How to write a professional quote: 4 proven means to stand out
Is it possible to sell without writing a business quote? Yes and no. When is it a yes? This happens when you can close the deal because the prospect is only interested in your product or service. They don’t care about the price; they want you and nobody else. But admit it — it’s quite a rare occasion.
When is it a no? When you are competing with other companies that are also eagerly offering their methods to address the client ’s pain. In this case, the quote is a must, so you need to be on the ball. The quicker you respond to their request, the higher your chances to bring the deal to the finish line.
How do you write a professional quote which will beat everyone else? How do you optimize the entire process of creation without losing quality? What is the difference between a quote and proposal? Keep reading, and you’ll learn the answers to these questions and more.
What is a business quote?
First of all, let’s do a small vocabulary lesson. A business quote (or quotation) is a document in which you describe the requested good or service and provide your customer with relevant pricing. In most cases, its written as a response to an RFP, when a third-party company solicits your service or product.
A quote is often confused with a proposal or an estimate. These three documents can indeed be used for the same purposes, but they still have differences that we’d like to discuss.
The difference between a quote and a proposal
Both quotes and proposals are used to offer goods or services to your prospect. A quote is used when the client doesn’t care about HOW you or your product will help their company. It answers only the questions “WHAT?”, “WHEN,” and “HOW MUCH?”. A proposal is a more detailed document which should address the “HOW” question. You’ll need to demonstrate a full understanding of the prospect’s existing problem and offer a specific solution.
The difference between a quote and an estimate
A quote and an estimate share the same objective but take different forms. When writing a business quote, you should stick to a formal tone and provide the client with an exact price. A quote can be used as a legal position for the price and serves as a contract.
An estimate speaks for itself. Here you should make a guess and name the approximate price of the product. It’s not meant to serve as a legal document and resembles an informal letter.
Want to know how to create a quote for business operating in a specific niche? We recommend this extensive library of business quote templates — you’ll find several examples of quotes created for various markets (including sales, website development, building, and design).
4 tips to create a compelling quote
Let’s make the creation process creative. It’s not enough to know how to prepare a quotation for business; you should also know how to turn your prospects into customers. There are four fruitful tips to improve your quote writing.
1. Adhere to the proper structure
This step doesn’t require that much creativity, but you need structure to make your document easier to read. There is a standard layout for quotes which looks a little like this:
- Quotation header — Mention your company’s name, contacts, tax registration number, quotation number and date, payment terms, and the name of the recipient. You should write the word “Quote” or “Quotation” at the top of the page.
- Quotation body — Describe the proposed goods or services and provide pricing information.
- Quotation footer — Include the total amount of all items, tax amount, and validity of the quote. Offer a call-to-action such as their signature.
If you want to see examples of the structure, check out the templates by following the link above.
2. Visualize the project
No matter how hard you try, words may be not sufficient to describe your product. This is especially true if it is a novelty and has some unique features uncommon for the market. In this case, consider including a few pictures or videos of your product.
If your company provides clients with specific services, you can also visualize them by including videos, photos, and graphs that best reflect both process and result. Not many companies do this, so you will stand out from the crowd.
3. Use Quote-to-Cash software
We’ve already defined what a quote is, but what is quote-to-cash? In a nutshell, not only can the client sign and accept the quote, but they can also pay immediately upon signing. This process is a fast and convenient way to land a new contract and customer. Of course, its impossible to pay for a hand-written document received via mail, so quoting software will help you achieve quote-to-cash functionality.
We prepared a video for you to learn how you can boost your quote-to-cash efficiency.
4. Build a template with a strong brand identity
If you frequently deal with quotes and other documents, you’ll want to create several templates for the most common documents you handle daily. It is important to note that your template should be unique and demonstrate your brand identity.
So how to make these documents look styled in a short amount of time? Template design may take hours or even days of time-consuming work if you decide to make it from scratch. Quoting software comes to the rescue. Here you can choose a readymade template and fully customize it according to your needs and the needs of your customer.
Check out these quote software examples such as PandaDoc, QuoteWerks, Zuora, etc.
PandaDoc outperforms the competition. We offer 15+ CRM integrations, advanced document analytics and performance metrics, numerous templates for creating a quote for a client, and a plethora of other features. Think we’re exaggerating?