Do you ever place yourself into your buyer’s shoes before putting together a proposal? What would be the first thing they notice about the proposal? What vital piece of information are they looking for?
Here’s our 4 must-have elements of a bulletproof sales proposal.
1. Look and feel.
How does the proposal document actually look and feel when you first lay eyes on it? Does it appear to be crisp and on-brand? Are there dynamic elements such as custom images, video, links or a pricing breakdown? Or is it a little lousy? Perhaps the logos are in disproportion? The font choices aren’t on brand or the stock images are a little cheesy?
A proposal should make you feel a million dollars before pressing that send button. They shouldn’t feel like they are viewing a proposal made up of magenta word art in Microsoft Word. The proposal should fill your potential customer with confidence that the company are about to do business with, is a professional and smart business that will help them drive revenue up. A cheap and unloved proposal reflects poorly on the level of quality your company can provide.
2. Make it Personal.
Your potential customer gives you (the sales professional) their valuable time and explains their unique needs, trouble points and ultimate goals, then, BOOM…
They are hit with a tin pot generic proposal that doesn’t speak at all about those challenges that they took the time out to discuss. It’s essentially a template master document with a little pricing thrown in. Big mistake..
What this communicates to them as a buyer is that the sales professionals wasn’t listening to them giving vital information and they are just getting the same proposal that everyone else gets as soon as they walk through the door.
3. Provide a Competitive Comparison.
Most potential clients will have to face the tedious task of collecting as much information as they can to narrow down their options and make a decision about with company will provide the best solution to their problems or needs. The best solution is normally made up of specific features, pricing, timelines, case studies, experience and other relevant qualities of the proposed offerings.
Imagine how handy an objective comparison between top competitors would be if it was included in the proposal. Not only would it help the buyer loosely evaluate the current proposed offering against competitive offerings but it would also highlight where the competitor falls behind.
4. Hit Them with the Solution.
Imagine it’s spring and you are looking to build the perfect summer house for your garden. You head to the nearest DIY store to buy the perfect drill for the job but when you get there you realise you have no clue what you need. The same challenge applies to a sales proposal. The potential client often looks for the finer details and specification about what they are buying – the drill. That’s the core product or service, that is what you are proposing.
In reality and the potential client doesn’t often realise it but they are really out to buy the hole to make the summer house, the hole represents what they will achieve by spending the money on the drill. So the tip here is, a proposal should speak both the methodology (the product/service) and the outcome.
Finally, when the potential client arrives at the end of your proposal, they should feel confident that you will help them solve a problem, minimise their troubles and very importantly help them increase their revenue.