7 Killer Steps to Create a Kick Ass Sales Proposal
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7 Killer Steps to Create a Kick Ass Sales Proposal
by: Kelley Robertson
The other night I spoke to a group of sales people and the topic of focus was
creating a compelling sales proposal. Not everyone who sells a product or
service needs to write proposals; however, many people do hear, "Send me some
information" from a prospect.
Here are 7 things you can do to create a kick-ass proposal that will stand
out from your competition.
1. Make the first page count
The majority of sales proposals I read start with the seller talking about
his or her company. They usually open with details such as how long the company
has been in business, who their clients are, what awards they have won, how
innovative they are, etc.
But, your prospects don't care about this. They really don't.
What they want to know is, "Can this person help me solve a problem?"
Address that question by putting the following three pieces of information on
your first page;
A brief summary of the prospect's situation
The key objectives your prospect wants to achieve
The value in meeting those objectives.
The reason you want to place all of this information on the first page is to
capture your prospect's attention. And the reason it is effective is because it
is all about them. Not you!
This approach demonstrates that you have an accurate understanding of their
situation, what they want to accomplish and how that will affect their business.
2. Use headings
Your prospects are busy people, just like you are. Make it easy for them to
find specific information by using headings throughout the proposal.
For example, I use a heading for each of the three points on the first page
(Situation Summary, Key Objectives, Value) and heading for the remaining items
such as Solution, ROI, Guarantee, Investment, etc.
Headings also break up the page and make your proposal easier to read just
like a good article or blog post.
3. Include testimonials or endorsements
Ever watch an infomercial? Notice how they make liberal use of endorsements
You can do the same thing in your proposals. You can sprinkle them throughout
and include them in each section other than on the first page (you don't want
anything to distract your prospect from reading the first page).
Be careful not to get carried away, though. Testimonials should reinforce key
points, not take over the entire proposal.
4. Address the risk factor
Most new prospects will have some hesitation about moving forward with your
solution, especially if you are unknown to them.
Be proactive and address the potential risk by outlining how you will reduce
their risk. I usually do this by offering a guarantee on the services I am
You can do the same. Perhaps a trial offer, money-back guarantee, or some
other offer that will help your mitigate any risk issues your prospect is
5. Keep it brief
One mistake that many people make is including too much information in their
sales proposals. When I acquired my first client more than a decade ago, I asked
her what factors influenced her decision and she said, "Your proposal was short
and easy to read and it addressed everything I was looking for."
Apparently, one sales training company sent her a 24 page proposal.
Twenty-four pages! Who has time to read that?
I strongly suggest that your proposals don't exceed three or four pages. You
can pack a lot of information onto four pages; the key is to include ONLY
necessary relevant information.
6. Conclude with a specific call to action
The worst way to finish a proposal is to say something like, "If you have any
questions give me a call."
I used to do this and my re-connection ratio was brutal. Now I get agreement
on the next steps BEFORE I send a proposal and my ability to re-connect with
prospects is almost 100 percent. Here is what I say in the last line of my
"Mike, as discussed I will call you next Tuesday morning at 10:15 AM to
review this proposal and to discuss the next steps."
7. Use a P.S.
Research has shown that most people will read a P.S. in a sales letter. I
typically use a testimonial here and I try to use one that relates to the
prospect's company, industry or goals they want to accomplish.
By the way, you can also use these steps when a prospect says, "Send me
information." Rather than sending them a marketing brochure or product
catalogue, create a kick-ass sales proposal.
A well-crafted sales proposal will not only help you stand out from the
competition; it will also help you close more business, capture more sales and
make more money.
© MMXI Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved.
Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling helps sales
professionals and businesses discover new techniques to improve their sales and
profits. Receive a FREE copy of 100 Ways to Increase Your Sales by subscribing
to his free newsletter available at
www.kelleyrobertson.com. Kelley conducts workshops and speaks regularly at
sales meetings and conferences. For information on his programs contact him at
Contributor: Kelley Robertson
Published here on: 23-Dec-12