come in all shapes and sizes. Some are well-written and effective,
others leave much to be desired and quite a few are destined for
the trash heap of history. One can’t overstate the importance of
a well-written proposal. In essence, a proposal serves as an on-site
sales professional. When you’re
not available to meet with a client, your proposal serves as a reference
document and provides the key information the
client needs to be able to select your company. It acts as an
absentee representative for your company. More importantly, it allows
your sponsor to promote
your company to key decision makers. During those times when
you can’t seem to get in front of key
executives, your proposal can get right in the door and in the
pays to have a strong
proposal. Sales can be won and lost via these documents. Making
an effort to write more effective proposals will go a long way in
helping to increase your personal
What components make up a strong proposal?
· Is customized for your customer.
Thanks to the worldwide web, it is easy to track down a customer’s
logo. To personalize a proposal, include the customer’s logo on
the existing challenge as faced
by the customer. This shows the customer that you “get it” and
are on the same page.
· Provides an accurate
and detailed description of the product or service being sold. You
don’t have to dump all the technical specs of product in the front
of a proposal. Key data should be provided with supporting
documentation available via other materials or an appendix.
· Utilizes benefit statements. This ties product
and service features into how your customer will benefit. Your
customer will want to know how your product or service will increase
their profitability, productivity or image.
relating to product or service
delivery, installation, shipping or production should be included.
· Details other customers who have used the
product or service. This can be done via client lists, testimonial
letters or a series of customer quotes. Reference information can
be provided but always check with your
reference first. Don’t let them be caught off guard.
· Provides the logistical
details of a proposal. How much? How many? When? Where? How? In
what way? To whom? From where? What payment terms? What deliverables?
For the sake of clarity and convenience, this type of content should
be provided on one to two pages.
· Provides a total
cost. Stay away from detailing solely unit costs. Make
the process easier by calculating the total cost of an investment.
· Provides complete
contact information. Be sure to list the account manager’s name,
title, phone number and e-mail address. Make it easy for your customer
to contact you… particularly when they’re in the board room and
like your proposal.
Provided that you have furnished the
right data in a clear and professional manner, your proposal will
complement your sales activities and will do the selling for you.