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How to Quote Tanks Accurately and With an Open Mind

How to Quote Tanks Accurately and With an Open Mind

Quoting steel tanks starts with a bit of knowledge and a whole lot of listening. In our industry it’s easy to assume you know precisely what the customer wants, particularly if they’re using words you’re familiar with. The candid truth is that even the most experienced professionals will pick up slang for tank accessories that don’t translate from one manufacturer to another.

“Our first and foremost decision is to clarify what the customer wants, not what we think they want.”

Gina Turley has worked at Hall Tank since 2015. Initially a cost estimator for steel tanks, Gina excelled enough at her job to develop a training manual for cost-estimating a steel tank. Her dedication and professionalism enabled Gina to be promoted to Office Manager, a promotion she initially questioned. “I’ve always been a shop worker, supervisor of maintenance…I never expected to work in an office,” she recalls when she explains her promotion. “I had to talk myself into it for a week before I took the position.”

“This company is very good at making you feel good.”

Despite her comfort with shops and initial discomfort with an office role, Gina took her new position in stride, setting an operations goal to improve communication between the shop and the office. “Even though I do manage supplies, make sure the phones are answered, even though I do manage the office, my goal is to identify and improve process flow between the operations of the shop and office.” In her first years as office manager Gina established herself as liaison between the two teams, bolstering the team to communicate, plan together, understand each other’s role in the overall operation to deliver quality steel tanks.

“They wanted “bungs” on the top, which were flanged openings,” says Gina. “So, I went out to the shop and had them show me what a bung tank flange was. I wanted to see what a saddle was and what skids were.”

A good estimator doesn’t take the customer at their word, or at least, if they do, they make sure to understand that word. Gina gave this example: sometimes customers are looking for request “lube cubes” but that they’re looking for a small rectangular tank, not the actual “lube cube” design we offer in our product pricing; clarifying questions upfront to ensure a clear order makes all the difference in customer service for Gina, and ultimately, for the whole team.

After writing the training manual for tank quotes and how best to clarify what a customer needs early on, Gina continues to manage the office and operations, while leading the example with her exceptional customer service. If you’d like to be in the know, lean on an expert like Gina!

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