Why do people ask for estimates? Two reasons:

  1. They want to make sure they aren’t getting ripped off.
  2. They don’t want to get in over their heads.

Delivering an estimate is a relational moment that can mitigate fear. You want to deal with these two goals directly and use empathy in doing so.

That’s why delivering an estimate in person or over the phone is so important. It gives you and the potential client the opportunity to revisit their challenges, your recommended solutions, and the time and expertise required to make it all happen.

It also gives you the opportunity to discuss price. If your estimate comes in too high, there may be services they’d like to cut, or perhaps a phased approach would work better for their budget. If your price comes in higher than others, it’s your chance to explain why (more talent, better materials, stronger warranty, more reliability, etc.).

It’s also your best opportunity to gauge the sale. Observe their facial expressions and body language, listen to their concerns, and take note of how engaged they seem in the conversation. These cues will help you decide how much energy to put into following up after the discussion.

Our own experience shows our closing rates are significantly higher when we can present a proposal in person or video, slightly less over the phone, and significantly lower when emailed to a prospect. We know that occasionally the only option is emailing, but if at all possible, it’s worth the investment in time to share your estimates personally.