In the past, business proposals have gotten a bad rap for being boring, clinical, and disengaging. However, your proposals don’t have to follow the traditional mold of the past. In fact, you should be looking for ways to modernize and differentiate your proposals in order to stand out from the competition.
The Psychology of Visuals
The human brain has a deep-rooted love affair with visuals. This is why most people prefer to learn with the assistance of images and the reason why we remember things better when there’s a visual to go along with the concept.
“Vision is one of the most researched areas of neuroscience,” neuroscientist Andrew Tate says, “and though we still have a lot to learn, we do know a few things about why humans are so responsive to pictures and visual information, and why it is such a great way to interact with people.” Here are a few of the scientific “whys” that Tate highlights:
Approximately 20 percent of the human brain is designed purely for vision. That visual system frequently interacts with at least half of the brain, sending various electrical impulses to different places.
Color plays a huge role in how information is received. By adding color to a business document, you can increase recall of technical information by up to 82 percent.
Humans are hardwired to respond to faces. This is in part due to the fact that, as babies, the first things we’re able to see and respond to are the faces of friends and family members.
The human brain loves to be stimulated and new images and visuals fulfill this desire. While the average attention span is just eight seconds, images have a way of reengaging the brain and commanding focus.
Our brains are designed to love visuals. In the business world, understanding this proclivity for graphics and illustrations can totally transform the way you approach everything – including proposals.
5 Tips for Using Visuals in Proposals
Proposals don’t have to be boring and technical. While you may need to include some technical elements in order to truly convey the value of your product offering, the overall proposal should be inviting and visually pleasing.
Here are a few helpful tips for leveraging visuals to maximize proposal efficacy:
1. Use Original Images
It’s not enough to simply include images in a proposal. The images you select need to be visually pleasing and enticing. While it’s certainly possible to access millions of free stock images from a number of websites and resources, think twice about going this generic route.
Stock images tend to lack personality and flavor. They often come off as cheap and impersonal. If you want to excite prospects and stimulate their visual systems, then you need to use original images that are tailored to your business and the prospect at hand. It’ll cost you a bit more up front, but the ROI will be much higher.
2. Go With High Resolution
Another thing to think about is the resolution of the images you use. While you can technically snap a photo on your cell phone and upload it to your computer, the resolution will be less than stellar. In order to make images “pop,” you want to select high resolution options that don’t become grainy or distorted when inserted into a proposal.
3. Select the Best Angles for Products
If you’re selling physical products, then a sales proposal will obviously include images of the product. The key here is to select the best and most flattering angles.
“You want to be able to recreate the experience of a customer walking into a store and being able to pick up a product and look at it from every angle,” says expert Julianne Coyne. “Showcase your product by displaying pictures from different angles and from different proximities to give customers a feel for what the product will be like in person.”
Furthermore, you’ll want to showcase the product in use to give prospects the full experience of what it’s like to touch and use. Spend time with these images and don’t proceed until you’re confident in the final result.
4. Use Graphs and Charts to Solidify Claims
It’s imperative that you back up any claims you make in a business proposal. Not only does this help you establish transparency, but it also brings life to cold data points that otherwise might get glossed over.
For statistical information, simple graphs and charts can do wonders. Avoid getting too complex, though. Use a clean and simple color scheme and remove all superfluous information so that the facts are highlighted.
Colors should be limited to just two or three tones. Backgrounds should be one solid gradient to avoid distraction. Text should only be used to identify values and vital information. Following simple tips like these will put your graphs and charts over the top.
5. Perfect the Cover Page
The cover page is the first thing a prospect will see when they receive your proposal. It sets the table for the entire proposal and may even determine whether or not it gets read. While you don’t want to overdo things, you should incorporate a couple of simple visual elements that set your proposal apart from the stack of other proposals a prospect is likely to receive from your competition.
Try iQuoteXpress Today
A sales proposal should be more than a shot in the dark. When you send a proposal, you should feel confident and expect positive results. Unfortunately, most organizations have cumbersome and laborious proposal writing processes that get bogged down by various challenges and bureaucratic restrictions. It’s time to find a solution that streamlines and automates proposal writing.
At iQuoteXpress, we have the solution you seek. Our proprietary CPQ solution has been shown to reduce proposal time by as much as 50 to 75 percent. This allows you to focus on the elements that truly matter, as opposed to focusing on technicalities and repetitive inputs.
For more information regarding iQuoteXpress – and for a demo – please contact us today!