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Elevating your Estimate
 

Elevating your Estimate

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Every estimate is an opportunity for you to shine. You’ve heard the phrase that sales is a numbers game—well, we think it’s much more than that. Sales is serious business. When a customer asks ...

Every estimate is an opportunity for you to shine. You’ve heard the phrase that sales is a numbers game—well, we think it’s much more than that. Sales is serious business. When a customer asks you for an estimate, put your best foot forward, showcase your professionalism and you will win more business. Here are some simple ideas for differentiating yourself and your company during the estimating process.

Brought to you by Mohawk MakeReady, this presentation can be used by your printing business for internal training initiatives or customer presentations.

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  • Every estimate is an opportunity for you to shine. You’ve heard the phrase that sales is a numbers game—well, we think it’s much more than that. Sales is serious business. When a customer asks you for an estimate, put your best foot forward, showcase your professionalism and you will win more business. Here are some simple ideas for differentiating yourself and your company during the estimating process. Brought to you by Mohawk MakeReady, this presentation can be used by your printing business for internal training initiatives or customer presentations.
  • The first step is to treat every estimate as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for you to show your client or prospect why they should be working with you instead of your competitor. It’s an opportunity for you to do something unique, unexpected and stand out from the pack. MakeReady Tip: Be sure to check out “The Secret is You” on our site for unique sales approaches to help you win more business. Visit. www.mohawkmakeready.com/2011/09/09/the-secret-is-you/
  • We know the drill… review the customer specifications; check with scheduling to see if the project is “doable”. You receive the price by email, and just forward the email to your customer. Is this any way to differentiate yourself from your competition? Does this make you stand out in any way? Show that you can add value to their project? Without a doubt—NO! But we can help. Here are some simple tips on how to win those jobs you really want.
  • It’s hard in an email to convey your personality or show the “value added” that you bring. You need to ask yourself if an email really does the project justice. We’d guess that most of the time an email will sell you short. There are certainly times that an email is the only way to get the estimate to the client in time. But don’t leave the story of why you want the project (or what you bring to the project) unfinished. Follow-up with more…more content, more information, more proof.
  • There are two ways to stand out, or to differentiate your estimate. Let’s look at what’s “outside” the quote—and what’s “inside” the quote. Outside the quote refers to the specific things you can do to make your quote visually stand out. What calls attention to it. What makes it appear professional and polished. Inside the quote refers to all of the elements within the package itself—all of the added value content.
  • In the printing business, size is everything. We all know that a 1/32” can make (or break) a job . Have you given options on your estimate? If your customer has extra space on the sheet, have you included an imposition drawing to show the area that will be blank? If your customer could put a postcard on the sheet for no additional cost, would you be bringing additional value to the project? Yes, you would! If making a piece 1/32” smaller meant they could fit double the amount on the sheet, would it benefit the customer’s bottom line? Have you told them? Let’s hope so. Again, it’s just about showing you care about the job and are willing to go the extra mile.
  • Paper merchants and mills like Mohawk make paper dummies all day. There are teams of people who help to make sure the project will work correctly. (of course, we love paper!) Will the project fit in the envelope? Does the pagination line up across the spreads? How heavy will the catalog be? These are all important questions. Always show a dummy to your customer; it shows you’ve done your homework. As a bonus, attach a copy of the USPS Business approval to your estimate.
  • On larger projects, a written schedule can be very powerful. It can help to educate the client about all the steps that go into a production of a project. Proposed schedule could include the following line items: Files to printer Proof to client Paper sample to client Die-line to client Postal Business Unit approval Postage check to printer Bindery approval Samples to client Delivery to mail-house Mail drop
  • Start a program for your customer. Track all of the “environmental” paper projects. Using the Mohawk calculator, figure out what the savings are, how many trees we preserved, how much water borne waste was not created, pounds of solid waste not generated, amount of BTU’s not consumed—it’s easy and fast to gather this important environmental information. Provide a quarterly report, then at the year end you can make a certificate and present it at your year end review. Customers are amazed that you have gathered this information and gone out of your way to make a certificate. If you haven’t yet met the Sustainability Officer for the company, ask to present this to them. Mohawk MakeReady Tip: Even doing something small and slightly out of your way will mean a lot to your customer. It shows you care.
  • Another way to stand out is to include a cover letter. The letter does not always need to be typed. Let the style of your letter fit the style of the project. Mohawk MakeReady Tip: A handwritten note on a card made of Strathmore Script, smooth, 130 dtc, leaves a luxurious impression.
  • Color offers an instantaneous method for conveying meaning and message. It’s arguably the most powerful non-verbal form of communication you can use. Our minds are programmed to respond to color. The subliminal messages we get from color shape our thoughts. It’s important for us as printers to use color appropriately to support our company’s or client’s brand. An easy way to add color to your estimate presentation is by using a colored envelope. Mohawk MakeReady Tip: Mohawk offers thousands of envelopes stocked in warehouses all over the US, Canada and Europe. We especially like the 9.5 booklet in Mohawk Britehue--whether you choose Red, Green, Yellow, or Orange, your estimate will stand out. Only need 50 envelopes? Click to www.mohawkpaperstore.com and get them delivered overnight in the US and Canada!
  • Don’t forget, YOU are truly what makes the difference. Even if you don’t get this job, you’ve made an impact, you’ve made a statement. You’ve shown the client you are serious about wanting their business.
  • Lastly, be available. Are you one of those people who screens your calls? Do you not answer the phone on Friday afternoons? Do you forget to call people back? If you have answered yes to any of these, you might want to reconsider your approach. Freshen up your style, be more flexible. Go beyond what is asked of you. Do more than the competition. Don’t forget to check in with Mohawk MakeReady regularly! You can never have too much information to learn, grow, expand your reach….. all good things… all to lead to a better outcome, both for you and our industry.
  • Digital printing is changing…and fast. That’s why we created Mohawk MakeReady. A go-to place for guidance, insights and tools to keep you prepared for what’s next. There’s a reason we named this service MakeReady … a little irony, too. Taking a familiar industry term in a new direction, Mohawk MakeReady offers ways for you to make more efficient use of your time, material, people and entrepreneurial energy. To grow your digital printing business, you need to be prepared — with actionable information and tools — so your team can implement best business practices, craft effective sales strategies, and create opportunities to use and promote new high-value products. That’s what you’ll find here: an ever-expanding site , rich with content built on the experiences of digital printers like you. As a leading manufacturer of digital substrates, Mohawk brings you practical wisdom gained from our experience in sales, marketing, production, and operations. With how-to articles on marketing your business, videos on topics like precision sheeting, and PowerPoint presentations showcasing how to identify sales opportunities. All strategies you can put to work today. Talk to us. Let us know what’s on your mind. Mohawk MakeReady. Dedicated to making you ready for the exciting future ahead.

Elevating your Estimate Elevating your Estimate Presentation Transcript

  • Tips for standing-out from the crowd November 2011
  • Differentiate Yourself: Turn every estimate into an opportunity.
  • The Written Quotation: Your written quotation or estimate is the “bid” for the project. We all know not all projects are created equal. In some cases, we know we will not “win” the project based on historical data. And sometimes you just don’t really want the project. But in the case of a project that you really want to win, try these simple techniques.
  • More than just an EMAIL Have you told your story completely in an email? Does an email do the project justice?
  • Have you positioned yourself to be awarded this project? The estimate checklist:
  • Calculate everything: Can you bring additional value to the job?
  • Make a paper dummy Order a dummy, it is an easy way to show that you know the project. Weigh it, measure it, and if the piece needs to mail – go to the US Postal Service Business Center and make sure it meets postal standards.
  • Written Schedule If you want the work, sometimes your schedule must be more aggressive than your competition. At times, speed of the project is much more important than the price.
  • Even if they don’t ask, show them Mohawk’s environmental calculator is a great way to demonstrate tangible sustainability savings. You can download it by clicking: Mohawk Environmental Calculator
  • Your cover letter Buyers are looking for four things: Price, Schedule, Quality and Service. Offer as many of the four as possible, (although we all know that price and schedule usually inversely effect each other). Tell the buyer why you should be awarded the project. Be clear, concise, and to the point.
  • Use Color: It can be a incredibly simple and powerful tool
  • Present the estimate in person whenever possible Sell the value YOU bring to the project.
  • Are you easy to work with? Both convenience and friendliness go far
  • Mohawk MakeReady provides practical tools and actionable information for digital printers like you. We can help… Visit: www.MohawkMakeReady.com to browse content, request a meeting, or join the community.