Website estimate to get a "yes" for all the quotes you send to your prospects? It's possible, you could say! In fact, today, I'm going to talk to you about a few tips that will help you get a yes as often as possible. But before we do that, let's see how a yes answer requires some thought.
Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects, even if it's only when you're signing the estimate. You will then understand why this YES is very important!
In fact, saying "yes" to someone is a real commitment. It means you trust them. But before you trust someone, it's clear that you have to take your time!
So let's get down to business: since the prospect relies on the quote to make his choice, it's obvious that we take care of it. So what are the steps involved in creating an estimate?
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- Preliminary Zoom discussion (never without 1st real contact)
- Talk budget as soon as possible - propose 3 "complete" packages
- Home page to explain its difference, positioning
- Chronology of the project
- Attach customer specifications or create them
- The process
- Presentation video
- Reference No.
- Date + Validity date
- Method of payment
- General terms and conditions
- Penalty rate
- Estimated time of completion
- Electronic signature (Pandadoc, Pipedrive, DocuSign)
Anything missing? Do you have a specific question?
1. Quotation: Prior discussion Zoom (never without 1st real contact)
I've never been able to identify a prospect without talking to him first, in person. That's why, above all else, I prefer to discuss Zoom. I take advantage of this opportunity to ask as many questions as possible about the project. This is the only way I can include a cost estimate in the quotation.
A face-to-face discussion (although virtual) is always better than an email discussion. The latter requires more time, not to mention the risk of misunderstandings.
2. Quotation: Talk budget as soon as possible - propose 3 "complete" packages
Even before the discussion goes any further, and especially before starting anything in the project, do not be embarrassed to talk about budget. On the contrary, the sooner you talk about it, the sooner you will have peace of mind.
And even if you don't bring it up, maybe your prospect will. In that case, don't be too rigid. Be flexible, and offer different packages (basic, premium and pro; you can call them what you want, but the principle is that you have to give your customers a choice). This attitude will earn you points with your client.
It is then more likely that he will accept one of these 3 formulas (maybe he doesn't have the budget for the pro, but he has some for the basic formula, who knows).
3. Quotation: Home page to explain its difference, positioning
As a webdesigner, you owe it to yourself to take care of the presentation of your quote. This is the very basis of our business. So, even if we are not on Webflow, when designing a website, you have to consider this part: the design.
So from now on, I'm asking you to stop sending quotes to your clients in their raw form. A personalization will not hurt, especially since it will be an opportunity for the prospect to see your creativity, your taste...
That's why the quote should contain a home page in which you put a presentation of you, your company... in short, everything the client needs to know. Something that could convince him, that will give him more confidence in you, that proves your professionalism.
4. Estimate: Project Timeline
In other words, the project planning is already in the quotation. Try to be as precise as possible, i.e., include the start and end dates of projects and sub-projects in the estimate. Of course, you can't be precise, but I'm talking more specifically about the estimate.
Thus the prospect can have a global vision of the project. Now suppose he agrees. While you are working on the project, he already has a clear idea of how the project is progressing. This makes it easy for both you and the customer to monitor and supervise the project.
On your side, you will see what has been agreed in the quote from the beginning, thus protecting you from possible scams. It also happens that clients ask for additional changes during the course of the project, most of which are not included in the list of things you agreed to do for their project.
If it is, you have to judge whether it is a small change or a more radical change. Usually if it is radical, you have to agree on a new additional quote. If it is minor you can join without any additional cost.
5. Quotation: Attach the customer's specifications or create one.
Client specifications are usually written before the creation of a quote. This is normal, because you won't be able to draw up any estimate without these specifications. As it contains all the details about the project, you will be able to draw up the estimate properly.
I also agree with the previous idea that the presence of these specifications protects you from possible changes (not concluded in the contract) in the future. If it requires you to do additional work, additional costs obviously apply.
6. Quotation: The process
Your prospect may not be aware of how you operate. This is why it is important to include your process in the quote. It's best to be clear from the beginning.
For example, don't let clients think that you create your sites via WordPress, but rather via Webflow (if that's the case, of course).
7. Quotation: Presentation video
How do I insert a video in a quote? Do you wonder? It's simple, just save it on Loom, and all you have to do is copy the link in the video. One thing is sure, for each client, different videos. This gives a more original effect to your quote. Shall I tell you a secret? There aren't many people who do this at the moment, they just send a "normal" quote to their prospects. There is no chance that the quote will stand out from those of others, in this case.
You can talk about different kinds of things in this video, as long as the subject is related to the prospect's project. Also take the opportunity to explain some things that might not be clear in the quote. For example, why you put this or that price.
8. Quotation: Reference No.
It's true that the reference number is not mandatory, but I still advise you to do it, especially if you create your quotes manually. For your information, I would like you to know that this is not the case for the invoice; a reference number is mandatory for each one.
For both the quote and the invoice, writing a reference number will help you organize yourself administratively. If you ever need to look up a quote related to an invoice, just use these numbers as a guide.
Tip if you start, add a first number like '00265' it will show your future customer that you are not at your first try. No question of hiding the truth, but this little detail will reassure your client.
Here are a few tips to help you write these numbers the right way:
- For each quotation, you need a unique number.
- A certain logic must be followed in setting the numbers; the numbers must be chronological
- Don't forget the prefixes; they're different from those on the invoices.
If the quotation is not accepted, do not delete it; it will always serve as a reference. For at least 3 years, therefore, you should not delete any of these documents.
9. Quotation: Date + Validity date
When creating your quote, never forget to mention the date. Like reference numbers, it also helps you to refer to it. Then comes the date of validity of the quote. Of course, you will understand that this document does not last forever. In general, it is usually around 30 days, but nothing prevents you from setting it as you see fit (as long as it is reasonable and proportional to the work required).
In the meantime, you give your prospect time to think about your offer. The decision to sign a quotation is not something you make on a whim. What if the client decides to sign it after the deadline has passed? Avoid modifying the existing quote at all costs. It makes more sense to create a new one.
10. Quotation: Method of payment
What kind of settlement are you used to? Don't hesitate to include it in your quotation, so that your prospect is already getting ready. He will also see whether or not this method of payment suits him too. If not, it is better to discuss it now, and not at the end of the service or when the invoice is issued.
This is my way:
- 50% deposit at signature (yes 50%, forget the 30%)
- 25% on day number "XX" (e.g. working day 20)
- 25% which represents the balance, "before" the Website is put online.
11. Quotation: General terms and conditions
Attaching the general terms and conditions to the quotation is mandatory. It is preferable to do so to protect you, from a legal point of view.
Even if the customer signs the quotation, this does not mean that he agrees with the general terms and conditions. This is why I advise you to add it at the end of the quotation and to put a special mention on the quotation indicating that signing the quotation means acceptance, understanding and reading of the attached GTC. Obviously, this will encourage him to read them.
In case you don't include your terms and conditions in the quote, do you know what will happen? Your prospect may ask you to provide him/her with the terms and conditions. So you don't waste time, so you don't waste anything by including it in the quotation from the start! It also makes a professional impression on you.
12. Quote: Penalty Rate
Again, putting a penalty rate on the estimate protects you. It encourages your clients to meet deadlines. You are free to set your own rate, but you must make sure that it remains acceptable.
Also, the penalty rate alone is not enough. The way in which these penalties are to be applied must also be included, so as to make things even easier if the worst comes to the worst. Do you know that? You risk being punished by law if you don't mention this penalty rate in the estimate.
13. Quotation: Estimated time of completion
Humans have an irrepressible need to be able to situate themselves in time, and this desire even manifests itself in the creation of estimates. As proof, I spoke to you earlier about the advantages of including the validity date of the estimate and the chronology of the project. Here again, I'm going to talk to you about "deadline".
In the same way as the previous steps (insert the date of validity of the estimate and the chronology of the project), the fact of specifying the estimated time of completion is highly appreciated by the customer. He will have an idea of the date on which he will receive the project.
I would like to make it clear, however, that this time frame must be provisional and indicative. As far as possible, therefore, take a margin, so as not to disappoint your client.
14. Quotation: Electronic signature (Pandadoc, Pipedrive, DocuSign)
We are almost at the last stage of the quotation creation process; all that remains is to have the customer sign the quotation. Indeed, once signed, it will not be a simple quotation; it becomes a contract. But in order for it to be truly binding on both parties, the customer is not the only one who has to sign it. You too will have to sign it.
The rub (for those who have never worked online before) is: how do you get a client across town (or across the world) to sign this quote? Unless you send it by mail, it certainly seems impossible. But it is quite possible! Just use one of the best tools such as: Pandadoc, PipeDrive, Docusign...
Personally, I use Pandadoc. Paying, but very effective for my taste.
Moreover, signing the quotation is equivalent to: acceptance of what is written in it (this is valid even for you). You are then deprived of any subsequent right of recourse to change the rates applied.
15. Quote: Re-launch
Now you've sent the quote; you've been waiting for a response for maybe a week or more. You're wondering whether or not you should call again? You can imagine that I'm going to say we need a follow-up, hence this paragraph. You just have to know how to do it.
The first thing to do is to call him on the phone. He won't necessarily answer, though. A call between 3 to 5 times within a week would already be enough. Also use your business number (at the personal limit), but never mask it. Otherwise you simply won't have a chance.
Take your courage in both hands, sometimes reminders can last for months. I therefore invite you to keep in touch with him on a regular basis and you should not be embarrassed to do so. However, you will have to observe whether this client is really worth it because there is no question of wasting your time.
Now that he's answered the call, what kind of tone should I use? That is the question. An energetic and reassuring tone. In terms of the topic of discussion, for example, can you ask him if he has any questions about the estimate? And then suggest a meeting to get the signed estimate back. These same topics can be discussed for a follow-up e-mail (maybe you don't like the idea of talking on the phone, or you can't reach him).
Anyway, raising a prospect makes you a serious person. You then seem proactive (which is the case, because youwould never have called otherwise). You will automatically score points with the client ;)
How to win a YES: additional tips
First of all, you can't just sit back! If you want to achieve a result, you obviously have to take matters into your own hands. Instead of waiting for your client's final decision, go into conditional mode. What's the conditional mode? You have to ask yourself a question like , "what if we did this?", "how about...?", "isn't it a good idea to...?"
By asking all these questions, you are helping him to open his mind; you are also speeding things up. Maybe he'll say yes a little faster, who knows? At least you've tried!
Put all the odds in your favor
You don't have to tell him you're good at anything. If he asks you for a quote, it's probably because he's already sure (or almost sure) of your skills. And if you ever do that (repeat that you have this or that skill), he'll soon get bored.
Instead, give your words strength. To do this, put enthusiasm in what you say. Show him that you are ready to give him real added value.
Pending the client's verdict, it's normal to be stressed. However, don't show him that you're freaking out so much! During interviews or reminders and above all, be very calm.
Moreover, keep in mind that if you are there to talk to him, it is because he has surely found in you a potential that he needs to develop his business; you also know better than him the field in which you intervene.
One very important thing and it's to thank you for reading so far, it is proven that a customer adheres or not according to these 3 elements only:
1. Confidence: He needs to feel that he is in good hands
2. Likeness: He needs to feel that there is a connection between you and him
3. 3.Feeling: It has to feel like it's going to work.
Getting a yes is not necessarily easy. As the article says, there's a lot of work behind it. There are 15 steps and points to consider when preparing an estimate alone. And if ever one or more of your prospects say no at the beginning, don't get discouraged ;) Instead, show that you are a proactive, determined and enthusiastic person!