It can feel convenient when you’re in the hot spot of preparing for another sales proposal and it’s late in the fourth quarter to grab what worked for you last time and rely on that as a template. However, leaning too much on past successes can backfire by making your sales proposals seem canned, not fresh. Upgrade your next proposal and score big using our 9 tips to freshen up your content.
- Personalize it – Even if you’re starting with old content, you must freshen it and personalize it so it speaks to the potential client’s pain points. This also shows you’ve done your homework. You know what the client needs, and you know why you have the solution. The best sales proposals are personal, no exceptions.
- Lead with their needs – Instead of leading with your pitch, lead with their needs. Demonstrate that you really get it. Any client wants to feel understood, and doing this communicates that you really do understand. Once you’ve hooked them by laying out their needs, you can make your play by introducing your solution.
- Use analogies – Analogies refresh and personalize your sales proposal by clearly demonstrating the power of your product or solution. Analogies also reinforce that desire by subtly showing how your solution meets the client’s needs perfectly. When you leverage their power in your proposals, you never have to worry whether the client “really gets it.” You know it’s clear.
- Offer choice – Whenever possible, offer your client an array of choices then let them assume the power and choose among the options you’ve presented. Pick the best options from your playbook, rank them from the most expensive to the least expensive, and then let your client call the play.
- Add specifics – A client can tell if you’re recycling an old proposal because it will lack specifics. Even if you’re using an old proposal as a first draft, pepper your proposal with specifics that show you are paying attention to this client and their specific needs.
- Put the price up-front – If the price is unclear, hidden, or hard to find, the client will see it as a red flag. Always be up-front about price information and always review your price quotes to make sure you’re charging accurate, updated rates.
- Cut the clutter – Once you have a full, updated proposal draft, reread it and cut the clutter so your proposal will read as easy as possible.
- Keep it short and sweet – As a general rule, aim for proposals that are 5 pages (or shorter). A Bidsketch survey found that short proposals are 31 more percent likely to succeed than long ones. Page one should be the executive summary, with the other pages providing support.
- Get out in front of the competition – After a great meeting, your mind is whirling and your body is full of adrenaline. You’ve got a perfect solution for the client’s need. The potential client is feeling all the same emotional highs that you’re feeling. If you can grab the ball and run with it now, you’ll be halfway to a touchdown. Bidsketch found that winning proposals were sent in 2.7 days on average, while losing proposals were sent in 3.4 days.
By executing these tips in each proposal, you’ll be amped with the confidence and charisma necessary to land the deal. So, take your enthusiasm and run with it, and don’t overthink the proposal.