Use the psychology of decision-making to improve your quotes.
Running a small business, especially in the tradie field, means creating a lot of quotes that people may or may not accept. It helps to understand that people often struggle with decisions about how to spend money, and their choices are not always rational.
Behavioural science can explain many aspects of human behaviour and the reasons behind the choices we make. Here’s some insights you can apply to make your quotes more appealing:
How you frame choices makes a difference
Remember that your quote is more than a list of costs—it’s a call to action. You need to make it easy and desirable for people to make a decision, and to choose you.
The language you use could make all the difference. People hate the idea of missing out: it’s called loss aversion. Evoking a sense of scarcity or urgency might make people accept a quote more readily. Time is a precious commodity.
Can you only fit in a few more jobs this week? Can you only guarantee a certain finish date if they lock you in today? If these factors are important to the client, use the personalised notes feature in the Bridge app to remind them they don’t want to miss out.
The best price is also about perception
Behavioural economics research has shown that people don’t just choose the best price. People might spend more because it demonstrates prestige, and often avoid the lowest price because they perceive it indicates lower quality.
Your quote is an opportunity to shape your customer perceptions, beyond the price. If you want to recommend materials that may be more expensive, use the description for each material/service to convey its value—e.g., superior strength, high quality, premium grade.
Using the word ‘free’ is also a great way to delight your customer. If there’s something you can provide as a free extra, list it on the quote at the very end; ending an experience on a high sticks in people’s memories.
People value social norms
Consultant Bri Williams—a CPA with a degree in Applied Psychology—specialises in helping people and businesses to apply behavioural economics. Williams says herding is a behavioural principle that recognises that, when in doubt, we tend to follow the pack.
“If they haven’t spent with you yet, show who has,” she suggests. When you quote, it’s the perfect opportunity to reinforce the idea that you are a popular and trusted choice.
That’s why being able to add photos from previous successful jobs is a great feature of Bridge. Use the job description field to explain how past clients have achieved their desired result by choosing you, or to emphasise the most popular choices in finishes/materials.
Streamlining payment makes people happier
Behavioural science tells us that experiences feel longer when there’s many steps involved. Using an app like Bridge makes it easy to access, read and accept a quote, and will allow you to improve customer experience.
Enabling people to pay by credit card could also improve sales. A study on people’s willingness to pay—comparing cash to credit card—found people using credit cards were prepared to pay almost twice the amount. Why? It’s painful to outlay money.
In fact, research has found the pain processing regions of a person’s brain actually light up when they anticipate paying with cash. Being able to pay immediately by credit card makes the pain less obvious than it would be if they had to hand over cash or log in to their online banking.
Be helpful and honest for best results
Insights from behavioural science can help you influence customer’s decision-making when you quote—but always do it in the spirit of being honest and helpful to avoid deterring people. The goal is to make your customers feel more confident in their choice to accept your quote.
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