When you are a company competing in the Business Service Industry a vital component to your success is your ability to present your Services to a potential client in a way that they will value your offerings and sign a Contract with you for Services. A primary key to a successful Sales Proposal is to keep your focus on what matters. What truly matters in this equation is your potential client’s needs and how you are able to service those needs. Many Business Service Companies get caught up in selling their Service’s features while forgetting there is a client with a problem on the other side of the Proposal. We encourage you to draft your Proposals in a way that emphasizes solving your potential client’s problems and not your company.
Drafting a Unique Sales Proposal
The ultimate goal of your Sales Proposal is to get a more detailed idea of what your company can do to solve the problems of your potential client and agree to terms that will be drafted into your Contract for Services.
Crafting a high-quality Sales Proposal can be a daunting task. It forces you to begin focusing on needs of your potential client. Nevertheless, crafting a unique Sales Proposal that is striking, persuasive and effective is an art that requires the utmost attention and determination to ensure that you convey the right messages to your potential client at the right time.
To achieve this you must focus how you can aid your potential clients and solve their unique business problems to earn their business. Our goal today is to prepare you mentally for this daunting task by providing you with some focal points that will enhance your Sales Proposal and enable you to properly convey your message to your potential clients.
Focal Point I: Think Like Your Potential Customer.
Many Blogs have been written about the proper format and content to be put in your Sales Proposal. We would like to focus on your mindset when drafting your unique Sales Proposal to ensure that you are focusing on what will close the deal for your team.
Now, you see that we have based our business on Client-Centric Methods which allow our clients control over their use of our services. This is because we know that every business has a unique set of problems and needs. If we were to provide “one-size-fits-all” solutions, then we would not be truly servicing our individual clients.
We reflect our approach in the way that we draft our Sales Proposals to potential clients, as well. Before anything is written on paper we consider the following questions that guide our Sales Proposal:
- What is the client’s primary concern or business problem?
- Why is this a concern or business problem?
- What are the Short-Term and Long-Term Objectives of the client?
- How does the client prioritize these Objectives?
- What are the potential Solutions that we can provide for this client?
- What timeframe is the client seeking to have these Objectives accomplished in?
- What is the value the client will receive from these Solutions?
- How will we provide these Solutions to the client?
These 8 questions will put you in the mindset of your potential client and allow you to proceed with a Client-Centric Mind Set which will come across in your Sales Proposal.
Not only do you need to ask yourself these questions, but you also need to “do your homework”. You may be asking yourself, what do they mean by homework, I am not in school? Well, if you want to close a deal you will thoroughly research your potential client so that you fully understand their mission, vision, product/service, and culture. This enables you to come to the conversation with a complete understanding of what your potential client is trying to accomplish and how your company can fit into their goals.
The Co-founder & CEO of Insightly, Chirag Kulkarni agrees with our mindset in his Post for Inc., 5 Hacks for Writing Better Sales Proposals“,
Before you even start writing your sales proposal, research is necessary. It is just as important to know about your potential clients, as it is to be knowledgeable about your product or service.
Focal Point II: Understand Your Business & Service Offerings.
First, we emphasized the potential client. Now, it is time that you shift your focus to your business and what Solutions your team is capable of providing.
Now that you fully understand your potential client and their business needs, take the time to evaluate yourself. Your business is presenting itself as qualified to provide the Solutions necessary to aid your potential client; therefore, it is important that you step back and validate your team.
You need to be sure that you are properly equipped to handle the potential client’s business problems. In addition, you need to ensure that your team can meet the timelines and expectations of your potential client. If you oversell your company and underperform, then you will pay dearly with your Brand’s Reputation.
This internal evaluation is an opportunity for your company to verify the cost of your Solutions and even review what you are actually able to provide or what you may need to contract out to ensure that your potential client’s needs are met. Nobody wins if you finalize a deal that you cannot service.
Focal Point III: Properly Framing Your Sales Proposal.
It is time to begin setting your mind around the content of your Sales Proposal.
You have conferred with your team and investigated your potential client. Now, you can begin focusing on the framework for your Sales Proposal. This is an opportunity to outline your client’s needs and your Proposed Solutions while giving your team the opportunity to review your Sales Proposal.
You want to begin developing the Scope of Work which will be based on Focal Point I. Thinking from the perspective of your client will enable you to address their needs and provide the Solutions they are requesting. This is also an opportunity to begin framing the Project Timeline which is essential to the Project.
This will provide you with the framework for your final Sales Proposal and allow you to receive vital feedback from your team. Before beginning your Final Draft you will have a clearly defined Scope, Timeline, and Deliverables for your team. You can continue by shifting your focus to the budget.
Focal Point IV: Clearly Defining the Project Budget.
One of the first questions from every business is, How much will this cost? Let’s address how you can approach this inquiry in your Sales Proposal.
At Laris Media, we use our Client-Centric Methods even when formulating our budgets to present to clients. This can be tricky; however, we find it is helpful when providing clients with the Solutions they seek.
Many companies offer set packages that take all or nothing, we find this to be far too rigid for the unique needs of businesses, as a result, we line item all of our Solutions and allow the client to decide which Solution they would like to implement. This a-la-carte method of providing Solutions puts our clients in control of their spend and the Solutions they utilize.
Focal Point V: Showing Return on Investment.
Taking a step back to your potential client’s mindset, you need to address the benefit your company is offering them.
Business owners go into business with the expectation of making money; therefore, your goal is to either reduce their cost or improve their opportunity to make money. You need to clearly show how your company can help their profit margins; otherwise, your Solutions will just be a drain on their budget and they will not consider working with your company.
It is your duty as a Business Service Provider to show your clients the value of your services. By providing this value up front you are curtailing questions concerning the value of your services during conversations.
Adrea Sittig-Rolf takes this concept a step further in her Post on the Huff Post, “Proposals That Sell: How to Write a Winning Sales Proposal“,
If you can show a return on investment for your solution that makes sense, you will win the majority of the time.