After the trials and tribulations of 2020, many companies are keen to expand their sales efforts this year and make 2021 into a success. The tariffs and delays brought about by Brexit have made many manufacturing companies think twice about overseas supply chains, which means that 2021 will hopefully prove to be lucrative for UK subcontract suppliers.
Qimtek members have a distinct advantage in this area, thanks to the steady stream of live UK engineering enquiries they receive through our sourcing service. However, there's more to Qimtek membership than meets the eye, so here are five ways to make 2021 your best year with Qimtek yet:
Call - Don't Just Email!
As you know, we specify the buyer's preferred contact method on every enquiry and a majority of our buyers are happy to receive telephone calls from our members. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity, as telephone conversations can really help to build a relationship and form a lasting impression.
While an email provides a good point of reference for quotes and value-adds, they don't really give the buyer any insight into your company - or you as a person for that matter. A telephone conversation will help to reinforce the strength of your quote and give both you and the buyer a chance to ask any questions you/they may have. The result is that the buyer comes away with a clear understanding of your capabilities and services, safe in the knowledge that you fully understand the project in question and what is required.
We know that telephone conversations can sometimes seem a little daunting if your experience lies within engineering and not sales. That's why we've put together the following guide to help you structure and get the most out of your telephone conversations:
READ: Calling New Companies With Confidence
Follow Up On Your Quotes:
It's always a great idea to follow up any quotes you send - regardless of whether or not you found the buyer through Qimtek. It may be that the buyer needs a nudge in the right direction to place their business, or they may have further questions about your quote that they need answered before committing.
Even if you don't win the work, following up can provide you with valuable feedback that will help you in the future. It may be that your quote was too expensive, or it may be that the winning supplier was able to offer the buyer an additional service, or their setup was more suited to the job in question. Either way, following up on your quote presents you as a professional, organised company and will help to solidify you in the buyer's mind, meaning that they may contact you about additional jobs in future.
Following up can also help to give your business direction over time. For instance, say you offer predominantly milling services, but you've noticed that the winning quotes usually seem to come from companies who also have turning capacity, you may decide that a new lathe is a good investment. Or you may notice that a KAN-BAN system has helped to sway a number of buyers, in which case you may start to consider how feasible such a service is for your business.
READ: How To Write a Professional Engineering Quote
Focus On Value, Not Just Price:
Following on from the previous point, there is much more to a successful quote than just price alone. While price is always going to be a factor when it comes to a buyer's decision, value-adds will often pay dividends when it comes to winning new business and help to set you apart from the crowd.
This is why initial telephone conversations are so important, as they help you to identify potential areas of need within the buyer's business. If you have a solution that can help to alleviate those needs, then the buyer will start to see the value of working with you. You don't always have to compromise on price to start winning new business - you just need to make the buyer understand that they're getting much more for their money.
In addition, cheap quotes can often be off-putting to many purchasers, as a question mark starts forming above the areas of quality and reliability. It's actually very rare for the cheapest quote to win the work; a mid-range quote that comes complete with additional benefits is far more likely to be successful.
For more information on adding value to your quote, why not read our guide below?
READ: How To Add Value To Your Quote
Talk To Buyers About Additional Opportunities:
We include the buyer's annual spend on subcontract engineering services within many of our enquiries, in order to provide you with a clearer understanding of the amount of potential work on offer. Often the enquiries you see through Qimtek are just the tip of the iceberg, as many of our buyers outsource in excess of £100,000 worth of subcontract requirements per year.
Instead of focusing solely on the enquiry in front of you, you should talk to the buyer about the full scope of their subcontract requirements. This is especially - but not exclusively - true if you've just completed a job for a buyer. Working with a new supplier always comes with an element of trust and risk, meaning that many buyers will often place a smaller job with a member to test their quality and reliability, before going on to award bigger projects that are far more lucrative.
If a Qimtek enquiry isn't quite right for your capabilities, then there's no point in wasting time quoting for it. However, it's sometimes worth contacting the buyer anyway, in order to see if they are subbing anything else out that is better aligned with what you offer.
READ: The Number of Quotes it REALLY Takes To Win a New Customer
Utilise the Qimtek Team:
Here at Qimtek, supporting and guiding our supplier members is an absolute priority, meaning that we're always on hand to assist in any way we can. Your sales account manager is always available to assist with any account issues, as well as to help you with the sales process. Meanwhile, your sourcing account manager may be able to offer you insight into a particular buyer, as well as recommending you to those who are seeking aligning services.
The Qimtek team is only a phone call or an email away if you need additional support. We highly encourage our members to utilise our team wherever possible, as this helps to form a close working relationship between Qimtek, our members and our buyers.
We completely understand that many of our members wish to focus on their primary skill - engineering. This is why we want to offer our sales and sourcing expertise as much as possible, in order to ensure that our services are beneficial to everyone within our network. No matter what your query, we're here to assist you as much as we possibly can.
For more information, please call Qimtek on 01256 394 500, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.