Peter Krišťák, 25.06.2019

Price proposal: Send or present?

Your price proposal document is finally complete. So now just print, sign, send, and wait. Right? 

Although this is what a potential client asked you to do, your goal is not to produce an elaborate document and send it to her. Your goal is to convince the client that you are the most suitable business partner and to make a deal at the best possible price. And that’s a completely different task.

We are all social beings and often (a bit) irrational. We like interacting with other and we like when somebody makes us fascinated - entertains us, praises us, surprises us, and makes us curious about what’s happening next. These reactions take place at a subconscious level - we don’t usually realise them. The result is that we feel affection or sympathy for someone, and look for rational reasons to justify these feelings.

And we (almost without exception) are all naturally lazy. Unless we are clearly motivated, we don’t waste extra effort and prefer “short cuts”. A great example is that price proposals are rarely studied in detail. The introduction is skipped or, in the best case, scanned through, and the only part that’s read more carefully is the last pages with the price and commercial details. 

Knowing this, just sending an elaborate price proposal document to the client is not only a waste of time spent on wrong-preparation, but mainly a missed opportunity to personally fascinate the potential client. You will do much better if you invest your energy and time in a personal meeting, for which you prepare in detail. Meeting in person also eliminates the risk that your value proposition will be misunderstood, as you can personally justify and explain both the value and the price proposed to the client. You can also observe the client’s 1st-reaction non-verbal feedback and, for example, if the price is simply too high, you can adjust your price proposal on the spot.

Even if a potential client urges you to send a quote in advance, do your best to arrange a personal meeting and presentation. If the client insists, send only some minimum that does not disqualify you from a personal presentation, where you provide the rest and try to you’re your potential clients fascinated.

Peter Krišťák

Author is partner and founder of Pricewise

He specialises in pricing and revenue management

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