Do’s and Don’ts for Creating a Standout Sales Proposal
In this tip, I share some do’s and don’ts for your sales proposal approach that will help you stand out, rise above your competitors, and win.
Three sales proposals don’ts:
- Don’t make your proposal a resume of your firm’s capabilities. Proposals tend to be inwardly focused on us and our solutions, rather than outwardly focused on the client and what they want to most accomplish. Instead, reverse the order of focus. Begin with the prospect’s outcomes and the value created in getting to those outcomes.
- Don’t oversell and overcomplicate. A strong proposal simplifies the complex and provides clarity. Simplicity helps your prospects and clients see a clear path forward. To avoid unnecessary complexity, make sure each element of your proposal clearly refers back to creating their outcomes and value.
- Don’t negotiate price as the first option. If you’re asked for a fee concession or to quote a price on the spot, your first reaction should be to mentally stop. Say something like, “I’d like to get your perspective in a little more detail, and then we can work through options.”
Now for three sales proposal do’s:
- Do uneven the playing field. Making the playing field uneven isn’t about doing anything that lacks integrity. It’s thinking differently, anticipating what a competitor might do, or paying attention to details.
- Do use the Rule of 3. You will improve your odds of winning with three proposal options that build on one another. The Rule of 3 shows our ability to understand outcomes and value in the eyes of the buyer.
- Do find your true north – outcomes and value. Every solution element of your proposal should point to the client’s desired outcomes. If you can keep to the true north of outcomes and value, before introducing solutions, you will create a standout proposal that wins.