Customer Experience News & Trends

How to get your sales proposal read

You can increase the odds that your salespeople will get prospects to read proposals and buy their solutions by sharing the following idea with them.

  • Before you start to write, make a list of things you want to focus on – your purpose for writing the proposal. Stick to the points that support this purpose. Get rid of everything else, no matter how clever, erudite or special such points may seem to you.
  • Apply that well-developed sense of purpose  to your opening statements. Use single ideas, short sentences. Get to the point in the first paragraph. Don’t lead prospects on; they may not follow. The more senior the prospects, the less time they have to read.
  • Make it about them. The summary should focus on solving their problems, not trying to address yours. A rule of thumb to check that you’re striking the right note: Their name should be mentioned at least three times more than yours.
  • Avoid technical details when possible. Most prospects are generalists, so try to use language everyone can understand. Try to maintain an upbeat and conversational tone throughout your proposal.
  • Use numbers, graphs, etc., to show the ROI of your proposal. A graph showing how you will reduce downtime may send the message faster than words.
  • Conclude with what you think the prospect’s next move should be. Make your last sentence a call to action.

Adapted from “Crafting a Powerful Executive Summary,” by John Clayton. Mr. Clayton is a sales consultant, trainer and author.

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