3 tips for effective sales proposals in manufacturing

Anyone selling in the manufacturing space knows that getting the face-to-face meeting with a prospect is a must. There may be no other market in which a getting meeting matters more, and that means there may be no other market in which killer sales proposals matter more.

Today, we show you @@the fast and easy way to create a manufacturing proposal that gets you in front of a client.@@

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1: Do your research—because your prospect certainly did!

Did you know that before most manufacturing company managers even reach out to a new vendor, they’re usually already ~70% certain of their buying decision?

Before your prospect sent you an RFP, they probably took a long, hard look at your business, and did all the analytics they could. And most every “long, hard look” begins with a web search, so try it: What would a casual web search reveal about you and your business?

If you can—before you create a manufacturing proposal—ask your prospect how they found you.  If they say, “We did a search on Google for companies that make widgets near Metropolis, and found you,” do that exact same search and see what your prospect saw, too. (You might be surprised how Google lists you. For example, you may think people are coming to your website through the front page, but instead they’re coming through a two-year old blog post.)

Do your research with fresh eyes and an open mind. The point is to ensure you see yourself the way your prospect sees you, and customize proposals accordingly.

2: Find your link in their chain

Most manufacturing companies have process flows and supply chains a million miles long: where do you fit? Can you deliver a new efficiency to logistics, planning, or communications? Typically, leaders in manufacturing are looking for vendors to solve a specific problem. Focus on and solve for that one thing, and you’re likely to win their business.

And whenever possible, position your offering not as a purchase but as an investment. Budgets are tight in manufacturing and an investment that delivers a return—rather than a capital expenditure or a budget line-item—is always an easier sell.

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3: Features tell, benefits sell

Speaking of selling… too often, a proposal can read like a list of ingredients: “Our product/service comprises X, Y, and Z, and does A, B, and C.” Not only is this approach boring, it does nothing to sell what your prospect actually wants from you.

Because the truth is manufacturing companies don’t want a product or service—they want to impact their bottom line. So spend less time on the features you put into your offering, and more time on the benefits it will deliver into the prospect’s lines of business.

Re-cap: know yourself as well as they know you; know exactly where you fit in their supply chains and processes; tell them how your offer benefits their bottom line above all else. Do these three things in every manufacturing proposal and you’ll find yourself across the table almost every time.

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