Proposal Writing Chunkinars: How To Save Time with Your Proposal Writing

Communication Skills ChunkinarsHow To Save Time with Your Proposal Writing in the Most Obvious Way

Many sales people waste a lot of time and effort on activities they consider Proposal Writing but that are not even close to serving as a sales tool that sells for you when you are not in front of the client.

Don’t make these mistakes.

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How To Save Time with Your Proposal Writing in the Most Obvious Way

Successful Proposal Writing demands special attention to a lot of details. At times, Proposal Writing can become overwhelming.

For this reason, this article emphasizes What A Proposal Is Not.

Many sales people waste a lot of time and effort on activities they consider Proposal Writing but that are not even close to serving as a sales tool that sells for you when you are not in front of the client.

Don’t make these mistakes.

 Price Quote

Sending a client a price quote as a response to a written or spoken request is not proposal writing.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

You’re having your third cup of coffee in your office and the phone rings.

“Al,  I’m looking at the brochure you left with me the last time you were here. It’s your new superduper blooper scooper. How much does that thing cost?

” Well Sal, for you today, we have a special price of $99.99.”

” Can you send me an e-mail or a letter stating that price so I can get it down to purchasing?”

” Sure. I’ll get that out today.”

Folks, that is not a proposal.

I know what you’re thinking. That’s not what I call a proposal.

I know some of you think that’s a proposal.

When I was a sales manager, some of my salespeople did that and then told me they had a proposal sitting out there waiting to close.

A proposal is not a price quote.

Bid Response

Bid responses often differ from price quotes in that bids require more information and commitment than price quotes.

Many times, bids specify terms and conditions such as time constraints, insurance requirements, and specifications for completing the job or filling the product requirement.

Proposal writing, indeed, includes these requirements. But Proposal Writing adds relationship building, benefits selling, and post-proposal follow-up that is more client-focused than the bid request.

 Marketing Letter

Writing a successful proposal entails much more than simply sending a letter to a client.

The purpose of that introduction letter, sometimes called a Marketing Letter, is to introduce a company to a new client. The marketing letter details a list of products or services, qualifications of the sending company, and the benefits of doing business with them. It sometimes includes a request for a meeting to discover opportunities for the two companies to work together.

Proposal writing contains the benefits portion of the marketing letter. But this is where the similarities generally end.

Marketing letters do not focus on specific projects or products because marketing letters aim to become the first step in learning the details of proposed plans, projects, or products needed.

Proposal writing states specifics and asks for an order.

Equipment Lists

Proposal writing may include an equipment list, but an equipment list with prices on it is not a proposal.

Some salespeople or project managers send clients equipment lists indicating pricing and assume they are writing a proposal. Equipment lists tell; proposal writing should sell.

 Brochure Copy

Proposal writing, many times, includes brochure copy to satisfy requests for information by the client. Sometimes this is appropriate. In many instances, it dooms the proposal writer.

Brochure copy contains information designed for a general audience.

Proposal writing should be aimed at a specific client and that client’s needs.

Brochure copy talks about the selling company.

Proposal writing talks about benefits and solutions to the buying company.

Dropping brochure copy into a document may be a quick way to create a proposal. But, this techniques fails as a proposal writing because it illustrates the benefit of the sending company and not necessarily the benefits to the clients.

 Company Introduction

Some companies and salespeople write letters of introduction to clients seeking an appointment with decision makers.

While this is an important sales or marketing tool, it is not proposal writing. Nor is it the same as a Marketing Letter.

Marketing letters at least state benefits, and in many instances an understanding of the clients business.

Letters of introduction propose a meeting. Proposal writing proposes understanding of and solutions for the client’s needs.

 Spec Sheets

Sending a spec sheet, similar to sending an equipment list, does not qualify as proposal writing.

Yet, some salespeople send spec sheets assuming the specifications of a product are so powerful, that the client will have no other choice than to immediately issue them a purchase order.

Spec sheets are sometimes a part of proposal writing. But, they do not substitute for it.

 Terms and Conditions

Copying and pasting your terms and conditions or meeting the terms and conditions of your clients in the document does not measure up to proposal writing.

Sending your terms and conditions as your answer to writing a proposal places the emphasis on your company, not the client’s needs.

Meeting the client’s terms and conditions become a necessary component in being considered as a project partner. Indeed, most of your competitors can also meet your clients terms and conditions. True proposal writing means setting your company apart from your competitors.

 A Contract

Again, as with terms and conditions, sending a client your “standard contract” does not meet the standards of successful proposal writing.

Your client may ask for a copy of your standard contract. That does not mean your client is asking for a proposal. A contract is a body of information. Proposal writing contains a body of client benefits.

 Telephone Conversations

Some salespeople consider a sales pitch and a price on the telephone as proposal writing.

While the phone call may include many of the components of a proposal, it lacks the “writing” element.

The “writing” element is important because your proposal sells for you when you are not face-to-face with your client. And, the “writing” element sometimes satisfies the need for your contact to allow other potential decision makers to review your proposal.

The list your just read are important elements in sales. They are part of the Marketing Package.

But, they seldom call for the expense, time, and effort required to create a proposal.


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