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Offer your customers what they really need – knowledge

Decisions that are based on sound knowledge are most likely to have a good outcome.
Make sure you provide it!

When your prospect requests a quote from your company, he or she is most likely requesting the same from several of your competitors.

So, some obvious questions follow…
How do you stand out from the crowd? What are your unique selling points? And, How do you best present your offer?

These are important questions, and most of you who are reading this post will already have the answers.

But I believe the more important question, the one you should be focusing on, is this: Is your quote optimized to support your customer’s decision-making process? That is, does it help your customer to complete his or her analysis and evaluation? Are you bringing the right type of information to the table?

Mike Myatt, a contributor to Forbes magazine, has written an article that I would recommend to everyone. It is a few years old, but a great piece that looks at what it takes to be a consistently good decision maker. You can read what Myatt has to say here >>

So how does this help you?

Well, in the article, Myatt discusses the role of knowledge in decision making.

The ideal basis for making a decision is sound knowledge. However, sometimes there just isn’t enough time or quality information available to build a sufficient level of it. But the person in question still has to come to a decision. This is the decision-maker’s dilemma. When knowledge is lacking, gut instinct comes into play. And while intuition does play a role in decision-making, it carries a high degree of risk if relied upon too much. Your customer knows this and will want to avoid it.

This is where your quote comes in

The sales quote is a unique opportunity to support your customer’s decision making process. It offers you the chance to build up your customer’s knowledge, and your credibility, through relevant and easily digested information.

A transparent, well-structured quotation document is the one that the customer will naturally gravitate towards. It makes the decision maker’s life easier and becomes the benchmark for competing quotes and all other information.

If you can show that you understand your customer’s business needs and priorities and provide everything he needs to be comfortable making a decision, you’ve gone a long way toward establishing yourself as a trusted partner.

Building credibility and trust

By understanding your prospects’ decision making process, and what they are looking for to support their decision, you put yourself in a much stronger position.

This is about focusing on what you deliver in the eyes of your customer – not from your own perspective. It’s about ‘what does this customer need?’ Not, ‘what can I sell to him?’ For example, what is more important to your customer? A pump delivers 500 gallons per hour or 500 gallons per invested dollar? Having this insight, and being able to tailor your quote accordingly, will truly set you apart.

Also, let the customer know that you understand his world. You can do this in in a number of ways, e.g. by quoting relevant industry references or extending your source of information to an industry body such as DNV, Lloyds, FDA, CE, etc.

Last, but not least, trust is also about transparency. What if the customer isn’t completely satisfied? Rather than shying away from this – address it! Can you offer back-ups and support? Make sure that you address any concerns you customer may have. This will help the customer feel confident in your delivery.

The bottom line

Give your customer the opportunity to make the buying decision based on real knowledge – through a well-structured, credible and transparent sales quote. Do this, and you are much more likely to receive good news come the contract announcement.

To find out how CPQ can help you to create killer sales quotes, get in touch with us!

Author: Ralf Gesswein