Getting out quotes fast is definitely a huge value-add for any fabrication business. But how fast is too fast?
We love that our quoting software, CounterGo, empowers you to create a quote in just three minutes. However, many countertop businesses like to take the information back to the office to make sure every detail is perfect.
In this article, we want to explore the ideal timeframe for countertop quoting. The answer isn’t one-size-fits-all, and it might be different in your own shop depending on the complexity of the job.
Quoting On the Spot
Many factors go into determining when to give your prospective customer their quote. One of the major benefits of CounterGo is the ability to create a quote in just three minutes.
If you’re used to doing quotes by hand, this hasn’t even been an option. The flexibility to quote on the spot is a major advantage, but even still, you may not want to take advantage of this on every job.
Impress the Potential Customer
Quoting on a big screen or tablet in person with the customer can impress them and get them excited for the sale. It definitely adds to your credibility as an industry leader, particularly when you compare it to other shops who quote solely by hand and take upwards of a week to get back to the customer.
Another benefit of quoting right then and there is you get all the answers to your questions. That cuts down on back and forth, and it also gives you the opportunity to seal the deal before the client even leaves that day. That’s powerful.
One CounterGo user explains they have a dual-screen set up in their showroom. They typically give a prospective customer a quote in about 10 minutes. That’s a fairly standard practice for a lot of the shops that utilize Moraware’s software solutions.
“We can provide quotes to our customers within minutes” and “Quotes have become less tedious” are common reviews of CounterGo.
Get It Out of the Way
Another benefit of doing a quote on the spot is simply getting it out of the way! You don’t have additional work waiting for you at the end of the day – it’s done.
While more complex jobs might benefit from some extra time, many shops will do a quick quote if the customer wants a common material such as a Level 1 granite.
If it’s an everyday material you keep in-stock, there’s less risk in rushing a quote, and you also benefit from the credibility factor, the ability to answer questions on the spot, and no work hanging out for you at the end of a long day.
Add a Pricing Disclaimer
If you do an on-the-spot quote, it’s probably a good idea to include some pricing disclaimers. Something generic works fine, such as, “This quote is an estimate and is subject to change after templating.”
Let your client know you’ll call them after the template to discuss any changes in the price.
Delivering the Quote in 24-48 Hours
Taking a day or two to get the quote out gives you time to make sure it’s accurate and professional. In fact, some customers will prefer that you take a little extra time on the quote in exchange for a better estimate – not an estimate that could change once you actually fine-tune the details.
One fabricator explained she doesn’t like a customer standing there watching her put together a quote that she’s not completely comfortable with. That’s entirely understandable!
More Complex, More Time
A good rule of thumb is the more complex a project, the more time you should allocate for quoting.
For example, if you’re dealing with:
- Special order materials
- Expensive materials
- Large spaces
- Lots of miters
- Custom finishes
… you should spend more time on the estimate. Even an extra day should give you enough time to make sure your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed.
Plus, you’re not rushing a quote that could end up way off, which will put a bad taste in the mouth of your customer when you have to raise the price. For example, a simple Google search brings up a distraught customer’s question: “My contractor is charging way more than what he estimated. What should I do?”
Don’t put yourself in that situation – expectations are meaningful, so if you need a little extra time to get it right, take it!
That said, we recommend never taking more than 48 hours for a quote. The beauty of CounterGo is being able to quote fast, and when you take too much time, you’re giving the competition an edge they shouldn’t have.
Higher-End Jobs Don’t Require Immediate Quotes
Customers with high-end jobs don’t expect immediate quotes.
The higher-end you get, the less important it is to have on-the-spot quotes. Complex jobs require more time to get right, including:
- Several rounds of back-and-forth with the designers
- All of the little details that need consideration like slab counts and slab walls
- Several drawings until it’s perfect
These kinds of jobs require in-depth thought, and the more time you spend working on the design, the more money you can find in the project in the form of upgrades and details you might have overlooked by moving too quickly.
Don’t Miss a Thing
Finally, giving yourself an extra day to do the quote ensures you won’t miss anything. Quoting while a customer is watching your every move can be a bit awkward, and you’re more likely to miss something in an attempt to finish it as fast as you can.
Using CounterGo allows you to draw it out, add cutouts, and place the splash and sink. Doing the quote on the spot is a definite advantage, but the software still saves you hours of time, and it offers additional benefits, including:
- Tracking the order
- Adding slab images
- Doing business remotely
- Emailing the quote (and being notified when the customer opens it)
- So much more!
In reality, most customers understand – and may even appreciate – that creating a quote is a big deal and takes a little time to put together. Plus, you can even offer several variations on your quote, such as different colors or an optional island. That might take you 10-15 minutes to do, which is still lightning fast. It’s much better to do it on your own time rather than in front of the customer.
Use CounterGo to Speed Up Quoting
Whether the job can be quoted on the spot or you need a day to make sure everything is perfect, nothing will get the job done faster than CounterGo.
CounterGo saves you time and money. It’s that simple. Don’t take our word for it, though.
Kristian Tharaldson, Operations Manager at Great Northern Granite in Minnesota, explains:
“My boss and I used to sit in his office and bid everything by hand. We’d always have our calculators, rulers, and blueprints out, and we could usually crank out 5-10 bids per day.
When we switched to Moraware, we always had about 120 active bids going at a time. That’s when everything changed. I was the ninth person hired, and now we fluctuate between 37-42 employees between two locations.”
The timing of a quote isn’t cut-and-dry. How quickly you should quote a job just depends!
If it’s a simple, predictable job, take advantage of CounterGo’s ability to pump out a quote in three minutes or less. If it’s a more complex (or expensive) job, take an extra day or two to fine-tune the details.
Whether your clients get a quote when they’re still in the showroom or they have a wait a day, they’ll still be equally impressed by the professionalism of your drawing and estimate when you use CounterGo.