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Increase Sales By Changing How You Present Your Proposal

Does the goal to increase sales means that you will need to present more proposals? Do you sometimes feel that you are in the proposal writing business instead of being in the business of selling? Have you ever considered that how your present your proposal may be costing you sales instead of increasing them?

Is this how you typically present a proposal? You meet with the decision maker hand him or her the three to five page proposal. The next thing you are doing is explaining your price because the last page was the first page that the decision maker turned?

Outside of formal request for proposals as mandated by local to federal laws and contracts, many small business owners to even Level C executives receive a lot of proposals for products and services. They have been conditioned to look at the last page for the cost. Unfortunately, for the seller this is not a good thing.

As the seller, you probably invested considerable time given the extent of the proposal from your initial fact finding to actually writing the document. So, why are you leaving a all that time on the corner of the table so to speak? By allowing the decision maker to immediately go to the last page, you are turning control of the meeting over to him or her.

But, maybe you are thinking there is no other way. I used to have that thought until I listened to one of my mentors who was explaining how he presented proposals.

First, he never, ever, emailed or mailed proposals. I already knew that, but it was nice to have that confirmation.

Second, he never, ever stapled his proposals together.

Third, he always asked before even sharing the first page of his proposal this question: Has anything changed from when we last met or spoke and today? If the answer was yes, he would close his briefcase and learn exactly what those changes were. Then he would reschedule another meeting allowing him to return to the office to revise the proposal.

Fourth, if there were not any changes, he would present page one which was usually the situation that he discovered during his meetings with those involved. Before he went to the next page, he would secure agreement to everything that he had just shared.

Fifth, next he would present page two which addressed his solution to the current situation. Within this solution, he would clarify return on investment as well as deliverables and timeframe. Again, before sharing the final page, he would confirm agreement.

Sixth, if the decision maker was in total agreement with pages one and two, then my mentor would pass out page three – the investment page. He never ever referred to his fees as costs because cost has negative perception. His solutions would deliver a measurable return on investment and therefore the dollars were always talked about using the word investment.

Seventh, upon answering any final questions, he would either:

Sit quietly and wait for the decision maker to respond
Sit quietly and ask where do we go from here?

Either behavior would usually get him the commitment because his presentation allowed no other alternative.

If you goal is to increase sales, consider how you make your proposal presentation. For me, I do not use the word proposal, but rather the phrase statement of work because if I am in front of them, I want them to believe that I am already working with them. The proposal if done correctly is just a formality.

Would you like to increase your sales? Then, you may find Simply Speaking, Increase Sales By a combination e book and e workbook that leverage marketing, selling & planning skills to increase sales of interest at

Do you want self improvement to small business help? Then register for FREE monthly teleconferences at These seminars will help you increase your business productivity to personal productivity.

Please feel free to contact me, Leanne Hoagland-Smith, Your Chief People Officer and Business Coach, who works with individuals and organizations that are tired of not being where they want to be and truly want more for their businesses and their selves. 219.759.5601

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1 comment:

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