In today’s Tip, Reuben Swartz provides tips on how to create compelling proposals.
Do you have a proposal hack or something you do to make your proposals stand out?
Join the discussion below with Reuben and learn more about him and his offerings:
Scott Ingram: Welcome back to the Daily Sales Tips Podcast. I am your host Scott Ingram and since he’s self-introducing, here’s today’s tip from Reuben Swartz:
Reuben Swartz: I Reuben Swartz here, founder of Mimiran CRM, the CRM for people who hate selling, which is kind of an ironic thing for this podcast also Chief Nerd over at the Sales for Nerds podcast. And I want to talk to you for a couple of minutes about proposals. Like a lot of you, I didn’t receive any formal training in how to write a proposal. It was just someone asked for it and then I went searched around for something on the Internet, some kind of template that I could copy and use, and I made a ton of mistakes and I lost a lot of deals that I should have won because proposals really don’t win deals, they lose them. And it took me about a decade to learn to do proposals properly.
So maybe I’m just a real slow learner, but I’ve noticed from talking to other people that I’m not the only one who’s making some of these mistakes. So, here’s a couple of quick tips to help you create more compelling proposals and close more deals and have more fun doing it. First of all, our proposal is a story, not a brochure. If you’re just spewing a bunch of stuff about how awesome you are, how awesome your company is, how awesome your goods and services are, and not telling a story, you’re not going to catch the attention of the customer and you’re going to make them think a lot trying to put together the story in their head, which is hard. If somebody else is putting the story together for them, they’re going to get the deal. Secondly, the hero of the story is the buyer. Not You.
You’re Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re the old man helping out Luke Skywalker. The buyer is Luke and it’s easy to get wrapped up in ourselves because, naturally, that’s who we want to think about — being awesome. But really, the story is about the customer taking on a problem with your help and solving it and achieving the outcome they want to achieve. So, if you only pick up two things from this, proposals, a story, not a brochure, and the hero of the story is the buyer, not you. Really important things. And then sort of the corollary to that is every good story needs a compelling villain. So, it doesn’t necessarily have to be some galactic battle station that’s going to blow up your base or whatever. But there’s gotta be some reason that the hero of the story needs to change. It needs to take action. And if you’re sitting there thinking, “Gosh, you know, this just doesn’t seem very compelling”. It’s usually because there isn’t a good villain in the story. And it’s okay just to ask, “hey, this doesn’t seem so bad. Why bother putting in all this effort to fix this?” And sometimes they may say, “okay, you’re right”, and then you save yourself a bunch of time. But more often they’re going to reveal what their real thinking is and why they really need to make the change. And you can then incorporate that into your proposal so that you have a compelling story that they can sign onto. Hope that helps. All the best.
Scott Ingram: I think Reuben’s tip today just goes to show that everything in your sales process can be improved. When was the last time you thought about your proposal and the impact it was having on your win rate? For today’s discussion at DailySales.Tips/13 I hope you’ll share your own “proposal hack” or something you do to make your proposals stand out.
Reuben also has a proposals course if you want to massively improve your own proposals. The link at DailySales.Tips/13 will automatically give you 10% off that course.
Once again there’s no book giveaway associated with this particular question, but we’re working on some great rewards for the most valuable contributors across questions at DailySales.Tips so go join the proposal discussion with Reuben and learn more about him and his offerings.
Then come back tomorrow for a tip from Ivan Gomez on Career Development Planning.