Throughts on Proposing Solutions

April 2, 2009 — 2 Comments
  • Proposals don’t sell solutions – they state what’s already been agreed to. Don’t use your proposal to state your value proposition.
  • When you change your selling process based on a company’s protocol for bidding, you turn your value proposition into a commodity. It was your proclaimed ability to create differentiation that got you in your current job position; don’t agree to sell on a “so-called” level playing field.
  • The RFP process was created by government to prevent corruption – of course it’s been a failure. Instead, it has taken every provider’s differentiation out of the decision making process. In fact, the decision is most often made before the RFP is written.
  • When gatekeepers claim that decision makers don’t have time to see you, you should be asking if these same people have time to live with their current condition vs. the few minutes you’re asking for.
  • Before you can propose, you have to come to an agreement on value. Without such an agreement, there can’t be a fair evaluation of price.
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2 responses to Throughts on Proposing Solutions

  1. 

    Interesting and concise points. My personal belief is the proposal gets you to the pitch meeting (that is it’s sole purpose) – once you’ve made the final cut your sales approach needs to change dramatically to succeed in a pitch meeting. Still a lot of proposal’s suck unnecessarily:

    http://iloveclosing.com/2009/03/29/stinky-sales-collateral-101/

    Keep in touch
    The Closer

    http://www.iloveclosing.com

    • 

      Mark,
      I’m assuming the pitch in your vernacular is to the economic buyer. If so, it’s too early. You can’t have agreement on value at this point in the sales process and as a result, too many proposals are being written. An idea paper (which has no pricing) may be appropriate at times, but much wasted effort can be avoided by waiting until there’s agreement on value, and therefore price, at the buyer level.

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