Home – New Forums Get productive Not happy with my quote? Remembering your manners probably won’t kill you.

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  • #972898
    bluepenguin
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    As a small business owner with very little time on my hands, one of the more disapointing daily occurences I experience is the lack of courtesy shown by people asking for quotes.

    When a request for a quote arrives in my inbox, I will usually drop everything I’m doing and focus on quickly responding with a friendly, personalised quote.

    I know what it’s like waiting hours or days just to receive an ugly, generic PDF quote which tells me very little about the product or the business selling it. So if I have the time, I will try to personally address the potential customer and breifly explain the benefits of using us for their design or print, plus I’ll try to convey the fun, friendly personality of our business in the email if it seems appropriate.

    The dissapointing part is that the majority of the time, I never hear back from the recipient – even when I politely follow them up a few days later.

    Because we take great pride in the quality of our products and services, our prices are not usually the cheapest, and so I don’t expect to win every job, but:

    It would just be really nice to get a “Thanks for taking the time to quote for us, but we’ve decided to go with someone else…” email once in a while – even if that’s the last I hear from the person.

    So please, next time you go to delete a quote that someone has put a bit of effort into – just because you asked them to – click reply first and thank them.

    Ps. Flying Solo members are possibly the worst offenders.

    #1058440
    IT Advocate
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    Hi Blue Penguin (sorry, you dont have a name in your post).

    I think every business gets this type of response. The old ‘we’re thinking about it’ which often means ‘we took the other quote’.

    Sometimes the recipient doesn’t respond as they were expecting very different numbers in the quote. Their perception of value is different to yours.

    #1058441
    SalenaKnight
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    Sometimes it may not be they went with someone else – they just haven’t decided.

    I often get quotes to see if an idea is feasible, and sorry, but just don’t have the time to write back to everyone to say “sorry, I can’t afford it at the moment” or “the idea turned out to be crap” or whatever the excuse is.

    However, if you did email me a follow up, I would most likely (most likely, not always, depends on the size of my inbox that day) reply.

    You never know, I recently contacted a company that quoted me 18 months ago to engage their services – it was the right time, and I was happy with the way they had conducted themselves in the initial quote. So, not always is everything lost :)

    #1058442
    bluepenguin
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    My apologies if my original post came off a bit agressive. It was more a point to think about.

    I also think it’s nice to give someone a wave when they give way to you in traffic. It’s pretty much the same principle.

    #1058443
    SalenaKnight
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    no apologies required – it is a reminder and it did make me think that I need to do just such a reply to an email I get yesterday :)

    #1058444
    Bizzy
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    Great post bluepenguin, from my experiences I can confirm that I have had the same happen to me. It’s exciting when you have that new prospect requesting a quote etc. and then bewildering when they can’t take the time to respond etc. I never take it personally however.

    This is the first time I ever experienced it but I even had a meeting organised with a potential customer at a neutral location and they didn’t show up, no “sorry I can’t make it” did not answer my phone call after or texts. :confused:

    #1058445
    Craig_Longmuir
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    happens all the time…forget about it!
    and sometimes as someone said before they come back to you months down the track anyhow…

    #1058446
    lj
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    To be completely honest, I am on the internet for instant quotes or at least ball park figures, depending on the area of service, I completely skip over websites that do not provide numbers.

    This is not always the case, as when I recently sourced a web development company I sent out heaps of emails asking for initial quotes, and got the “come in and meet us” or, “we’ll call you”, but I didn’t want to go to their LA office (im based in Perth), and I didn’t want to call, I am on the INTERNET, you know, that amazing thing that lets us interact with people worldwide, instantly, so maybe people are less appreciative because of annoyances like this?

    I did make an effort to let the people that replied to me know I had gone with someone else, so I do support the “wave” type of acknowledgement and thanks.

    Keep ya chin up! :)

    #1058447
    mexham
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    Fair enough, I don’t see why someone can’t take the 30 secs it takes to reply saying, ‘Thanks for your quote and time. But I am yada yad…’

    It’s not just an internet thing though. Think of the times you get quotes for work on your house from various painters, builders etc. I don’t imagine many if anyone rings them back to tell them they are not going to use their service..

    I do think in this busy age we do forgot and bypass common courtesy though. As you say, a simple wave when letting someone into traffic is not too much to expect.

    #1058448
    JaneB
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    Guess I’m an old phart but I’m appalled to think that people don’t respond to quotes. It doesn’t take long for heaven’s sake. There’s no excuse for bad manners and it’s very symbolic of how one conducts business generally.

    And people wonder why the failure of small business is so high…

    #1058449
    Captain Simmo
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    bluepenguin, post: 72108 wrote:
    When a request for a quote arrives in my inbox, I will usually drop everything I’m doing and focus on quickly responding with a friendly, personalised quote.

    So if I have the time, I will try to personally address the potential customer and breifly explain the benefits of using us for their design or print, plus I’ll try to convey the fun, friendly personality of our business in the email if it seems appropriate.

    Because we take great pride in the quality of our products and services, our prices are not usually the cheapest, and so I don’t expect to win every job,

    Ps. Flying Solo members are possibly the worst offenders.

    Hi Steve,

    Firstly, I can understand your frustration of how people cant even been bothered replying a simple yay or nay, or even thanks for the quote when they recieve it.

    I will offer some proactive ways you can get a better qualified client before you even quote… If you are getting email enquiries, I am assuming it is from your website?

    On your request a quote form, you could ask a few more questions to qualify the client actual intentions and there urgency (job to be completed by?).

    At the top of the page I would take the approach of creating “Authority” That you are in demand and produce high quality work. Due to the volume of work pre booked in, I will need to know in advance the time frame that you require the job to be completed. (Basically saying you know you will get the job, but you will have to work on my terms).

    It is critical to ask questions to qualify them, so they realise you are actually prepared to set aside time to quote, but your not prepared to waste your time.

    For the actual quoting process, I suggest you create half a dozen templets that covers your services (Always focusing on the benefits!!!) and use these to automate the process.

    Pricing is a big one for graphic designers, due to percieved value and uncertainty of the desired outcome customers have. (yes, I too suffer from these thoughts from time to time and I have a team of freelance graphic designers). I have learnt, applying authority and a sense of “you will take care of it” will get more clients when charging a premium price.

    Flying solo members wouldn’t be your ideal “target market” if your offering a premium service, in most cases solo businesses are focused on reducing cost and getting a better deal.

    I guess thats why….

    JaneB, post: 72350 wrote:
    And people wonder why the failure of small business is so high…

    So, set up the systems that will automate your business… and remember to focus on your “target market” or adjust to the individual client by asking the questions upfront and qualify them.

    Simmo.

    #1058450
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
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    Similar but not the same…

    We use the same phone for home and home office. So, between about 8.30am and 5.30pm Mon – Fri, I answer the phone with the business name (as does my partner) – guess how many times we get hung up on – I mean guys, I understand that you are probably in a call centre, but how long does it take to say ‘sorry, wrong number’????

    We have also learnt to hang up on the deathly silence… which is (usually) the ‘we are calling about your Windows machine’ scam from an overseas call centre and the silence is while the system is dialling 12 numbers at once waiting for someone to pick up the phone…. So I guess it is a case of what goes around comes around – we are rude to the scammers, others are rude to us. But that doesn’t mean that I like it.

    And yes, if I asked for a quote and the response was obviously not just a rote form response, you would get a follow up from me when I made a decision.

    Kathy

    #1058451
    IgniteDM
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    I too feel your pain ! Its disheartening to put time and effort into a personalised quote only to get no response.

    When I send follow up emails Ill often put in a friendly note asking the prospective client to let me know if they have gone elsewhere/put project on hold etc and let them know that I will stop following up with them if they do so. Otherwise I keep sending non-obtrusive follow up emails once a month or so if I think its worth it.

    Otherwise.. keep on soldiering on !

    #1058452
    bridiej
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    I’ve got a few quotes that have had no response at all and yes, it is frustrating.

    I’ve actually just hired the services of a copywriter to create a follow-up email for me.

    I think people just don’t realise or get too busy – doesn’t mean they’re rude people but a quick emailed “thanks” would be nice!

    #1058453
    Captain Simmo
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    bridiej, post: 73566 wrote:
    I’ve got a few quotes that have had no response at all and yes, it is frustrating.

    I’ve actually just hired the services of a copywriter to create a follow-up email for me.

    I think people just don’t realise or get too busy – doesn’t mean they’re rude people but a quick emailed “thanks” would be nice!

    NOTED AND CONFIRMED ;)

    Simmo.

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