Why do we insist on drafting and submitting complicated sales proposals?
Why do they need to be pages and pages? With appendices? And extra charts? And tables? And graphs? And other bells and whistles?
Sometimes you lose the sale because your prospects aren’t interested in reading all that crap.
Sometimes they read it, and become more confused than before they started.
“So, what the hell is he going to do for us exactly?”
Why do we insist on doing this to ourselves?
To look impressive? To look all knowing? To look smart? To look knowledgeable?
Yeah, real smart when you lose deal after deal because you vomited words on paper.
I bet a majority of the time, one page would suffice.
1. Here is your problem.
2. Here is what I am going to do to fix it.
3. Here is what you owe me. And when.
You see, if you’ve gotten this far in the process, chances are you don’t really have to sell them any more. You convinced them you have some value or they wouldn’t have asked for the proposal in the first place.
Remember, most organizations identify their vendors before you would ever think to cold call them. Something like 80% of customers FIND THE VENDOR, not the other way around.
[This, my friend, is why content marketing is so darn important to you.]
And yeah yeah, I know that sometimes more comprehensive documentation is required on more complex sales. But I still bet you make them more complicated than they need to be.
And another thought: if your prospect makes you jump through over-the-top hoops, perform circus tricks, and submit War and Peace, perhaps you should consider whether this is the right potential customer for you in the first place. Says something about their culture…
Strip it down to the basics. Keep it simple. MAKE IT CLEAR. If you can’t explain in two sentences what you will do, and how you will do it, then the proposal is too complex.
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