What do you do if you are asked for a price quote via email?

Does your sales force talk about this as a new challenge of trying to respond to email RFQs Request for quotes?

An email comes in…

It’s a potential client who would like a quote on your services.  Do you send them a quote or even a ball park number or do you at least attempt to bring this discussion to “real time” as in live via that cave man device called a “phone”?

Buyers are emailing because they want to avoid a sales pitch and just flat out save time. Sales people respond via email because they feel this is the way the prospect wants to proceed.

Personally, I don’t like anything that puts me in a price discussion without establishing a relationship. I want to hear their voice and find out important components such as their needs and be able to communicate the value of my services.  Call me a crazy nonverbal communication expert, but I think it’s helpful to hear the true tone of one’s words. Oddly I am often told that I was the only person who suggested we talk.

What do you do when a potential client asks for pricing via email?

First you know that typically the RFQs are typically collected and used by someone lower in the chain. If you talk to them and try to find out their budget and needs they typically say, “I don’t know I have to check with….” They are gathering prices that they like rather than product of services that they like. I swear I think that there are sales and negation programs not that say that one way to get the lowest quote is to send a request via email then say you don’t know the budget or the only thing you know is that it is a very small budget! You want to get to the decision maker. So if you can ask lots of questions to discover needs and if the “I don’t know” emailer can’t answer them, you have the opportunity to ask to speak to the decision maker. Have your needs and questions ready. Be able to send them out via email or if you get a call with the “I don’t knower” be able to ask them very pithy questions that let them know you care about serving them and you have the experience of serving and customizing based on needs. 

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.