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How many options do you quote?

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Post Tue May 28, 2019 5:15 pm

How many options do you quote?

Missed out on a large order on an industrial estate because the client got quoted £1000 less than ours.

That'll probably be because the cheaper quote was for smaller dimensions than our brief, and missed off the blank panels for each frame.

We also quoted on colour matching the frames and some fret cut lettering for each unit.

Of course, we too could do it cheaper, but cutting some of the fat.

Perhaps we should give 3 options.

The all singing & dancing option
The middle of the road option
The cheapest option that ticks their boxes.

Curious as to what others do?
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Post Tue May 28, 2019 5:49 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

I would ask the question up front David. Are they looking for the cheapest job or the best job they can have with the available budget? If I’m told that they are going with the cheapest quote then I hold my hands up & say I probably won’t be the cheapest. It saves loads of time when you put them on the spot & ask what type of customer they are.
Champagne or Coca Cola?
Different products, different prices.
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Post Tue May 28, 2019 6:04 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

On this order, £1k isn't a huge amount.

They were looking for the cheapest price, but we're not talking cowboy cheap. They're reputable companies who quoted.

The trouble I've come across is, they've cut some of fat off the quote.

They've not included the panels to go in the frames? Over 14 units, that can save £700ish, and in some ways, why would the landlord pay for it?

Perhaps they've not colour matched the frames? Be cheaper to get silver anodised frames, than mill and getting them coated, but still more than sufficient.

Perhaps using fret cut composite, rather than the Aluminium we quoted? Still good enough for a few years, and cheaper?

Perhaps flood coat the fret cut letters with a decent vinyl, than powder coating them? Achieve the same effect?


It's not like they've come in and halved the price, using correx and a marker pen?

Just thinking instead of saying here's you price, we start going, here's our suggestion, here's a cheaper option, and here's our rock bottom cheapest safe option.
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Post Tue May 28, 2019 6:27 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

I give options in some cases, purely depends on the customer, requirements and spend.
what I do say in most quotes, even if talking to someone face to face. is that is the price based on what you require and what I would recommend, but there are XY & Z ways for me to save you some money if you are trying to budget?
the thing is, if you introduce there are options to save, even a little, you break the ice with them to openly say "yeh its a bit more than I intended" rather than getting the old one... "can I go away and think about it?" and never to be seen again!
even if your revised money saving quote is not going to get them to commit, you can backpedal and introduce budget alternatives. the thing is, there is nothing wrong in selling someone a nice cheap sign if that is what is required or all that they can afford. but I do have a gripe with someone who sells cheap because their cheap and their works poor. :awkward:
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Post Tue May 28, 2019 6:29 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

I find quoting too time consuming to offer too many options, but do try & communicate that there are multiple ways of reaching a similar effect.
It might be worth putting together some dummy jobs with options & prices, ie: panatrim frame & cost with coloured frame & cost, & then tray sign & cost. If you make it easy to understand the differences between the options such as lifespan, they can make a more informed choice.
I’ve attempted to make it as easy as ordering a pizza. The more they add, the more it costs.
I quoted a 16’ tray sign last year, lost the job to an outfit that offered a 3mm foam panel with unlaminated printed monomeric vinyl. I wished I’d put my feet on the desk & played solitaire rather than waste time talking to them
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Post Tue May 28, 2019 6:33 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

Yes I'm not lowering myself to selling rubbish.

But there are ways to reduce costs, and doesn't take much longer once one option is priced up.

What quotes we do convert we make decent money on, just need to convert more.
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Post Tue May 28, 2019 7:00 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

For me it depends on weather the quote request comes from a regular customer and/or face to face as opposed to a blind quote.

I supply regular customers or those who have taken the time to meet with me a middle of the road quote and 'up sell' extras if I think they might go for it. I also explain that costs can be reduced by downgrading a little if we coming above budget.

Its too hard to explain these options when quoting blind and you end up tying yourself up in knots.

In my opinion. You are buying our service as much as our 'products' and therefore try and avoid worrying about missing out on customers that are only interested in the lowest price available.

Its still annoying though when you drive past a new sign that looks nothing like the version you quoted for....
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Post Tue May 28, 2019 11:06 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

David Hammond wrote:
Perhaps we should give 3 options.

The all singing & dancing option
The middle of the road option
The cheapest option that ticks their boxes.

Curious as to what others do?


Exactly what we do.
Working ok I think. At least gives them things to question which starts the relationship.
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Post Wed May 29, 2019 6:28 am

Re: How many options do you quote?

Its is a minefield, on one hand give all the options and possibilities which often confuses the customer or quote for the cheapest option and guarantee you get the job.

Ive tried both options and i agree with whats been said already. Quote for what you recommend but suggest if it doesnt fit in your budget then we can do this that and the other. I think it also makes you sound very honest which we obviously are.

Fact of the matter tho is on a large job like your quoting, companies will do anything to make sure they get the work.
So its possible theres nothing wrong with your technique its just how it is.
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Post Wed May 29, 2019 8:05 am

Re: How many options do you quote?

David Wilde wrote:
Its still annoying though when you drive past a new sign that looks nothing like the version you quoted for....


Yes! I've quoted to a budget lots of times and most recently for a customer who had £1000 to spend on his new fascia sign. They used another company in the end and had a powder coated ali tray sign with built up, LED back lit letters and vinyl's. It was approx 4500mm x 700mm. Hmmmmm
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Post Wed May 29, 2019 8:24 am

Re: How many options do you quote?

For the extra time, I think on some jobs we'll pop a couple of options together to cover a broader range of budgets.

What I find more annoying is those who ring up asking for a price, for a sign/van, and expect a fixed price there and then. You ask their budget to be met with 'cheap as possible', and they can't give you a figure. I tend the end the call there as I know I'm pi$$ing into the wind with them.
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Post Wed May 29, 2019 1:44 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

Whenever I’m asked how much is it to sign up a van, I return the question ‘how much is a car? How much is a house?’ Gets the point across really quickly & they fill out the brief a bit more
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Post Wed May 29, 2019 2:20 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

Kevin Mahoney wrote:Whenever I’m asked how much is it to sign up a van, I return the question ‘how much is a car? How much is a house?’ Gets the point across really quickly & they fill out the brief a bit more


I think I'll use that example in future rather than my usual grumpy "how long is a piece of string" which usually causes the caller to hang up :awkward:
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Post Wed May 29, 2019 5:22 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

Had one today given their marching orders.

Got sent a brief, a logo that wasn't the correct one, agreed a budget, explained what was available for that, they're happy.

Today get bombarded with low quality images, a list of services as long as my arm, now the rear doors need covering with this image.

I suggest they pop in and we can sit down and sort out exactly what they want rather than emailing.

"Too busy for that", well I'm too busy to sit making pretty pictures that won't be what they expect, or can afford!
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Post Wed May 29, 2019 5:49 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

It’s quite tricky to explain to a new client that they are in charge of the operation as they (or at least they should) know their business better than anyone else. If you’ve ever spent any time with a web designer doing your website, you immediately know how your customer feels putting their business in your hands.
They kind of expect you to know what they want when they’re not sure themselves what they’re after. ‘Not too expensive, but we do want it to look good’ or ‘we’ve had a quote for a full wrap, it’s £350, what kind of price can you do?’
Makes you wonder what planet they’re from a lot of the time.[img]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190529/11395c9ea34c2ec77321a774b8b59d99.jpg[/img]
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Post Wed May 29, 2019 8:32 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

Exactly, you know how you want your business to appear.

Modern? Professional? Traditional? High class? Cheap as chips?

With those handful of examples, you can already start to imagine the colours and style of a design, the font, whether it needs to be loud, or subtle.

"Cheap" doesn't give you much direction.

Wish I had a copy of an email a customer sent me, they actually forwarded it on from another company that they had enquired with.

Literally a list of questions for them to answer, in order to quote accurately.
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Post Thu May 30, 2019 11:35 am

Re: How many options do you quote?

Latest news from the landlord, as the new signs should have been fitted earlier this week.

One of the tenants has emailed asking where they are. The company they're using, have been and done several surveys, but can't fit the signs until the landlord has arranged for their contractors to remove the existing signs that some tenants have fitted once the redecoration work was done :rollseyes:

Perhaps it's just me, but we'd do that as part of the job, there's no illumination or electrics to contend with. Just remove the signs and let the tenants deal with disposing them.
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Post Thu May 30, 2019 1:50 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

Yep, same here. Maybe the extra mile we go is worth the small increase in priceImage
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Post Thu May 30, 2019 5:56 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

That's getting nicked!

I'm starting to think someone it just taking the pi$$ now :lol:

Met a fella Friday for some signs, he wanted cheapest price, quoted our cheapest price he's happy. Happy with the proof.

Now asks for some 'special material or finish'... there's no need for any special material, it's actually an ideal job for foamex. Nothing to be gained by going top spec, but I'll happily charge him for it and there's no benefit. :lol:
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Post Thu May 30, 2019 7:09 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

We all get them. But I know the feeling.

Earlier in he year we did a nail salon. No special prices but he wanted window graphics. Outside and laminated one price, inside and back with white much more as they were long windows. Can’t afford inside.
So we make it perfectly clear it’s going on the outside and sign everything off. Day comes and some starts have a tantrum before we even unload the van that there going on the outside. Full on break down. Get on with it anyway. Happy with end result.

Forward a few months and one of the boys bumps into him in the street. He has another shop, lad fobs him off and says we are to busy.
Next day we’re all on site. Come back to 22 missed calls and goodness knows how many Facebook messages asking why we not answer the phone.

So I entertain. Give in. Go and see it. Double my price. Ok. Hand shakes all round.

Another proof produced. This time we put the graphics on the inside to save myself any hassle. Second window goes up.

“WHERE YOU GET THESE PHOTOS FROM!!!???!!”
WHY YOU USE THIS?? THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT”..

In amongst the abuse I asked if I should be a mind reader to which he told me I was a expert I should know what customers want...

All HD images to. Very nice quality.

So I whip out my phone, show him the emails. Point out where he says that’s what he wants and then I ask him, are you sure.. and he reply’s saying yes.

But on we go with the tantrum.
I give up. Is that my envelope with cash. Thank you goodbye.

Will times the price by 10 next time.
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Post Thu May 30, 2019 7:16 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

Yes we have a name for bumping the prices up on those customers.

Had an email this morning

"Lwb transit pictures name website types of work sides and back of van" expecting a price from that.

We've put together an email explaining why we need more information, to create an accurate quote and start the design and what information with a short questionaire.

No reply yet.
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Post Thu May 30, 2019 7:27 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

Nail bars usually turn into coffee shops after 6 months, then vape shops 6 weeks after that, disposables we call them at ours.
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Post Thu May 30, 2019 7:31 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

We did a cafe's sign 12months ago.

Lad rocked up and paid 50% upfront weeks after we quoted it.

Months later, he turned up and paid the balance in cash, and gave us the OK to produce it.

Produced and fitted within a few days.

It's at the end of our road... never opened.

Possibly a laundry.
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Post Thu May 30, 2019 11:34 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

vincebrown wrote:
David Wilde wrote:
Its still annoying though when you drive past a new sign that looks nothing like the version you quoted for....


Yes! I've quoted to a budget lots of times and most recently for a customer who had £1000 to spend on his new fascia sign. They used another company in the end and had a powder coated ali tray sign with built up, LED back lit letters and vinyl's. It was approx 4500mm x 700mm. Hmmmmm
find out who made it for me please. I'll happily sub them all, my work and save myself the hassle of making signs at all...
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Post Fri May 31, 2019 10:42 am

Re: How many options do you quote?

Not particularly happy where they're fitting these signs on our estate.

Why would I want the sign above the large roller door, and not above the pedestrian entrance to reception? :rollseyes:
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Post Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:48 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

It works.

Met a customer who wanted to use the existing frames. When I visited site and met them, they weren't frames but angle for fixing trays. They also wanted stand off letters on one wall.

They were a not for profit organisation, so I put two options.

Use their existing rails and put trays up... but that would require a 10x5 sheet, and lots of waste. The wall where they wanted stan off letters, looked like it had been machine gunned, riddled with holes, and 100's of cups from a previous installation.

Be cheaper easier, to just throw a tray over the top, rather than them pay for hours to remove all the cups, and drill even more holes.

We also quoted on just flat panels, and a tray to cover all the cups. Cheaper option, and they appreciated that they're not paying us to unscrew 100's of cups.

Customer is happy, not our usual way of doing it, feel like we cut corners, but just a bit of a compromise, and made reasonable margin on the job. :thumbsup:
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Post Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:42 pm

Re: How many options do you quote?

3 options is the ideal number.
One is cheap and nasty, one is way over the top, and the middle one is the one you wanted them to do all along.
It steers them along to the most sensible option, and it lessens the chance they will go somewhere else for another quote.

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