There is not a week that goes by where I am not asked to “quote” a job or “bid” a large project from a company that we do not do business with. The scenario unfolds like this. “I have this large job of 500 windows that we would order all at once. The windows would be ordered in three standard sizes, with low-e. What’s the best price you can quote me? Oh, and by the way, I need the quote by tomorrow.”

The chances of me getting this job are not very good. It’s not that I don’t want to sell 500 windows at a clip. And I’m always optimistic about getting the sale. The challenge is that in the above scenario, all the person wants is a price. There is no thought to value, quality, relationship, service, etc. On top of it, to cost out the job takes internal man hours as well. My experience has taught me that if price is the sole determiner, there is always going to be someone “cheaper” than me, and I am not going to get the job.

So as a matter of philosophy, I do not “quote” or “bid” jobs, especially when the above circumstances are in play. Instead, we focus on establishing relationships with remodeling companies across the country that share our philosophy. We use a sales triangle that is based on the fundamentals of features and benefits (side 1 of the triangle). In conjunction with this, we also have to ask questions to see if our company is a good match for the prospect (side 2). It is no different from what many of us do with an in-home sales presentation. Finally, we work with the prospective customer on a value vs. investment proposition to make sure we both can win with the program (side 3).

By going this route, our sales team has long-standing relationships with customers. And more often than not, these relationships evolve into special ones where we become available 24/7. In turn, we have strong value by being available anytime a customer needs us.

My point simply is this: If all you have to offer is price, there is always going to be someone cheaper. And the expectations really do not change. The expectation is that you have great marketing, great service, great warranty and a great product – even at the lowest price. In business, we know this is not practical. The old quote attributed to John Ruskin still rings true: “The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done.”

Great selling!

Tyson's Take

2 Comments

  1. Very well said Tyson! The request for a “quote” usually a company to state their value proposition but when the prospect asks for a “bid” you know it’s going to be mostly based on price!

  2. Very well said Tyson! The request for a “quote” usually permits a company to state their value proposition but when the prospect asks for a “bid” you know it’s going to be mostly based on price!

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