Turn more customer quotes into new sales

Does your business do this?

You give an estimate or a proposal to your potential customers, with the hope that a certain percentage of them will turn into sales and profits.

Even though there are actually several stages of a typical sales cycle…

  • Generating qualified leads who request an estimate (I’m going to use “estimate” to also mean a quote or proposal)
  • Delivering the estimate
  • Following up with the lead
  • And the best part – sales and profit… Yeah!!

Today, I want to focus on the actual estimate.

This is where the rubber meets the road, and you have the biggest opportunity to turn your potential customer into paying customer.

I’m going to show you a real-life example of a very effective and powerful “Estimate Package” that one of my web copywriting clients, On Top Home Improvements, uses in their business. (with their permission, of course)

First… a little background…

The client is a Maryland home improvement company who does roofing, siding, windows, etc. For consumer protection purposes, the state requires they have a Contractor and a Home Improvement license.

Professional Customer Quote and Proposal

Professional Customer Quote and Proposal

Now when people call up for estimates, they could do like everybody else, and hand them the written estimate… but these guys go MUCH further…

You’ll see it’s not the normal verbal quote, or 1-2 page hand-scratched or computerized estimate you get from most businesses…

But it’s a professional looking folder, probably half an inch thick, jam-packed with the estimate, and also all the information a potential customer could possibly need to make a smart buying decision.

They add value to all of their estimates by including…

  • A cover letter that clearly explains what’s included in the folder
  • A professional and comprehensive estimate
  • Written testimonials from similar type customers
  • Proof of insurance coverage (actual copy of certificate on red paper)
  • Proof of State licenses (again, actual copies on green paper)
  • Written Warranty Certificate
  • Proof of expertise with copy of Manufacturer Certifications
  • Product information brochure
  • Business card with all the contact info

This makes them totally unique and different from all their competitors, and by most accounts, gives them a distinct advantage over everybody else, allowing them to convert more of their estimates to paying customers.

Dan Kennedy, a well known marketing expert would call this a “shock ‘n awe” package, because it WOWs people with so much great information, and may even keep people from getting competitive quotes.

Note** You could use this same concept as a follow-up package sent or delivered to people requesting more information about your products and services.

So… think about how you can apply this approach to your business right now.

You can get started today by simply picking up some good looking folders at Staples, and build a portfolio of inserts that will be valuable and informative to your potential clients, showing off your unique strengths.

Make them think you’re the ONLY option to consider.

And if you need a copywriter to write your cover letter or other marketing inserts in your Estimate Package, let me know – I’d be happy to help you create a package that will put your competition to shame.

Let me know, just send me your comments below.

If you want help with your marketing strategy, writing effective sales copy, have any comments, or have a marketing project you’d like help with, e-mail me or call me at 603-686-5140

If you need help with website design, writing SEO optimized web copy, email marketing, or other online marketing strategies, I can help!

To your marketing success!

Merrill Clark

Website and Marketing Copywriter

Join my discussion by leaving a comment below…



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4 thoughts on “Turn more customer quotes into new sales

  1. Kim Cox

    Great info Merrill! The proposal packet is very simple to implement and brings really BIG results. There are many clients who go with us simply because we gave them this packet. Remember – you never get another chance to make a good first impression! I welcome any questions others may have on how to do this.

  2. Merrill Post author

    And there you have it right from the source, folks!

    Big results! – Sums it up… I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Thanks for your comments – especially love the “you only have one chance to make a great impression”.


  3. Leon

    Hi Merrill, valuable information, thanks.

    Quick question, providing potential clients with all the information in the folder, including the “professional and comprehensive estimate”, what can be done to minimize or prevent the client from taking all your hard work to the opposition to get an alternative quote and potentially cost you the business?

  4. Merrill Post author

    Good question…

    With the exception of the estimate, all the materials/information used in this case should be available by any business to their clients. The key here is how they are presented to them in an organized way. This is just a cost of doing business.

    As far as the estimate goes… It depends on the type of business. For On Top Home, preparing a professional estimate takes an average of 2-3 hours, and they include it all the other relevant information so the customer can make an informed decision, even if they have used their estimate to get other prices.

    For other types of business, for example a networking company who may spend 1-2 weeks preparing a complex technical quote, they could bill it as a consulting fee, and deduct it from the project cost if the client buys from them. At least it covers their knowledge, time, and experience if the client uses their estimate as a shopping list and buys elsewhere.

    Basically, it’s a numbers game, and it all depends on the company and their product offerings. You win some… You lose some…

    The key is to make a good enough impression on the customer with your estimate that you win more than you lose.

    Hope this helps.

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