The rollercoaster of quoting - and how to deal with it
I got asked by one of the lovely members of my Facebook group this week about some things that affect so many of us. They can play on our mind and make our self-esteem plummet.
They are dealing with quoting then getting told we’re too expensive, OR getting no reply at all.
How can we save TIME with quoting and be ok with getting negative (or no!) feedback?
SUCH GOOD QUESTIONS!!!!!!
As this lovely lady said, there’s no handbook to deal with negativity or stress in business. Seriously, if there was, I’d be all over it!
I don’t claim to be a seasoned business owner (I’m only one and a half years in), but I do like to share a tip or two when I feel I might be able to help.
Tonight, I'm sharing my own perspective on the topics of quoting and the mindset around it. I've broken it down into two parts - take a read and I'd love to know how you approach these things or lessons you have learnt - leave a comment!
>> PART ONE - Systems
First of all, quoting takes time, and a lot of it if we’re quoting for a custom product or service, where different variables require unique pricing structures.
However, here is what has helped me:
1. Basically TIME! Over time, or more specifically, over the more projects you work on, you get a feel for common needs your customers/clients have and/or the different aspects involved in the project. Use this learnings when you’re quoting for future jobs. Extra bits that you didn’t expect and didn’t consider in your original quoting can now be given as add-on options. Which leads me to…
2. Segmented pricing and optional extras. I’ll use websites as an example. When asked for a quote, don't just say ‘website design’ and give a price. Break down what is involved in the design of the website and give options for add ons for an extra price. Not only does this make it clear to your client what is involved, but it also highlights all the steps you take to deliver your final product. It may look like:
- Information Gathering
- First round of design
- OPTIONAL: Integration of apps
- Client feedback gathering
- Second round of design
- Client feedback gathering
- Final updates to website
- Connection of URL to website
- OPTIONAL: Lesson on website maintenance
- Push live.
You get my point!
3. A time saver is to then keep a document with all the variables of your product/service and simply insert the relevant ones into your quoting template for each client, rather than rewrite them all each time.
4. One of the best ways I've found to deter people who are simply 'quote shopping' (because personally I’d rather work with people who love my work, than people who choose me just because of my price), is get them to do some work too!
How do I do this?
I never reply to the email or answer in person straight away with a price. I’ll ask some questions more specifically about what it is they need. The people who stay with me on this process end up becoming loyal to me because I am showing sincere interest in finding out more about their business. They are 'buying in' to me and my business.
The people who can’t be bothered writing back or going into detail with me around what they need, I’d actually rather not work with! Again, I’d rather work with people who love my work and are invested in the process, than people who choose me just because of my price.
>> PART TWO - Mindset
Ok so now dealing with the feedback that we’re ‘too expensive’.
Hopefully by using my steps above, the frequency of you being told this will decline.
Here’s how to deal with the cases that slip through.
‘Expensive’ means ‘costing a lot of money’. Its synonyms include ‘valuable’, ‘upscale’ and ‘premium’, while its antonyms include ‘worthless’, ‘cheap’, and ‘unimportant’.
I know which set of words I’d rather be associated with…
I’m all for getting paid what we feel truly feel our skills are worth. I’m definitely not for exploiting people or ripping people off.
So if you feel comfortable in yourself with what you’re charging (I promise you the confidence grows over time), you must accept that some people just won’t see the value in what you can deliver them.
Some people simply won't!
However, if you’re getting lots of ‘sorry but too expensive’, perhaps you are best testing the market with a little lower prices.
Ultimately, you must be able to offer your services/products at a price that at least a segment of the market is willing to pay. If not, then you don't have a viable business.
It’s a matter of finding your sweet spot between getting a great income and giving great value to your clients/customers (possibly one of the hardest parts of business, right!).
My final word is, yes there may be people who are ‘cheaper’ than you, but they’re never going to be able to deliver exactly what you deliver. And that’s your value. Your individual skill-set, personality and knowledge is unique to you. To say this in another way, your clients aren’t just paying for the actual service/product you deliver, but importantly your efficiency, your communication skills, your honesty and so many other things along with way.
Ok - essay over. There's just so much to say on the topic!! I hope what I've shared has been helpful to you or reframed things a little in your mind.
I'd love to hear how you deal with the process and mindset of quoting AND if you have any topics you'd like my take on - I love hearing them!