How to Write a Professional Engineering Quote

Sarah is a sales & marketing content writer, with ten years of experience within the engineering & manufacturing industry.  Working both at Qimtek and on a freelance basis, she can usually be found hammering away at a keyboard or with her head in a pile of engineering drawings. 

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Congratulations! You’ve been invited to quote for a new project! Whilst you may have felt that getting to this stage in the sales process has been difficult (though a lot easier if you’re a Qimtek member!), it’s important to bear in mind that you haven’t won the business just yet. There are still a few more hurdles to overcome if you’re going to impress the buyer enough to win their repeat business, meaning that it’s important not to drop the ball and become complacent at this late stage.

When dealing with a new manufacturing buyer, it doesn’t matter how good your services, quality and lead times are, as you are still an unknown entity to them. That’s why it’s crucial that your quote is laid out professionally, with a clear breakdown of what is and isn’t included. That being said, here are some dos and don’ts to bear in mind when compiling your quote:

DO – Let the Buyer Know Who You Are:

It may sound obvious, but this point is often overlooked. Your quote should always include your name, company name, address, email and contact number (bonus points for adding in your company logo as well!). Not only does this give you credibility, but it also portrays to the buyer that you’re easy to communicate with – a valuable trait that many purchasers desire from their subcontract engineering vendors. After all, there’s nothing worse than being left in the lurch when a delivery fails to turn up on time!

Ideally, your contact details should be clearly set out at the top of your quotation, so that the buyer can get in touch if they have any queries or if they need more information from you. If you want your quoting process to be hassle-free, why not download our free quote template at the bottom of this article?

DON’T – Send Over a Price Alone:

Let’s face it – a price doesn’t really mean anything if the buyer doesn’t know what’s included. Does your quote include or exclude material costs? Are delivery charges extra? It can never hurt to break down your quote or completely itemise it – by offering the buyer transparency, it will show that you’ve understood the requirement and quoted thoroughly and accurately.

It’s also worth remembering the psychological power of offering free delivery. This doesn’t mean that you should have to fork out for these charges, but rather that it may be preferable to bleed them into the rest of your quotation.

DO – Add Value to Your Quote:

Added value is what will set your quote apart from those of your competitors. Whilst price will always be a consideration for buyers, it is rarely what wins the supplier the work. Instead, purchasers will often look at additional value-adds such as a short lead times, KAN-BAN solutions, or free delivery to sway their decision. In short, it’s not about who’s charging less, it’s about who’s offering more.

This is why it’s so important to call up and introduce yourself to a potential client before submitting a quotation. If you can hone in on what the buyer values from a supplier, then you’ll be able to tailor your quote accordingly and give yourself an edge on the competition. For more information on how to add value to your quote and increase your chances of securing a project, please click here.

DON’T – Assume That the Buyer Understands Your Business:

A common sales mistake we often see is when subcontract engineering companies treat new clients in the same way they treat those they’ve worked with for twenty years. That’s not to say that one should have priority over the other, simply that your long-standing customers already know your business inside out. When you have an existing rapport with a buyer, you don’t have to do as much ‘selling’ – the buyer understands your services, your reliability and your quality and therefore requires less reassurance. Whilst you may be able to drop over an email with a price to an existing customer, this will not get you very far in the world of new business.

Try to include a summary of the services you’re offering within your quotation – not only does this dispel any confusion and potential misunderstandings, but it also gives you an additional opportunity to plug your own unique selling points to the customer.

DO – Write a Cover Email:

As I’ve just mentioned, rapport goes an extremely long way towards impressing a buyer, which means you need to seize every opportunity to build this with a new customer. As well as phoning the client to discuss the project before quoting, you should take the time to write a quick cover email to thank the buyer for the opportunity to quote, as well as inviting them to contact you if they have any questions. Quotations should then be attached to the email as a PDF document.

At the very least, including a cover email is just good manners; however, it also speaks volumes about your company’s approach to offering a professional service.

DON’T – Forget to Double-Check Your Quote Before You Send It!:

There are few things more awkward as a supplier and as off-putting to a buyer as an inaccurate quote. It can be extremely disheartening to go back to a purchaser and admit that the price you’ve quoted is inaccurate. Furthermore, this gets the relationship with the buyer off on a bad footing and they may not believe that you entirely understand what the project entails.

This can easily be preempted by double-checking your quote before you send it. Human error is all-too common and entirely avoidable – one decimal point in the wrong place can render your quote ineffective and your reputation to the buyer forever tarnished. It’s also good to spellcheck if you’re aiming to impress – don’t forget to include the buyer’s name in this, as I know from experience that misspelt names are commonplace, not to mention incredibly frustrating!


We’re dedicated to helping subcontract engineering companies to win new business, which is why we're offering a FREE quoting template to assist with your sales efforts. Simply click on the link below to start the download and don’t hesitate to contact us if you require further advice!