A proposal should be a summary of the agreed upon issues that need to be resolved with proposed deliverables and investment figures. Understand the key words here are AGREED UPON.
How much time does it take you to write a proposal? I have seen cases where it may take from 15 minutes to as much as a few days depending on how complex the sale is. How many times do you do this in a year? How many of these proposals actually turn into business? In most cases the closing percentage is very low because most proposals are unqualified. By unqualified I mean you are writing proposals when:
- Appropriate need is not identified
- Customer is not really interested in your solution
- Customer tells you to please send proposal (many times done to get rid of the salesperson)
By now you get the point a huge amount of time is wasted. So when should you write a proposal? When the following conditions are met:
- Legitimate need is identified and there is urgency to solve problem
- Customer shows legitimate interest in your solution by asking you the right questions
- There are appropriate budgets or commitment to find the money
- Decision makers and decision process are identified
- There is an agreed upon time set to either present proposal in person or review by phone
- There is a time commitment as to when the decision will be made (if the decision won’t be made for a few months, why are you sending the proposal now?)
- You are so sure you are on the short list for this deal that you start forecasting it with a confidence factor of 70% or more.
If you have not met the above conditions, then either get the information you need to justify the proposal or move on to another customer that gives you a better chance of getting the deal.
Time is money. You control that. Don’t waste a whole lot of money and time writing proposals that won’t sell!
To LEARN MORE about selling instead of proposing, invite Ron Karr to work with your team and/or read his CEO Bestselling Book Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way. Find out why people are achieving immediate results after listening to Ron Karr.