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We Wear the Mask

  • Date Submitted: 01/25/2013 09:16 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 68 
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7 Rules for Creating Winning Sales Proposals
day’s guest post comes Michael Boyette, the managing editor of Selling Essentials newsletter and editor of the Top Sales Dog blog. Listen in on his insights about what it takes to create winning sales proposals.
Written sales proposals don’t get the benefit of the doubt. They don’t get second chances. They don’t get to answer questions from the audience or go back and explain something that wasn’t clear.
The key to an effective written sales proposal is anticipation. Since you may not be present to defend your proposal to everyone who will review it, you have to be sure it will be able to stand on its own.
Before you submit your next proposal, be sure to do the following:
1. Address it to the buyer you haven’t met.
The most important audience for your proposal isn’t the people you’ve met. With them, you have a chance to explain what you’re proposing. The most important people are the ones you haven’t met and have no relationship with. That may include the top brass, of course. But they’re not the only ones who can kill the deal.
Consider, for example, the end users (who will be suspicious about your “ease of use” claims and may be wedded to a competitor’s solution).
Also consider other indirect influencers you may have overlooked – especially those who might be threatened in some way by your solution.
For example, if your proposal could reduce head count in one of the prospect’s branches, that branch manager will offer 17 reasons why your idea won’t work. You need to anticipate and address those issues.
2. Make it easy to read
If the proposal is hard to follow, buyers will assume you’ll be hard to work with. Resist the temptation to use the proposal as a vehicle to show your prospect how much you know or how hard you’ve worked to arrive at your recommendations. If it looks like a dissertation, it’ll end up on a shelf.
Instead, demonstrate your expertise by focusing only on the issues that are relevant, your...

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