How Do You Float Your Quote?

Jim Luff
Posted on December 10, 2015

Whether you are responding to a formal RFP or a potential client calling to ask for prices, preparing a quote or a proposal must be done and delivered without wasting time.

What’s The Difference?
A quote is a brief response to a request for a specific type of service such as an airport transfer or an hourly charter. Clients know exactly what they want. You should quote them a price when they ask how much the specific service will cost.

A proposal is a response to a client that explains how you can help fulfill needs they’ve expressed to you. They would like solutions and costs. A proposal is often negotiated before receiving a final contract agreeing to the proposal. A proposal is your opportunity to present a dog and pony show. It also might be considered a bid when competing with others offering the same services.

Preparing A Simple Quote
Remember, quotes are not generally negotiable. The presentation of a quote can be as informal as writing the hours of service and price on the back of your business card or automatic quotes from available data in livery reservations systems.

The most important part of a quote is specifying the job hours and the price since that is the basis for charging in our industry. The more detailed a quote, the better, but it should never be more than a single page.

Preparing A Proposal
Here are the basics of a proposal:

  • Your company name and the client’s: This makes your company name standout when comparing to others.
  • Time period covered under the proposal: Define the dates of service or period of time. Don’t get locked into “forever” prices. 
  • Services you will provide: Vehicle types, amenities and chauffeurs, including adherence to any special needs and requirements of the client.
  • Photos: Since many proposals today are presented by email, the use of photos is easy to accomplish. Include photos of vehicle interiors and exteriors you plan to use.
  • Pricing: Include the price, how the price is based, any additional charges and how overtime charges will be calculated. Include a statement about whether gratuity is included or left to passenger discretion.
  • Deposit: If you require a deposit, state the amount and when it is due.
  • Options: Describe any optional service you might offer such as food and beverage or other amenities available for an additional fee.
  • Payment Terms: Describe payment methods such as credit cards accepted or how to establish an account. If you offer this, include a credit application in the proposal.
  • Cancellation Terms: Spell out deadlines for cancellation without a fee and your policy regarding refunds and charges on last-minute cancellations.
  • Client Acceptance Signature Line: An acceptance line with a date included is a formality that indicates a client’s intention to move forward. However, the document also could be called into litigation in the future if there is a disagreement. If you will not be signing a contract provided by the client, make sure you have an acceptance signature on your proposal.

Other Information to Include

  • Recruiting, Hiring and Training Information: How do you recruit new employees? What are the hiring qualifications? How do you train them? 
  • Other Services Offered: Never miss an opportunity to sell additional services. If you offer services such as meet and greets, valet parking, VIP service etc., make sure you include it.
  • Who’s Who: Include a list of all key contacts such as reservations manager, dispatch manager, affiliate manager and others so you are not the only contact.
  • Summary Statement: End your proposal with a summary statement of why you deserve this job. Make the client believe you are absolutely the best, most qualified and prepared company for the job.

Here’s A Sample Statement:
“We serve the largest corporations in the world, government agencies and Destination Management Companies (DMCs). 70% of our work is corporate with vehicles usually sitting in front of corporate offices or hotels or going to and from the private and public airports. Limousine Scene was recognized by LCT as “Operator of the Year.”

The award recognizes outstanding professionalism, efficiency, customer service and industry involvement. We possess city, state and federal permits. The principals of the firm have a combined 30-plus years in the limousine industry. We have a highly capable, experienced management team in place for the long term. Our discerning, upscale clients demand safety first, quality and exceptional value.”

Related Topics: building your clientele, business growth, business opportunities, client markets, Corporate RFPs, customer contracts, customer service, finance, How To, rates, service pricing, staying competitive

Jim Luff General Manager
Comments ( 1 )
  • anthony

     | about 5 years ago

    I looked at the charges for xyz, we dont use service fee %. That simply takes $$$ from our chauffeurs. I know plenty of companies are taking a % of the chauffeurs wages by deducting service fee or office charge. I completely disagree with that type of wages. 60% of your customers will come back to your business from the customer service they receive, of you notice that your not seing the new clients book another reservation this could be why they are not returning. Quality pay= quality workers

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