Proposals – Stop the Madness
“Sounds great, go ahead and send me a proposal.” We have all heard these words. Most sales professionals obediently follow up on their prospect’s request. Big mistake. You don’t even have to ask why it is a mistake because you know the answer: your proposals are rarely accepted. And on those occasions when they are, it is only because you offered the lowest price. This information is frequently verified by participants at our performance sales training events.
Without going into a diatribe about proposals and all the evil nuisances associated with them, I offer an alternative strategy on which to consider:
The word “proposal” connotes comparison. Thus, if you supply a proposal, you will be compared with other vendors. That’s right, you relegate yourself to nothing more than a vendor. Does that label fit nicely with your marketing model? Answer: I hope not. Here is my tip: in lieu of a proposal send a Statement of Work, or a Memo of Understanding, or a Commitment Letter, or a Contract. For goodness sake do NOT send a proposal. Bonus tip: avoid future tense language in the document you send. Instead, speak in present tense.
Bottom Line: Seek to shrink the sales cycle and move towards doing business. Do not elongate your selling process and engage in the time-suck of preparing a proposal.
This information and more is covered during our Sales Simplified Boot Camps. Consider setting one up for your team.