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Every business is unique in its own way. What works for someone, may not work for the other. Hence, there is no sure-shot recipe to write a sales proposal that guarantees success.
However, let’s talk about some of the steps using which you can prepare a sales proposal that gives you maximum chances of conversion.
Keep Your Eyes Open Towards Competition
In today’s cut-throat race, there are no best friends in business. Only the fittest & smartest wins. And no matter how much you think you know, there will always be someone who knows something new. Hence, it’s always wise to take a look at your competitors’ approach.
If it’s your first time writing a sales proposal, you will learn a lot just by looking at your direct competitors. Things like what value proposition they are focusing on, how to create engaging contents, what’re the personas of your target market etc can be easily picked up from monitoring your competitors.
Easy ways to monitor your competitors are: signing up for their newsletters, following their social media activities & their website/blog.
Prepare Well. Very Well.
Doing your homework is always the best idea. After learning the basics from your competitors, the next step is to do a bit of research on every lead of yours. Here are a few things about the lead, you may need to look at:
- History of the company
- Service/product offered
- Business needs & bottlenecks
- Any alternatives they’ve used before (it’s tough to find out but very useful)
- How can you help to make their lives easier
Once you have answers, the key is to make a proposal as personalized as possible. Doing this will also give you high chances of bringing that lead over to you for a meeting/call.
Follow a Proper Structure for Your Proposal
Most of the times the only difference between a decent proposal & a good one is its contents & presentation. The proposal should be short, crisp & easy to understand. Try to avoid too many paragraphs & have as many bullet points as possible.
Here’s what a good proposal should have:
Put Your Best Foot Forward
The introduction (without a doubt) is the most important section in a proposal. That plays a big role in making the reader decide whether he wants to go through the entire proposal in the first place.
Key is to make the introduction convincing enough; explaining how you have the expertise to deliver the best possible work on time. Also, don’t forget to mention briefly about your company, your years of experience & other important stats like the number of projects completed.
Needless to say, don’t stretch this section too long.
Say Out Loud, How You Can Help
After the introduction, this is by far the most important section in every proposal. This is where the leads spend most of their time; going through how you can help them.
It’s always wise to clearly mention what your approach is going to be, how your milestones are going to be, what’s the payment model & timeline. Pro tip is to always keep a few days as buffer while quoting the timeline. e.g. If you’re into web development & you think a website will take 1 week to make, ask more 1 & half week atleast. Some extra hours always come in handy.
If you’re writing about your approach, make sure not to reveal all your cards. You don’t want the lead to take your impressive idea/plan & execute it on their own. Just saying 🙂
Always Sell the Value, not the Service
Always remember, it’s not your efforts or time or knowledge that sells. Your value proposition does. The customers only pay for things which solve their problems & make their lives easier.
Align your thought process accordingly & you will be on the right track towards higher conversion rates.
Let me know your thoughts on how differently a winning proposal can be written. Did I miss anything? I’d love to hear from you all 🙂
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