Back about 20 years ago, when I was working as a salesperson, I remember some advice I got from a sales manager on the subject of sales proposals.
Truth be told, this guy was a jerk. Nobody liked him. But he did teach me something about the right way to create a sales proposal.
And it was all about helping prospects understand what they are getting when they invest in your service or product.
Many business owners take so much for granted when they cobble together their proposals. Instead of enjoying a high “close” rate, they wait anxiously for a reply that, more often than not, never comes or ends up being a ‘thanks for coming out but…’ exercise in frustration.
And, if they DO get a shot at the prize, they usually end up in a predictable bun fight over price because the prospect can’t tell them apart from the other guys.
First, let’s address the ‘taking things for granted part.
We are the experts in our business. Most of our prospects have no idea HOW we do what we do.
They don’t know about all the training, experience and education we have exposed ourselves to in order to be in position to provide a beneficial outcome in the first place. And they sure as hell don’t know about all the extra mile stuff we do for our customers and clients.
Do they care? Answer: If you want them to pay more than the eight other guys who will give them the always lurking ‘great deal’, you bet they do.
But you have to make it easy for them.
And that means making sure your sales proposal leaves no doubt about the VALUE they get when they do business with you.
So, delete that cookie cutter proposal you’ve been trotting out with limited success and try this little formula:
Restate your prospect’s objective: This is a professional way to start a proposal. It shows you were listening to what your prospect’s needs were.
Start on a positive note: In my business, I have to do a lot of reworking, tearing apart and rebuilding. Nature of being a copywriter who works with clients who simply don’t know how to create online copy that gets results. That doesn’t mean they aren’t doing LOTS right in their business. Make sure you let them know YOU know that.
Get personal: Give your prospect a peek at how you can make a difference. I will often insert a couple of examples of weak copy that they are currently using along with ways I can strengthen it. This does two things: shows I’m focused on the prospect and gives him a “taste” of how I can make a difference. Don’t forget – I’m not hired at this point and the prospect knows that. It sends a powerful message of your ‘service’ mentality.
Educate your prospect: I will often give my prospect a high-level view of how effective marketing works. He doesn’t know and, it sets the stage for me to help him even more with other things I know he needs. How do I know? Because I was asking questions and listening to his answers in our initial meeting.
Outline your role: Here’s where you ‘tell’ your prospect what he can expect from you. Many business owners already have their hand out here. Here’s my pricing blah blah…etc. Which is EXACTLY why they don’t make it to the winner’s circle too often. Explain how you can make a difference. Let your prospect ‘see’ it.
Detail the value you can offer: For me, I tell my prospect I will help him create a marketing message, use timeless, PROVEN copywriting structures and strategies (no guru BS or bright shiny thing crap) and, over time, build a simple, but effective marketing system.
Further define the value you offer: Before I present my fees, I include a multi-bullet point list of all the things that go into the service I deliver. It also includes the methodology I use for the completion of his project. This allows my prospect to see what he is getting.
Fee Presentation: At the end, I include a list of services I will provide based on his started needs and show my fees for each service. And, I always make sure the break it out “menu-style’ so he can pick and choose if he doesn’t want the whole enchilada.
If you would like to up YOUR sales proposal “close” rate, contact me at 905-716-7130 or shoot me an email here and we’ll schedule a phone chat to discuss.