customer, build trust and that helps them to win work.
*EVA – the Emplas Virtual Assistant was launched by Emplas last year. It features lead generation and management software, automated quotations, remote placement of orders and subsequent order tracking, facilities to check invoices and CE Marking.
Accessed through our online portal installers can log-on from any PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, to access a secure quoting and order processing system – and track those orders in real-time.
For more information on Emplas visit www.emplas.co.uk , email [email protected] or call 01933 674880.