A quote carries the implication of a low price, only price, little room for the value that may be delivered, and that your ‘nose’ is only just out of the water.

What would happen if you  called it an offer for service?

Perhaps it is just a semantic difference, but it may also bring into better focus the value being offered irrespective of price.

Many companies I work with operate on the basis of quoting for jobs, and those seeking quotes are often doing so in the expectation of taking the lowest price.

This is good if you are buying paper, or some basic commodity, but buying something of value, that is mixed up with some expected level of expertise and service, is an absolute shocker.

One of my clients provides a specialised engineering service that has stringent regulatory requirements covering safety and engineering integrity. One of their biggest long term customers, the local arm of a multinational,  has recently moved their procurement function away from the domestic business unit to  a centralised offshore global procurement system based almost entirely on price.

The choice facing them was to compete on an uneven global playing field on price, and have their existing thin margins further eroded, or walk away and utilise the capacity and skills elsewhere.

A difficult choice, particularly against a background of uneven and difficult to forecast cash inflow was made, but after 6 months, they are  way better off, and their former customer is struggling with trying to manage a complicated plant with offshore contractors who quoted the lowest price to get the jobs and are intent on doing as little as possible to get the money.

The lowest quote is rarely the best total  price, and it is easy to drown when there is no room for error.