If you are like most sales professionals, you may dread the proposal writing process. In fact, you may even believe that creating proposals is a huge waste of time…if you can close deals with just a handshake and sweat the details later! Realistically however, you recognize that a well-crafted sales proposal can mean the difference between capturing new business and losing to a competitor. You are more likely to win because the professional proposal:
Sets the agenda for the sale
Differentiates you and your company from the competition
Does the selling when you aren’t present
Rather than thinking of the proposal writing task as a burden, view it as an opportunity to start your client relationships on the right foundation. Let’s dig a little deeper into this.
You only get one chance to make a great first impression
When you take the time to do your research upfront and then provide clients with a thorough, meticulously edited sales proposal, you reveal your professionalism. Clients will appreciate your effort, and they’ll gain confidence in you and your organization. So draft a thorough outline, and proof the final document until it is error-free.
See the proposal as your one—and perhaps, only—opportunity to pitch your product or service, and make it as clear, clean, and detailed as possible.
You must strike while the iron is hot – time kills all deals
While providing plenty of details and benefits is critical, timing is crucial too. You need an efficient way to get your products and services in front of clients quickly, while they are still on the hook. That means that you should begin drafting the proposal as soon as you have completed your research.
Every sales agent should have convenient 24/7 access to all the elements necessary to create their proposal and a complete proposal database.
Present more than just price
An estimate is sufficient in some circumstances and is usually needed at one point during the sales process. However, a proposal is so much more than a price quote. A well-presented proposal focuses on the benefits the client will receive as a result of doing business with you. It allows you to highlight the value of your product or service, and to establish expectations for both you and your client.
Objections to price and value start to fade away when you detail how your product or service will improve the client’s business or life.
Show clients you hear them
The manner in which you outline clients’ needs and priorities within the proposal shows how well you listen—and actually understand their business requirements. A proposal is essentially a summary of the client’s problem and of course how your product or service solves that problem. So in similar fashion, you must listen to your client’s response to your proposal. Does the proposal confuse them? Is there no response? Have you answered heir questions, given them everything they need, including confidence, to do business with you?
You’ve taken some time to get to the root of the client’s pain by asking questions…your proposal must answer these “pain points”. When clients realize that you truly care about what matters to them, they gain trust in you, and that trust is critical to closing the deal.
No doubt, drafting a “top of the pile” proposal that hits all the marks can be a time-consuming process, particularly if you are still using multiple product spreadsheets and merging pricing into a Word document. There’s a better way: proposal software can cut the time you spend creating and delivering your proposals by up to 75%. iQuoteXpress is a web-based SaaS application that allows you to easily and quickly generate detailed and accurate sales proposals. Learn more now!