One issue that repeatedly comes up in sales coaching sessions is how to write an effective proposal. A few comments before you write anything…
… you should be clear about what a proposal is. Marketing groups and managers have done a disservice to their sales team by creating mammoth documents, unreadable terms and conditions, and a format that looks more like a legal will than a friendly agreement to buy. What is a proposal?
- Think marketing! This is the final marketing piece. You might have delivered one-sheets or data sheets, presentation material, or perhaps a findings document, and hopefully you had marketing in mind. Your documents should have been professional looking, easy to read, and pleasing to the eye. What about the proposal?
- A summary of everything you’ve agreed to. The deal is done, now we are just agreeing in writing, so this should clearly reflect all we have discussed and agreed to.
- Boundaries of scope. The proposal outlines what we did agree to, but also clarifies boundaries to stay within.
- A contract. This is your written agreement, so it should clearly state what you will deliver and how. There should be no question.
The proposal is not:
- Another selling tool. The deal is sold at this point – but the agreement is only verbal until this is signed.
- Ideas, guidelines, or negotiation. You should have already agreed to a scope at this point, and the fee has been established. If there are fee changes, there will be scope changes.
- A time to be clever – writing esoteric pros.
- A competition to see who can write the longest document.
Take steps to make buying from you easy to do…
© 2011, David Stelzl