Is your proposal document selling your company, or are you selling yourself short with a poorly prepared proposal that does little or nothing to convince the customer to buy from you?
Businesses spend thousands of dollars on sales people, brochures, flyers, internet and social media all designed to get the word out about their companies, and the reasons that customers should buy their products or services.
Too often we ignore the last sales document your customer will ever see? I often see companies that have great marketing, brochures, and internet presence who fail to recognize that their proposal document is the last, and probably the most important, sales document that will ever be given to the customer.
At the time you are presenting your company to a prospect, and asking for their business, shouldn’t you be doing all that you can to win over the client and persuade them that your company is superior to all others. Here are six steps to make that happen:
1. Winning proposals follow directions – Why would you not do what your prospect has instructed you to do?
2. Winning proposals inform – Your proposal should inform the client about your company, your experience, your references and unique attributes of your offering to remove any doubt as to your qualifications.
3. Winning proposals tell a story – Your proposal should tell an interesting story and be interesting to read! Tell your history, your successes, and you’re learning experiences in a way that puts a human face to your proposal.
4. Winning proposals set you apart – What sets you apart from everyone else who is looking for this clients business? Let your client know what you can provide that no one else can. This is a great place for a letter of reference from a current client who was blown away by your product or service.
5. Winning proposals are pleasing to look at – Your proposal should have graphics, charts, and illustrations that add to the content of the proposal and add variety to the facts and stories you are trying to tell. By taking the time to present a beautiful, custom proposal, you are letting your customer know how important their business is to you, and how you will treat them as you do business together.
6. Winning proposals are persuasive – Everything you include should lead the customer to one conclusion, and that is that no one else, no other person or company, can serve their needs as well as you can
Remember that your proposal is a living document. You need to constantly update your proposal with each offering. Make each proposal a custom offering by carefully reviewing the needs of each prospect and tailoring your proposal to their needs.
After you win the business, make sure you follow up on the promises made in your proposal. Your client will remember what you promised in your proposal, make sure that you follow through on all your promises, and then do a little more. As you deliver on these commitments, you will build a bond with your customers that will cement your relationship and lead to a long lasting, successful, and profitable relationship.