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Thread: Quoting for tyrekickers

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Quoting for tyrekickers

    I have a frustration with doing quotes for the random inquiries. What is happening with paper prices is they are going up monthly as new stock is imported at new exchange rates. So for just about every quote we have to check whether we are still using a current price. Then when discussing the specifications you start getting requests for using 3 different papers and 5 different quantities. I just got a request for a quote on 200/300/500/1000/10000 folders. I just say the quoting programme can only handle 3 quantities choose 3, we have an option of quoting a runon price but 90% of the customers can not get the concept of this.

    What increases the frustration is the conversion rate with new customers is only 5% and when you follow up the "customer" say they have canned that printing.

    With the existing customers there is about an 80% conversion rate. So how do you guys qualify RFQ so that it is a worthwhile exercise. One thing I saw in an appliance shop is you pay a R75 quote fee which is taken off the final invoice. Would that work with printing.

    Thanks for "listening" I needed to vent.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Take a smaller ad in the Yellow Pages.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    What is a runon price?
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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duncan drennan View Post
    What is a runon price?
    This is the price to an extra quantity at the same time without a break, so it does not include all the startup costs plates startup paper etc. So when you get your next quote from a printer ask for the runon price to see if it is worthwhile getting more printed at the the same time.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    the conversion rate with new customers is only 5%
    Is that a norm in your industry Ian?

    I would say a 10% conversion is a general norm (anybody have a different number out there?) but yours could be quite cut-throat in which case its sort of ok... But yes those upfront questions and paper chase to get such a small percentage are frustrating.

    Your existing customer seems to be coming back - 80 % is probably not bad - so pricing does not appear to be the problem. Can you get a conversion edge with delivery / service / packaging etc

    In my experience upfront quote costs generally pushes people away - the potentials and tyrekickers. Then like Dave says you may as well get a smaller ad.

    Its a part of business that everyone battles with after a while. Your frustration may come through in your voice and manner and chase potentials away. You think you are be being wonderful and nice but they pick up the little nuances.
    Another answer to that is to get a new employee/admin salesperson/gopher/sweet voice sucker-inner and do a commission thing. If they are hungry they will up your 5% and pay for themselves in the process.
    Last edited by Marq; 15-Feb-09 at 11:29 AM. Reason: grammer
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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.
    Dave my yellow pages ad is the smallest one for which they let you put in a web address. Most of the enquiries come in from the website, and sometimes in the 5% there are the jewels.
    Marq I am not aware of the stats for my industry, my next thought is to implement a CRM system and do the tracking and a more thorough followup. I have a spare computer and was thinking of loading linux and Tiger CRM
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    How about defining a formula for your quoting and automating that online? The client fills in a form and you email the result. One way to build a list too
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    How about defining a formula for your quoting and automating that online?
    Dave,
    Vista Print has spent over $3 million on their website, www.vistaprint.com I don't have that type of resource. It is the backend of submitting and proofing online that is very tricky.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    WOW! That's serious start-to-end online service.

    To be honest, I was thinking of something just a little simpler...

    What are the basic questions you have to ask every time?
    Paper size?
    Paper weight?
    Single colour?
    Spot colour?
    Full colour?
    Quantity?

    I think Google has a form API that could take you quite a long way. There are bound to be others.

    Offer it as a "pricing guideline" service as opposed to a firm quote and from there people can get more specific if they are interested. At least it will automate out people who just have no clue as to what sort of money might be involved in a particular design-to-print-run project and are looking for a ballpark figure.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Dave
    Where would I find the API, I couldn't find it on google search?
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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