Now that we have talked about the inquiry in the previous section, let’s start with the next step. We will continue with the example of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart makes a decision that they like the inquiry, meaning that they like the prices or the product delivery date that HP has proposed. Or they don’t like it. If they like it, they like to continue their discussion further with HP in terms of how they would like to proceed further. The next step to an inquiry from a customer perspective needs to ask for a formal quote.
What is a quote?
The quotation process is going to look something like this: Wal-Mart is going to call or get in touch with HP and say, all right, with respect to our inquiry number 110120, we would like to continue further and want to ask you for a formal quote.
A quote is very similar to an inquiry. But almost has the same set of details. From HP’s perspective, the quote is almost similar. So, we have the customer, Wal-Mart, and of course products, Desktop, laptop and the quantities, prices. That’s a quote.
So why are they doing it again? If everything is similar between a quote and an inquiry, what’s the point in trying to do it again? There are a couple of differences between the two.
Inquiry and quotation
An inquiry is very informal. Meaning, you go shopping at home for cars, you would go visit ten different dealerships. You’re not really sure which car you want. Maybe through the course of doing all these inquiries with different vendors, you find out that you might need a particular model of a car, say a Honda CRV. Now, you start to focus more on getting quotes from Honda CRV from different dealers that you’ve visited.
Difference between Inquiry and Quotation
The difference is, an inquiry is more informal. So HP does not need to stick to its stores or prizes, or variables. An inquiry has been made, we promised $500 per piece here, and if Walmart comes back 10 days from now and says I need the product, HP is not legally bound to deliver them at that price. But, a quotation on the other hand is more formal, which means the terms and conditions including prices, quantities, and deliverables need to be adhered to. Legally means, it’s more or less a formal legal quote, whereas inquiry is more informal, no terms, no promises.
The clear difference is inquiry is more informal. So, it doesn’t have a set of days with which it’s valid. It’s informal anyway.
The quotation, on the other hand, has a set of days within which it’s valid.
Example of Inquiry and Quotation
We can take an example, let’s continue the same car search.
We’re searching for cars and you found a car, you’d like to get a quote on it. Let’s say the dealer has quoted $25,000. It’s not going to be valid forever, right? It’s going to be valid for, say, two weeks or a week at most. So this set of dates within which that quotation is valid is called validity dates. All quotations typically have a validity date. So the from date, and the to date is called the validity dates.
You can grab some more differences between the inquiry and the quotation.