Gone are days when you get new customers by listing your company in the local phone book or word-of-mouth recommendations from your customers. With the kind of fierce competition these days, the odds are that you are perpetually seeking new markets and customers from other countries as well.
Hence, it becomes imperative not only to have a dynamite website, but you also need to know how to write a proposal to pitch your products to potential customers. Always remember your proposal is a sales document and not a technical document.
It is very important to demonstrate your credibility, understanding, and customer focus, irrespective of whether the proposal is in the form of an official written proposal or a presentation.
It is when you incorporate customer focus, responsiveness, and ease of evaluation into your proposals that you will start seeing traction and gaining customer confidence. In this blog post we suggest some tried and tested ideas that you need to keep in mind while writing an effective sales proposal.
• The first impression is the best impression – The vast majority of sales proposals start with information about the seller’s company. Hence, the point to remember here is, your prospects don’t want to know about how long you have been in business, what awards you have won, or what other companies you have worked with.
A good sales proposal always highlights a case scenario and the impact it has on a business. And this should be the opening slide of your presentation.
• Demonstrate your understanding – Similarly, when you make a plan presentation based on the brief, a very effective approach is to begin with a summary of the customer’s situation followed by the objective you want to achieve. This demonstrates your understanding of the prospect’s problems and concerns.
• Show your worth – This does not mean that you have to go about harping on your solutions. Instead, come right to the point and highlight how the customer will benefit from your solution and how will you achieve the set objective.
• Keep it simple – Avoid corporate and technical jargon, and keep your content simple and easy to decipher. Always remember, decisionmakers are too busy to read long and complicated briefings and, importantly, they will use your service only if they get a clear understanding of your offering. Hence, it is important to keep your brief short, concise and backed with sensible information.
• Avoid “I” and “We” – If these words appear too often in your proposal, it appears that the proposal is all about you and not about your customer’s business. Keep your brief focused on your customer and use the word “You”.
• Use titles and headings – This is very important if your sales proposal is lengthy. Headings and titles help you break down the information, and make it easy for the prospect to find the relevant information easily.
• Testimonials are important – Testimonials are one of the most effective sales tools that you need to corporate and highlight in your brief. It is the obvious next step that the customer would do after going through your brief.
• Summarise your brief – It is a smart practice to include the summary of your brief at the beginning so that even if the customer flips through your proposal quickly they will read through this section. Capturing the brief in the form of bullet-points can be very effective.
• Conclude with a call to action – Closing your proposal with “If you require any additional information please feel free to contact me,” is dated. Instead, tell the prospect what you think is best that they should do next. This will help you demonstrate your confidence and the expertise you bring to the table.