Not a week goes by that I don't receive an unsolicited, impersonal pitches promising to help draft better sales proposals. I'm sure you've seen them. They all seem to start like this:
This class will….
This speaker will….
This "award-winning" training will….
Blah, blah, blah.
Isn't it ironic that these mass mailings – full of cookie-cutter "solutions" that aren't targeted to your specific needs – are going to "improve" your presentation to your customers?
The obvious truth is writing sales proposals is a direct extension of the sales process.
With that in mind, here is the first of six steps I recommend to write a more effective sales proposal:
Six Steps to a More Effective Sales Proposal
STEP ONE: FOCUS ON YOUR CUSTOMER
Like you, your customers are tasked to be more efficient. Your customers are handling more projects and have less time to accomplish them than at any time in their careers. And with procurement under the microscope at most US companies, some customers may even feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of purchasing.With that in mind, you must make certain that your proposal is about them.
Buyers are more concerned with how you can best meet their needs than how wonderful your company may be. After all, they have probably Google'd your company already, right?
Instead of detailing your company's mission statement and history, skip ahead and focus on the expressed and unexpressed needs that your probing skills have uncovered. Use this knowledge liberally throughout your proposal as you present the benefits of your solution. Are there gaps in your notes? Get back in touch with your customer and fill in all the blanks so that you can write an awesome sales proposal.
This one step will differentiate you from approximately 80% of your competition. While they are spending paragraphs and pages on themselves, you'll be focusing just on your customer. And, honestly, wouldn't you rather buy from someone who is completely focused on you?
While this one tip is going to make you stand out from the pack, be sure to check out the rest of the tips in this series on Six Steps to a More Effective Sales Proposal!