When the client won’t pay for a quote
Updated: Oct 28, 2021
So you have spoken to your client who wants you to price their build for them, and you have told them you would like to outsource the pricing and you’d like them to pay for it. I’m so proud, you have been listening to me telling you for years that pricing is never free!!!!
Now some guys love this conversation, they fully integrate it into their sales pitch, and it’s a non-negotiable. In fact, they tell me it makes them look more professional and it gives the client peace of mind that the job has been priced independently.
But some guys aren’t quite there yet….. If you are one of those guys, then this little reminder is for you!
Don’t Tell Them
I understand that I haven’t quite got to everyone yet with this little lecture, and there are still guys out there with ‘Free Quotes’ stickers on the sides of their van. (FYI – If I see you I may just bring out my little scraper!). If you are being compared to these fellows, and the conversation about getting the client to pay for the quote is just a step to far, then never fear. The answer is simple.
Just don’t tell them.
When I taught you about how to calculate your offsite overheads and incorporate those costs into your margin, part of those offsite overheads included QSing. You or me doing it I don’t care, but when you put your offsite overheads together, you absolutely needed to make sure there was a budget in there for you to price all the jobs you generally would win in a year. You then took this (along with the rest of your offsite overheads) and divided it amongst the jobs you knew you would win based on previous history.
So if you have done all of this… then the cost of pricing is already covered, no matter if you win the job or not. Make sense?
Just copy the big guys
Think about it – that’s how the big crowds do it. They have entire floors full of QS’s working on tenders and they may only win 20% of the jobs they price, so how do they afford it? Exactly the same way. But calculating the cost of pricing into their off-site overheads and therefore their margin.
So the next time you are eyeballing a client and you think they might head for the hills if you tell them you’d like them to pay for their pricing – (let’s be honest they will value the effort more if they do so it IS a good thing) – then be comfortable in the knowledge that if you have your offsite overheads calculation correct then the cost is covered ANYWAY.