Rule 1: A quote or proposal must never have any surprises in it. Not price, not options, not anything. EVERYTHING in the proposal must have been discussed and agreed upon before you send it. Hence the reason for a having a face to face meeting before you spend any time on a proposal. If, for whatever reason, you have only had a telephone discussion, then make sure you ask all the questions in step 3 of the 7 classical steps (see Richard Denny – Selling to win). Your proposal is merely a confirmation of your discussion.
Rule 2: If you are sitting with multiple Opportunities in the “proposal submitted” stage, then you did not read rule 1
Tip 1: So if a client insist on “just send me a few options please”. You MUST resist falling into that trap…you will simply digress to Rule 2. You have to insist that you cannot send a proposal without understanding all the aspects of the clients situation, demands, budget, office layout, expectations, decision makers, etc. Simply tell the client that we have a large base of satisfied clients, and it is ONLY because we make a lot of effort in the pre-sale cycle to ensure the right machine for the right job is selected.