Connect with us


Simple Suggestions to Improve Proposals Acceptance


In making proposals and sales pitches we can forget the tried-and-true adage — “Features Tell, Benefits Sell.” This adage has been proven over the centuries, and you would think by now it is so obvious that everyone practices it. Yet this is NOT the case. Sales techniques require careful thought and analysis. Why do so many of us still try to sell based on the features of our products and services and not on their benefits? It seems trivial and self-evident to state that selling is a process that involves a buyer, a seller and a transaction. So, why do many of us frequently forget that simple formula? There are books, articles, tapes and training efforts on sales techniques, but it boils down to meeting the needs of the client.

I recently had quite different experiences with proposals. I needed a new estate lawyer who started the meeting with an explanation that he did not charge for the initial meeting. That was because he wanted to clearly understand my needs and explain how and at what price he could meet them. He then listened and gave a great presentation of how he would handle my needs. I hired him without seeking alternatives because he understood. Many professionals including accountants, investment advisors and even real estate brokers have similar approaches. At the same time, I was seeking a marketing consultant, placed an ad on Craig’s List and got lots of responses who were seemingly qualified.

However, many showed traits that excluded them from further consideration:

The primary issue was they frequently wanted to sell packaged services without any regards to understanding client needs and goals

In addition, they seldom showed any understanding that they had read the introduction or materials I provided.

Finally, they provided little information on why their efforts would be successful and beneficial to me. One even actually wrote there was no long term pay off for their services.

Related: Recognizing and Managing Exceptional, Average and Underperforming Individuals

These experiences have led me to suggest some simple ideas to improve the success of sales pitches and proposals:

Take the time to understand what the client needs and wants? Do you and they understand the differences and how to balance them? For example, is there enough budget to execute the programs necessary for success.

What skills and programs do you have to answer those needs. Creative, technical and programming needs and skills are quite different. What are yours and what does the client need?

How will you measure results and progress? What is the startup period, are you trying to improve sales, communication, branding etc.

Be direct honest and polite? For example, the simplest and most helpful recommendation is to provide clients with your email address and phone number on every document. You think this is trivial. I get resumes all the time with no place to respond

Cite examples of relevant success? It both builds your image and gives clients an idea why they should hire you.

Please visit our website to book a free consulting session, where we can help you develop an action plan using our tools and recommendations. You will understand the tasks, outcomes and costs we propose before you make any commitment.

Continue Reading